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!

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Getting Excited for YRCC 2024 Spring Season Rehearsals

 Christmas celebrations just ended, there's still wrapping and gift bags scattered around, dishes with chocolates and cookies out, and lots of leftovers to be eaten. And I'm dreaming of our spring concert. Oh, it's going to be fabulous! 

But first, there are going to be weeks and weeks of fun rehearsals building on my theme of stars again. This time, we'll sing about wishing on stars: wishes and dreams, destiny, star-crossed love, and light. We are made of stardust, and we shine starlight. 

We will be singing in the evening, on Saturday, May the 4th, 2024 (uh-oh. I just had the Star Wars theme in my head). We can use our candles again! And, this time, they'll be more exciting with the darkness outside. 

I'll be updating my YouTube playlist for Spring 2024, and the website, with music to help you get in the mood for this new theme. 

I'm most excited that we're going to sing the Joseph Medley. It's so much fun, and so big!

We'll be back together starting Tuesday, January 9th, 2024.

make a wish

Friday, December 22, 2023

My Singing Night at Trinity, Thursday December 21st, 2023

 An evening of music, connection, harmony, and Christmas spirit.

  • Chevrolet Ad: A Holiday to Remember (caution: a tear-jerker)
  • Amazon Ad: Joy Ride
  • Merry Christmas by Ed Sheeran and Elton John (video)
  • Perfect by Ed Sheeran (video- noticed things referenced in the Christmas video!) 
  • Believe by Josh Groban from Polar Express (video)
  • Oh, What a Special Night by Animated Praise (video-talked about Children's Time Sunday)
  • Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy by the Washboard Union
  • Wexford  Carol  by Trace Adkins
  • O Come all Ye Faithful by Blue Rodeo (good) and by the Tenors (over the top!)
  • Back Home Christmas by High Valley
  • Snowmobile Song by Stompin’ Tom Connors (!!!)
  • Ave Maria and Adeste Fideles by Luciano Pavarotti (cool: we sang Italian and Latin)
  • Lo, How a Rose by Cat Jahnke
  • The Son of Mary by Harry Belafonte (What Child is This)
  • Good King Wenceslas by The Irish Rovers
  • Goodness of God by Caleb and Kelsey (for Praise Team)
  • Christmas Wrapping* by The Waitresses
  • Frosty the Snowman* by Mighty Diamonds
  • Joy to the World* by June Lodge
  • The Little Drummer Boy* by Sean Kingston
  • Feliz Navidad* and Deck the Halls* by Laro (Soca!)
This was the last My Singing Night of 2023! We’re not meeting on the 28th. 

Some of the things we talked about: tobogganing when we were younger, Newmarket hills and hills of our past, with memories of our dads; Ian’s manger scene menagerie, with a giraffe and a hippo (!) among other animals from Ian's collections; and, Peter and Alison Mohan's Christmas Playlist, such a wide variety of fun music *from which we chose a few and enjoyed with gratitude! 

We ate my homemade Christmas cookies and a little bit of Stollen. 

It was a lovely evening in lovely company.   

I added all of the songs to the public Trinity Singing Night Apple Music Playlist
and the videos to my YouTube playlist

Next My Singing Night is Thursday, January 4th, 2024 at 7:30pm.

Hope to see you there! 

Thank you to Trinity for hosting us!

YRCC 2023 last chance to sing this year is today!

Last chance!
 December 22nd, 2:30 at Mackenzie Place in Newmarket. YRCC Calendar has details.

Even if you haven't signed up, please come and join us.

 A number of people are not feeling well enough to come, so we're going to need back-up. 

If we get enough people from different sections, we can sing our concert songs. 

If not, we'll still have fun. We can sing lots of Holiday and Christmas songs with the residents. 

Friday, December 15, 2023

My Singing Night at Trinity December 14, 2023

An evening of music, connection, harmony, and spirit.
  • Someday at Christmas by Stevie Wonder (sounding very young). 
  • River by Sarah Mc Lachlan
  • Bright Star of Bethlehem by Melanie McMillan
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem by Bruce Cockburn 
  • Silent Night by Rod Stewart 
  • White Christmas by for Kenny Rogers
  • Do You Hear What I Hear by Bob Dylan 
  • God Rest Yue Merry Gentlemen by Crash Test Dummies
  • Go, Tell it on the Mountain by High Valley, and by Toronto Mass Choir
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High by Rend Collective, and by John ST John Tenors
  • Candlelight Carol by Jody McBrayer
  • Some Children See Him by James Taylor, and by SimpleGifts
  • Winter Wonderland by Eurythmics
  • See Amid the Winter’s Snow by Steeleye Span, and by Annie Lennox
  • The Christmas Song by Claire&Dave Crosby with Mat&Savanna Shaw (video)
  • The Chanukah Song by Adam Sandler (videos– first and third)
  • Happy Joyous Hanukkah by the Indigo Girls
  • Snippets of A Bocelli Family Christmas (video) recommended to watch at home

Last night of Hanukkah. Robin brought Panettone (which was new to some) and I brought some Christmas cookies. We love that Robin is learning Hanukkah songs in a church. We love this opportunity to sing songs we know and love and to learn new ones. We noticed how much fun it is to sing with banjos, and bluegrass energy. We talked about how some voices don’t appeal to us, but they are still “good” and the singers beloved by many. Everyone can and should sing! We thought about Colby's lovely strong Bass when we sang with the Crash Test Dummies. We thought about Lauren when we sand Some Children See Him. We remembered Janet and the Kevins singing Bright Star of Bethlehem. I am looking forward to singing with my daughter Victoria on Christmas Day, remembering singing duets at church. It was a lovely evening in lovely company.   

Friday, December 8, 2023

My Singing Night at Trinity December 7, 2023


 An evening of music, connection, harmony, and spirit.

Christmas (and Hanukkah) Songs!

  • Christmas Dinner by Peter Paul & Mary-this was done last week, but I missed it.
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings by Barenaked Ladies
  • I Have a Little Dreidel by Barenaked Ladies
  • Happy Hanukkah by Walk Off the Earth and Scott Helman
  • Light One Candle by Peter, Paul & Mary
  • Silver Bells by Vince Gill
  • Little Drummer Boy  by for King and Country (Video)
  • Do You Hear What I Hear by for King and Country
  • Song for a Winter’s Night by Sarah McLaughlan
  • Hymn of Joy by Chris Tomlin
  • Canon of Joy by the YRCC with sheet music to sing along
  • Driving Home for Christmas by Chris Rea
  • A Spaceman Came Travelling by Chris de Burgh
  • Christmas Time by Bryan Adams
  • Christmas Kisses by Serena Ryder
  • I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas by Gayla Peevey
  • The Gift by Aselin Debison, et al
  • Grown-Up Christmas List by PS22 Chorus (Video)

 First night of Hanukkah, so we sang a few songs for Robin, and for light and peace (miracles?) for all. There were a number of songs that were new to us. I brought somewhat stale brownie cookies. We enjoyed the comfort of the Fellowship Room.  It was a lovely evening in lovely company.  


YRCC 2023 Winter Concert: Let Us Light Up Your Holidays- Success!

We did indeed light up people's holidays!

Jane's decorations alone were dazzling and radiant enough to brighten my holidays. 

spectacular decorations by Jane

The choir itself however was the most dazzling, radiant, resplendent part of the day and made me so proud! The sound of the choir was perfect. Every note might not have been perfect, but that's not what we're after. The way you all worked together to make the songs beautiful and meaningful was perfect. You looked and walked and sang with grace, and kindness, and wonderful teamwork, and that was perfect. I couldn't be happier. 

And, the audience! They were amazing. 

A full house of happy and generous fans greeted us, and sang with us, and their light helped us to shine even brighter. The little tea lights that everyone was holding up really brought that message home: we need to shine and give others the opportunity to shine, and then everyone is happy. It was heartwarming to see so many former YRCC members there. I hope you had fans in the audience to tell you how great you were. It feels so good, doesn't it?

People laughed, and cried, and sang, swayed, and sighed at various times throughout the concert, and then were overwhelmed with joy, jumping to their feet with a standing ovation for our fabulous You'll Never Walk Alone. That was perfect. Carol sent me a video of part of that song where Carol and Ellen felt the message of that song deep in their souls. This is Why We Sing. 

You'll Never Walk Alone!

Look at all those good chorister mouths! ooooooooooo

Monday, December 4, 2023

Tuesday, December 5th YRCC Seniors' Performance Cancelled!

Sorry to announce that our first seniors' performance this season has been cancelled.

The home, Willows, contacted us to say that they're in lock down. 

Please be safe, everyone! 

Masking might be a good idea. 

Flu and COVID vaccines are available. Take advantage and get your shots. 

Stay at home when you're feeling unwell, any time and every time you're feeling unwell.





Friday, December 1, 2023

My Singing Night at Trinity November 30th

 An evening of music, connection, harmony, and spirit.

Christmas Songs!

  • Better Days by the Goo Goo Dolls on YouTube
  • Hark the Herald (Sing Out Loud) by the Spirituals Choir (YouTube)
  • Winter Wonderland by PS22 Chorus (YouTube) (also A Thousand Years)
  • Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee and Sanctus by Libera
  • O Come, O Come Emmanuel by Kim Walker-Smith
  • Angels We Have Heard on High by for King and Country
  • Winter Song by Sara Bareilles & Ingrid Michaelson
  • Song for a Winter’s Night by Gordon Lightfoot
  • Mistletoe by Justin Bieber
  • Santa Baby by Eartha  Kit
  • You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch with a YouTube lyric video
  • Silver and Gold by Burl Ives from 1964 Rudolph
  • Mary’s Boy Child by Andy Williams and by Boney M. again
  • Do They Know it’s Christmas? by Bandaid
  • I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing by The New Seekers
  • Wonderful Christmas by Paul McCartney
  • O Holy Night, Deck The Halls, and Away in a Manger with a piano accompaniment and no words, which meant only a couple verses of each (LOL).
  • Earth Song (orchestral version of Michael Jackson’s song) by Akshay Sreeram

We used the Fellowship Room, which is spacious and has couches and armchairs and the feel of a salon in a big house (except that there's not only a dining table but also a big meeting room-type table, for meetings). I brought store-bought cookies for tea-time and they were excellent. We talked about hope, and people these songs reminded us of, for me often past choir members, and my choir, the YRCC. I shed some tears.  It was a lovely evening in lovely company.  Next week, we’ll sing a Hanukkah song or two.

I'm working on this public playlist of the songs we sing at My Singing Night. It's a bit of a mess, because it started out as just a bunch of things I thought I might like to use. I'm working on removing the things we haven't done yet. Every week, I add the songs we sing. I've heard that listing the songs has been good for people who forget the name or artist of a song that they liked. So, I thought this would make it easy for you to go back and listen to them again. I think you can access the playlist even without a subscription to Apple Music. 

 Apple Music Playlist

Thank you to Trinity for hosting





Thursday, November 30, 2023

YRCC Seniors' Tour Winter 2023

Our Seniors' Tour starts next Tuesday. We go to 4 seniors homes (care homes and retirement homes) this year. You should be signing up for them on the website. We want 15- 20 of us to go each time, and all parts so we can sing our songs, about 8 of them, in addition to the sing-alongs which they love. There is a post here about how to sign up. Let me know if you still need help.

Bring all of your music every time. I've made a plan, but sometimes we change things depending on who is there and how we feel. We will project the words to the sing-along songs on a screen. If you want/need to, you can download the PowerPoint file. There's a link on the website. 

All binders must be returned before Christmas, by December 22nd, to give Peggy and Anne time to empty them, file away all of our winter music, and then fill the binders up with the spring music. If you're coming to sing at Mackenzie Place, hand your binder in then, or hand it in at your last performance, or at our party, otherwise, you have to get the binder to Peggy and Anne somehow by December 22nd. In January, we start preparing for our May 4th concert. The theme will be stars again, wishing on stars and dreams. 

Use the Calendar to get the time and location of each seniors' performance, plus notes about what COVID restrictions come up. Right now, they're all just saying stay away if you're sick, and one asks that we wear a mask to walk around, but we can unmask to sing. This can change. I just added a link to the calendar, so you can get there from this page below too.

Friday, November 24, 2023

My Singing Night Thursday, November 23rd


An evening of music, connection, harmony, and spirit.

 Hymns: We were given no songs or prep for this Sunday, so we got straight into Christmas music when we arrived.

Pop and CCM songs for fun, last ones on the topic of total acceptance

You by Apollo Ltd.

What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction

Beautiful by Christina Aguilera

Scars to Your Beautiful by Alessia Cara

Christmas Songs!

Joy to the World by Hillsong Worship and a cappella by us

Mary Did You Know by Restless Road and Pentatonix

Children Go Where I Send Thee by Love to Sing and Pentatonix

The Friendly Beasts by Peter, Paul, and Mary

All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey

Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord by Boney M.

Hark the Herald Angels Sing  YouTube clip from Charlie Brown Christmas

Hallelujah Chorus by the Silent Monks (YouTube)

The Wexford Carol  by  Alison Krauss and Yo Yo Ma

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks  by the Taverner Choir

Ode to Joy to The World by the Piano Guys

O Holy Night by the YRCC on YouTube

Feliz Navidad a cappella by us


I  baked little chocolate brownies with sprinkles. We talked about acceptance-love again, and how girls and women get the message that they’re never beautiful enough or good enough from the media, from our culture. If we believe that we are made in God’s image, we need to accept ourselves “just the way you are”. We talked about Bell and Rogers and TelMax (ugh!). It was a lovely evening in lovely company. 


Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Thursday Nights at Trinity in Newmarket- All Welcome to come and sing!


YRCC 2023 Rehearsal Review November 21st

Wow! We sound ready! It was so exciting to hear our songs last night: we're ready. 

I know some of you are wondering if I heard you miss a few bars or get them wrong. I didn't. The beauty of a choir like ours is that we don't all have to be in top form every time. So many of us got it perfect enough of the time to make the whole choir sound perfectly wonderful. Awesome, maybe miraculous? Try your best, and know that the times you're perfect, you lift the others up when they are not. Maybe that's a choir lesson that's really a life lesson. 

Stanley and Mona, Anna, and the Canon of Hope group came early, along with a few of the One Voice soloists. So inspiring!

We had a very brief warm-up and talked about the concert and next week's run-through rehearsal a bit. You need to be there next Tuesday, or let someone know that you're missing but will be there at the concert. We will do blocking, that is, logistics, how and where we stand and sit and walk, and where microphones and music stands and chairs need to be. We will run through the whole concert (maybe not all of all of the songs) so that we can be sure that it works, the music flows, the people can move easily, and gracefully. We will sound and look good, and polished but comfortable and fun.

1. Mele Kalikimaka: Wooo! Fun! Second time through we all remembered our parts and it was great. This is a high energy and cute song. Relax and have fun, smile, move a little. We'll have colourful leis on the front row! That will make the audience smile and you need to smile back. Stand tall and enjoy yourselves.

2. Shine Hanukkah: Yes! The storytelling parts are a little serious. This is a big story and we want to inspire everyone to Shine! Shine your brave little lights. Light wins. Front row sopranos sing in the descant line, first sopranos on top, seconds on the bottom. You must come in strong on beat one, all by yourselves.  All other sopranos sing in the regular choir place, top of the choir bracket. 

3. Breath of Heaven: Stunning! I love this so much, and adding the bass clef folks was a good call. It's so much bigger now, so full and rich. Gender inclusivity wins. Still, there are lots of places where we focus on the female voice, where Mary is alone. Remember, tenors and basses, where you sing and where you don't. Remember to close to an N on the last Heaven. No wide open mouths on the last note!

4. White Christmas: You know this so well! Lauren will sing the special introduction, which very few people know. Then everyone comes in for " I'm dreaming..." We might sing that twice. It's written with a repeat but we might not need it. We'll have the words in the program, but I hope you don't need them. When you can sing looking at the audience, they'll feel invited to sing with you. 

5. We Three Kings of Orient Are: Bass Clef voices will sing the verses, all together, not as solos. Everyone joins in the chorus, "Star of Wonder", including the audience. Again, try to sing this by heart, looking at the audience, and harmonize! Some of our audience members might know parts from choir days past. We're giving them the chance to stretch those old choir muscles.

6. Somewhere in My Memory: We did it! It's so good, such a good song for the holidays-light and love, everyone home with me in my memory- because we hope to recreate those feelings every year. Remember to start off soft, wistful. But tenors and basses, when you come in at the bottom of the second page, "Somewhere in my (page turn) memory..." it has to be strong but not loud, confident and clear. It's marked mp, but come in mf.  

7. Christmas Waltz: I love dancing almost as much as I love singing, sometimes more. This song makes me want to move, and really, be twirled around a dance floor. What a wonderful feeling! This fast waltz is a happy finale song, has a "Happy Holidays" message, and I hope it makes people move in their seats and then inspires them to stand up from their seats for a big standing ovation! 

8. You'll Never Walk Alone: Always powerful. This is our encore song, after the standing ovation. 

9. One Voice: Big opening number. Singing inspires more singing. Just do it. I haven't totally decided on the soloists yet. Let's have all the potential soloists come early next week. The last bit where all three sing is tricky. Sopranos please sing your melody on page 4 nice and strong. I don't want to ask everyone else to hold back there. 

Next week, Tuesday, November 28th


Put your music in concert order. We don't want to have to wait for people to find their music, especially not next Sunday! You can use stickie notes or flags but the audience can't see them. The concert order is on the website under Members: Concert Order. There's a printable PDF that you can download if you like that. 

Come early. 7:00 latest so that we can get in position and warm up and start by 7:15. If everyone is there and we can start on time, we might not have to stay late. Be prepared to stay late though. It happens sometimes. Bring your water bottle and a snack?

YRCC Website- Sign up for Seniors' Tour

 YRCC Choristers, please sign up for the seniors' visits coming up every Tuesday after the concert. 

We can only have 20 people, and I want us to go there strong with 20 people, and I'd like there to be a good blend of voices. You will love these performances, guaranteed. 

When you sign up, you'll get the address and the time to copy into your calendar. 

You can also use our YRCC Calendar, because those details are there, and if we get any COVID instructions, that's where they'll be, in the calendar. 

Log in, go to Members or use the QuikLink to Events. 

Also under Members, you'll find the Concert Order and the Seniors' Performance Orders. 

New folks were asking about what to wear. It's there on the website. Concert Wardrobe. Remember white to your hands and black to the floor for the concert (look at the photo on the website; you'll notice Joy's feet. Luckily, she sat at the piano so it wasn't an issue.) But for seniors' visits, you can have short sleeves and shorter pants/skirts-they're hot places for people who don't move around much. Lauren has scarves and ties in case you don't have one yet. 

Something Exciting I'm Working On

YRCC Members are invited to come and sing in the chorus or act as villagers in this community play where stories of happier times awaken a sad sleepy village to the joys of music and the arts. Rehearsals are Wednesday evenings and Sundays after church. 

Every year, the celebration of Christmas, with stars, angels, miracles, peace, love, and family, inspires beautiful performances from the arts community- including our very own choir YRCC. At Trinity on Main, we are blessed to have Mary Lawlis heading Trinity Arts, a program of theatre arts with music and dance and everything behind the scenes too.

Join us on Sunday, December 17th for this wonderful show.

Friday, November 17, 2023

My Singing Night Thursday, November 16th

 An evening of music, connection, harmony, and spirit.

      Warmups:  We are not really warming up these days.  Singing for fun, we just try to sing along within our range, mostly. We sit and sing and it’s relaxed.

Sheet Music songs: 

Christmas Lullaby (John Rutter, adapted for Trinity Arts) We sang our parts in the chorus a few times and talked about the pageant. 

Hymns: We sang along to these hymns for this Sunday

VU 412 This is the Day

VU 506 Take My Life and Let it Be

MV 221 I am Walking a Path of Peace

Pop and CCM songs for fun, thinking about Faithful Love Forever

Never Been a Moment by Micah Tyler

Loved by You by Riley Clemmons

Endless Love by Lionel Ritchie (video with Shania Twain)

Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley

I’ll Never Not Love You by Michael Buble

I Will Always Love You by Whitney Houston

Forever and Always by Shania Twain

The Air that I Breathe by the Hollies and by Julio Iglesias

Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx

Don’t Stop by Fleetwood Mac

Joy to the World by Three Dog Night

Our Love is Here to Stay by Frank Sinatra (video with Peggy Lee)


I  baked pumpkin-apple cake. We talked about forever faithful love, and that it could be your lover, you parents, your friends and family, and community that provide that acceptance-love that everyone craves. CCM songs often sound like love songs, but it’s about God’s love. Janice’s trip to Punta Cana, songs my parents listened to, and the pageant were also topics. It was a lovely evening in lovely company. 





Thursday, November 16, 2023

YRCC 2023 Rehearsal Review November 14

 We had treats again! I had said "no more". We need to work hard now. But, I guess we need to eat nice things and chat with our choir friends just as badly. We just had to celebrate with Melodie that her sister graduated from UofT, a huge accomplishment. 

Blair and Marlene, Anna, and the Canon of Hope group all rehearsed before we started. So wonderful that Donna and Lauren have been starting an hour early every week so that we have these special surprises at the concert, and our soloists and most-enthusiastic choristers get the opportunity to give a little more! Big thanks!

We had a very brief warm-up so that we could get straight to work.

1. Winter Song: It's such a beautiful song! Our audience will love this- not a "holiday" song, but a winter song about being a light for your beloved, a light to lead them into your arms. Don't forget to give more volume and confidence at 47. The timing is special and it will feel more powerful, more effective, when you're singing with more power. Watch out for cut-offs. Watch at the end, and we'll all end together. Page 12 is supposed to be a little chaotic. Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. 

2. Somewhere in My Memory: Soft beginning, beloved melody, wistful memories. We spent time on the same section-starting at 30, the oohs, la-las, and the key changes. Tenors and basses, the la-la-la at the page turn is so important! It's actually la-la-la-la-a because it goes right into the next page. Please lean into that. If there's harmony, I won't complain, just come in strong. We spent some time on the very last note, building that chord. It's got a cool sound when we do it right. When we don't, it just sounds pretty, which is not bad, right?

3. One Voice: The soloists worked through break. The tenor and alto parts coming in are tricky. I've got to pick one person for each part. Please work on those, soloists, and come in a bit early next week. This is our concert opener. So dramatic and big! Sopranos, please come in with more confidence on the melody on page 4. We need to hear that melody. 

4. Christmas Waltz: Fast and furious- think ballroom full of enthusiastic waltzers, big women's skirts twirling- it's a powerful and fun big ending song. Watch during the tricky timing. 

5. Do You Hear What I Hear?! Yes! Fantastic. Just cleaned up that one part where the tenors and basses go into melody and then miss their big moment.At F, on page 6,  A Child, A Child is special.

6. Little Tree: Do you know how much I love this song? It transports me to heaven. It's so important for us to be together on this. Hold your notes for the full counts, right up to the next note or to the next rest. There are times when the sections overlap, so you have to hold your note over theirs. There are times when we all hold and stop at the same time. Those are of utmost importance. Look at the rests. 

We bought tickets and paid for poinsettias at break. Next week is your last chance, I think. We'll be busy on the 28th at Trinity, our "dress rehearsal". We don't wear costumes or uniforms, but we do go through the whole show, making sure we know when and where to sit and stand (blocking), and making sure our sound is good (microphones?). It's important to be there. If you can't be there make sure you let your neighbours, those who stand near you, know to keep your space and guide you on concert day. 

Next week, Tuesday, November 21st

This is our last chance for learning. Bring any questions you have about the music, let me know if there's a song or a part of a song you missed and you want to go over it again. You also have the recordings on the website to go over things yourself, and you can go over and over and over the bits that you have trouble with. Please take advantage of this wonderful resource.

Also on the website will be the Concert Order. For the 28th, you'll need to put your music in concert order in your binders. No crazy flipping during the concert. We sing a lot of music and I don't talk a lot, so there's no time to search. You can use flags or sticky notes, but they cannot stick out for the audience to see. 

While you're on the website, sign up for the seniors' performances in Events, three Tuesdays after the concert. There is a limit of 20 on each of these. I highly recommend you participate in these, because you'll feel like a million bucks. Seniors appreciate these visits so much especially during the holidays. A little Grandma and Grandpa love might be something you're missing. 

Here's my plan for the 21st:

6:30: Stanley and Mona, then Anna, then One Voice (please), and maybe Treble Group, and Canon of Hope at 7:00. 

  • Breath of Heaven
  • Christmas Waltz
  • Mele Kalikimaka
  • Shine Hanukkah
  • Somewhere in My Memory
  • Falalas and Star of Wonders, White Christmas (sing-along selections)

Friday, November 10, 2023

Thursday, November 9th My Singing Night Cancelled

I was so sad to have had to cancel this week's Singing Night at Trinity!

I went to bed early in the afternoon, sick, feverish and dizzy from a reaction to my second shingles vaccination on Wednesday. I sent an email to those on my distribution list and posted on Facebook. I hope I was able to reach everyone. I'm feeling better today, but I'm still low on energy.

We always spend a little time preparing for Sunday. This week I had planned to use YouTube videos of the hymns, MV #4 All Who Are Thirsty and  MV #79 Spirit, Open My Heart (Wild Mountain Thyme melody, YRCC folks know this), I was hoping we could do a little harmonizing for MV #188 I Thank You Jesus (super easy song). We'll start learning parts for Let there be Peace on Earth. We should all sing the melody for a while so that the congregation can follow us, but soon we will be able to sing in parts. This arrangement is different from the YRCC one. 

Here's a nice video of All Who Are Thirsty.

We will also learn the songs for the Christmas Pageant/Play. You're going to love the Christmas Lullaby by John Rutter. Here's a video you can watch as an introduction:

For our pop songs and contemporary Christian music, my theme was going to be love, again, but this time something like, feeling loved forever, faithfully, no matter what. I was inspired by the CCM song we listened to last week, Never Been a Moment, by Micah Tyler. We'll listen to that and sing with it again.

I'll share the songs I prepared for this theme next week. Michael Buble, Rick Astley, Fleetwood Mac, the Hollies and Julio Iglesias are on the list! Hope you can come.

I'm making an Apple Music Playlist that I can share which will have the songs we sing on My Singing Night, at least I'm trying. I think I just have to gather them together and "publish" the list so you can find it with a search. Working on it.

Here's a catchy Praise Team song to worm into your ears. Draw Me Close. We sang it on Tuesday morning, and it's still stuck in my head! "You're all I want. You're all I've ever needed..."

Thursday, November 9, 2023

YRCC 2023 Rehearsal Review November 7th

 Ahhhhhh! It's November! Stuff is getting real. Our Concert is on December 3rd, less than a month away. Get those posters out in emails and texts to all of your friends and family. Buy your tickets. Buy your Poinsettias. I am so excited, and the cakes and sweets at breaktime shared by the altos helped get me worked up. 

6:30 and 7:00, we had Stanley and Mona work on their duet and the Canon of Hope group sang again. 

Our warmup was similar to the past few weeks, where we did some grounding and stretching seated, then stood up and sang one of our favourite pieces. You'll Never Walk Alone was super, as always. If you're not too sure of your part, because you're new or you're in new section, please listen to your part recording on the website. 

1. In Our Town in December: simple and beautiful. We're singing it all together this year. Watch out for timing. We have to be really crisp, together, so that the words can be understood. Watch out for the dynamics so you don't sing loud all the way through. The ending is special, not as written. Hold thatt last note for two bars, then a quarter rest, then watch as we do a big, 6-8 part harmony ending. You choose your ending note. It's so cool how this works out. 

2.Breath of Heaven: we don't have parts recordings for this, but people know it pretty well and you can follow. I love the way it sounds with the bass clef voices included! We do have recordings of the choir singing it (SSA) Here's a video on YouTube:

3. Christmas Waltz: We're getting it. There's a part at the top of page 6 that you need to watch. It slows way down (rit) so that "same thing" sounds like half notes. Make a note to watch me there, and listen to your neigbours. It's fairly soft, so don't stress about it.We spend quite a bit of time on pages 6 & 7. Review those. You can hear your parts on recordings on the website.

4. Somewhere in My Memory: It's so much better with the chords that Donna added at the key changes at 38, 40, 42, and 46! We spent a lot of time on pages 4-7. It's getting great!

Next week: Tuesday, November 14th.

6:30 Blair and Marlene, then Anna, then All That Holiday Stuff (7:00)

  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • Christmas Waltz
  • One Voice
  • Somwhere in My Memory
  • Winter Song

Friday, November 3, 2023

My Singing Night Thursday, November 2nd


 An evening of music, connection, harmony, and spirit.

Warm-ups:  I played some soft music as we gathered and we chatted.

Sheet Music songs:

We are prepared to come on November 5th to sing Rutter’s A Flower Remembered.  We had sheet music and sang along with a video of a choir, and I played the parts at the end on the piano so the end is strong. We’ll need to work on timing on Sunday, on the last page.

Hymns: We sang along to these hymns for this Sunday

VU 469 We Gather Here

VU 481 Sent Forth by God's Blessing

Let There Be Peace On Earth

Pop and CCM songs for fun, thinking about Love and Peace here and now

God's Great Dance Floor by Chris Tomlin

Never Been a Moment by Micah Tyler

Love Train by the O’Jays

Don't Stop Believin' by Journey

Let Me Be There by Olivia Newton-John

Thank You For Being a Friend by Andrew Gold

Annie's Song by John Denver

Silly Love Songs by Paul McCartney and Wings

I Lived by OneRepublic

I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack

I Just Called To Say I Love You by Stevie Wonderr


Everyone enjoyed my pumpkin muffins, even those who don’t like pumpkin! It’s a good recipe, mild and simple. We talked about Halloween, family and neighbours. We talked about living fully and joyfully in the present and loving fiercely even when, or especially when, other people elsewhere are suffering. It was a lovely evening in lovely company.  I wish more people could join us.