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!

Saturday, December 17, 2022

YRCC Party instead of Performance on 20-DEC-2022

We'll meet at my (Renate's) house for a casual holiday get-together on Dec.20th at 7:00 in place of our seniors' performance at Roxborough. They've had an outbreak. 

Check the Calendar for the address or look me up on the members only side of the website in the members listing. 

I'll have a few snacks and some beverages, but if you'd like to bring something, that would be fun. 

I will set up the screen and projector and we can sing. If Donna or anyone else feels like playing piano, they can use my keyboard. Or, we can sing karaoke-style. I'll see what I can cook up. 

Bring your binders so we can give them to Peggy to file away Christmas and fill them up with our spring music for January 10th. 

If you can't make it, then you are responsible for getting your binder and all the music you have to Peggy before the end of the year. Look her up in the members listing on the website for her phone number and address. 

Thursday, December 15, 2022

YRCC Singing with Seniors 13-DEC-2022

 We had another successful and fun sing-out at Hollandview!

They're always so nice and so many people come to hear us and sing with us! I wish they had a better space for us though. They need a nice room like the Roxborough has. Or even Mackenzie has a better room for a show. Oh, well. It is a lovely place. 

Speaking of Roxborough, keep your eyes on your emails. They seem to be on a lock-down. We might not be able to go next week. If not, I would love to get together with you anyway. Let's see what we can plan. 

The awkward room and difficulty sharing the screen got me thinking that I should have sent everyone a link to the PowerPoint for the lyrics. Sorry!

Another thing I could do is have my laptop there for people to share to see the words. 

If we sing out next Tuesday, I'll try to remember to bring it. 

Here is the link: Holiday Singing with the YRCC

You never know what lovely surprises happen when you're out and about. 

After the performance, when everyone was leaving, one lady stayed behind and wanted to talk to me. It often happens that someone has enjoyed the performance and the singing so much that they want to thank me. I love that. This time, there was more to it. She had heard me singing a little German and asked if I knew a couple of other German carols, and I did but only a few words of each. She was so moved to be able to sing those songs with me! And, we talked a bit and it turns out she's from Berlin, where my parents were from and she arrived in Canada just around the same time that they did, in the early 1950s. We both enjoyed the opportunity to use our mother tongue and it seemed no small coincidence that I had just been saying that we remember where we're from when we sing traditional songs and do traditional things at Christmas time.What a blessing our seniors' visits are! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

YRCC Concert and First Seniors' Performance Review


It was so good to be back in front of an audience with my beautiful chor! The concert on Sunday was thrilling. I was so excited, and everything went perfectly. 

Something new that we did was to hold up and wave little tea lights during the New Year Blessing. Wow! It looked so cool! And, during our encore, Why We Sing, we not only held up our tealights, but we also asked the audience to hold up their phones the way you do at concerts. And, it was stunning, so special!!!

We said all the thank-yous at the concert, so I just want to say that I feel extremely blessed and deeply grateful. 

I was in quite a bit of pain after the concert, as my sciatica has been flaring up, but it was totally worth it. 

Yesterday, we sang at Mackenzie Place. The residents there are always so sweet and it is always very rewarding. Yesterday was no exception. There was a glitch with the night folks not being prepared for us, but it worked out in the end, and they apologized in an email today. We know we don't have COVID, because we were all swabbed. So, that's something ;-)

The new Ho Ho Holiday Sing-along PowerPoint worked out okay, but I had forgotten that it needed to be open in the actual PowerPoint app, not in GoogleDrive. So, I had issues finding songs and that was a bit frustrating. But, I fixed it for next time. And, I added Feliz Navidad, which we sang a cappella in response to a request, and I added Winter Wonderland and O Christmas Tree. Someone asked for O Christmas Tree and none of us knew more than a few words. Donna says she has a good "fake" book of Christmas songs, so she is game for anything! I love that. Maybe I'll add a few more songs.

I'm thoroughly exhausted, but happy. 

Next week, we sing at Hollandview Terrace, which is one of my favourite places. Let's all keep healthy so that we can sing for a couple more weeks and then gather with our families. I'm so looking forward to Christmas with my family! Crossing my fingers. 

There are a few photos and videos of our concert on Facebook and Instagram. 

Check out Doug Jarvie's Instagram post here.

Here's a shot that Carol posted: 

04 DEC 2022

Saturday, December 3, 2022

Thursday, December 1, 2022

YRCC Getting Ready for the Show!

 Our run-through rehearsal was so good! 

I feel very confident knowing how wonderful we sound. Doug did some recording and it's so exciting to hear the big beautiful sound we make. We had a few little bits of stress, but that's how it's supposed to be. If it goes without a hitch, then the hitches will happen at the concert. This way, our concert should go smoothly. And, honestly, we worry about things that won't be noticed, or if they are they'll be forgotten in an instant. The main thing is that we're together and singing merrily. 

Some concert day details to review:

Wear black bottoms and white tops. There's a page on the website devoted to uniforms. This would be a formal performance. Bring both of your scarves so we can share and have more fun! Wear your biggest smiles. 

(btw, does anyone know where Musette and her basket have gone? Are you hiding her in your closet?)

Water bottles will be tolerated on stage just this once because you can tuck them in beside/behind a chair leg. Drinking should be limited to only when absolutely necessary. I frown upon single-use bottles, but I try not to be too judgy (out loud). 

1:00-1:45 set-up and small groups: Small groups and soloists, and anyone who wants to go over something specific can come as early as 1:00. Doug says he'll be there at 1:00. I think we said 1:30 on Tuesday, but we can get there earlier. Yay. 

1:45 Assemble: This is when we all want to be on stage, ready for a warm-up, quick clean-up of Little Tree, and anything else you feel needs last-minte attention, and a review of how we're going to enter. 

2:15 Doors Open, and choir goes to sit in the chapel to wait. 

3:00- 4:30 show. We might go over a bit ;-) 

Don't forget to take your gorgeous pointsettias home! 

After the show, you can take your friends and family out for dinner in Aurora or Newmarket or check out the Aurora Christmas Market from 5:00PM-9:30PM. It takes place in Town Park right behind the church. 

Wanda, don't forget the hockey stick. 

OOOOHHHH, and don't forget Tuesday, December 6th, we're singing at Mackenzie Place in Newmarket, and we should plan to arrive at 6:30 for a 7:00-8:00 show.