Welcome to Renate's Baton. This blog is mostly for and about my choir, The York Region Community Choir.

But, While I'm holding the baton, I'm in charge. So, if I want to talk about other parts of my life, I will. :)

The choir itself is a community and I'm discovering that we have a lot in common with one another besides our love of music and singing.

When I go off on a tangent, there is always a crowd coming along. Join us!

Thursday, September 29, 2022

This is the guide for tempo terms, the real truth


YRCC Rehearsal Review 27-SEP-2022

 New members and new/old songs.

We have a number of new members! It's so good to share our wonderful world of choir nights with them! Welcome, new folks!

Our warm-up included humming O Canada. It was nice. It felt good, and research shows that humming is good for your body and spirit. 

1. What a Wonderful World: it is. We spent a little time on the top of page 5. I like the contrast of "bright blessed day" and "dark sacred night" So we want the first to sound bright and the second to sound soft and moody. We nailed it. The sopranos have to be quite soft so that we can hear the alto and tenor parts which are especially dramatic. The bass part was super strong tonight! We also worked on the timing and blending on page 6 in the soprano/alto section and again with tenor/bass parts. Tenors and basses are not always as tight as the sopranos and altos on this page. 

2. Somewhere Out There: Last week, Cathy did the solo, and this week we heard Nadine. It was very nice, and I encourage Nadine to take more opportunities to sing solos. We reviewed the tenor/bass part at the segno again. It's getting better all the time. 

3. Hallelujah: Jane and Cathy shared their voices on the solos and then we had Blair and Kit too. The altos are so good, I forgot that I wanted to review their tricky bits. Maybe another time. 

4. Thank You For The Music: This is new for anyone who wasn't with the choir in 2016 or 2011. It's going to be difficult but fun and so worth it! We started it by walking through and noticing the places where we have to repeat. There's a segno in this song too, at C, but before that there's a repeat at A to come back to, for a second verse. The end of the repeat is in the middle of page 6. There are two endings. After the second ending, we go to the end of page7, then head back to the segno. We jump to the coda (ending) just before that first ending of the repeat. The coda is page 8. I might actually leave the ending quiet. Maybe. We learned parts at C, just 3 bars. So pretty. I got goosebumps a couple times. 

5. New Year Blessing: 2012 was the last time we sang this one, so it's new to most people. Yay! It's short and sweet, and we might sing it twice? I'm thinking about how to make it longer. We sang the first page- we're all in unison, and looked at the second. It's even tricky in the soprano line! You can watch the choir singing it here: 

We talked about: the show at the Richmond Hill Centre for the Performing Arts in November. I've set up an "event" on the website. Sign up and then pay for your tickets at choir. You can bring a cheque made out to  York Region Community Choir. 

We're going to continue to feature different soloists in our songs, reviewing the ones we know well, and we'll get working on these two new pieces. 

Friday, September 23, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 20-Sept-2022


It's so good!

We had a fun warm-up that including singing Bohemian Rhapsody!

Our theme was  Solos

1. Somewhere Out There: 

solo at the beginning: Cathy has done it before, but maybe you'd like to try it. Let me know.

Tenor and Bass solo/duet at the segno: maybe the whole section, or maybe a solo and duet? We're working on how the parts go, and what's written, which is not necessarily the same.

2. Hallelujah:

solo at the beginning: Blair has done it, and it's a tenor solo, but let me know if this speaks to you.

second solo: lots of people have done this one. Kit did it tonight, but anyone else?

3. Blue Skies:

two scat solos: The first is open for a change, the second is for Debbie.

4. Why We Sing:

 there are 4 sweet solos at the beginning: lots of people have done this one. Nadine tried the first one and it was very nice. We can try lots of combinations and see what works best. Think about it.

5. This Little Light of Mine:

2 solos in the "on a Monday" section. I like Lauren and Melinda, but please do speak up if you'd like to try this. It's fun!

6. You'll Never Walk Alone: no solos. you'll never sing alone (hee hee)

We talked about:

 Sunday's dinner at Milestones with Anne-Marie and Stephen. The choir is taking them out for dinner. Join us! 5:00 at the Milestones at Yonge and Green Lane on Sunday, September 25th. 

An Event at RHCPA that you can sign up for, Choir! Choir! Choir! Epic 80's Singalong on November 18th.  There will be an "event" on the website for you to sign up and you can pay  $45.20 to YRCC. We have 10 tickets but can get more.

Small groups and solos. Daphne will do the Grinch. Donna recommended a song: There's Still My Joy, by Indigo Girls. 

See you next week!

I've had a crazy week and have not planned next week's rehearsal. We should be able to look at the new pieces: Thank you for the music and New Year's Blessing.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

YRCC Rehearsal Review 13-Sep-2022


Here's a happy headline:

We're back, baby: Community choirs singing again after pause of more than 2 years.

You can click on that and read the CBC article about a choir meeting again in a town on Prince Edward Island. It's good to know we're not alone. The pandemic has been so hard on us singers! Many of us still feel uncertain about getting back together, but so many of us are ready now, done with isolating and distancing and all of that. 

We're back, and those of us who were there on our first Tuesday this season felt wonderful singing and laughing and chatting together again. 

And, we sounded great too!

We started with a brief warm-up. After stretching our bodies and voices a bit, part of our warm-up was to hum the tune of God Save the Queen/God Save the King. For me, it's still Queen Elizabeth's song, so experiencing it without words was a way to honour her. Humming is a very healthy activity, good for your body and soul, so there's that too.

Here's what we sang:
  1. Wonderful World 
  2. This Little Light of Mine (Lauren, Melinda solos)
  3. Blue Skies (Lauren, Debbie solos)
  4. I can see clearly now 
  5. Somewhere out there (no solo)
  6. You’ll never walk alone
  7. Why we sing (no solos)
  8. Hallelujah (no solos)
Here's the plan for Tuesday, September 20th. Think about what solos you might want to try!

Blue Skies (solos)
Hallelujah (solos)
Somewhere out there (solo)
This Little Light of Mine (solos)
Why we sing (solos)
Wonderful World 
You’ll never walk alone

Let's talk about the Choir, Choir, Choir! Sing-along concert in November, and maybe some movie nights? (An American Tale, Greatest Showman, Mamma Mia,...?)