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, January 12, 2023

YRCC 2023 Rehearsal Review January 10th


What an excellent rehearsal we had! This new season has started off on a high note ;-)

We welcomed a few new people from the waiting list, and they're great. I'm especially happy to see the new men. 

While we do have to maintain a waiting list, men are always welcome. We have a limit of 60 because of our space in the Administrative Centre, where we hope to return in September. If you're wondering why we don't have 60 people now, it's because we're holding spaces for some of our past members who have let us know that they're coming back as soon as they feel more comfortable. 

Our theme this season is a continuation of Merrily Singing Together, which was our Winter Holiday theme. For spring, our theme is Sunshine, "We Rise Again", and Happy Singing Together. We have a lot of wonderful music in our binders! We won't be able to sing all of our songs at our concert, so some of them will be just for us. 

We started with warm-ups, physical and vocal. For fun we did a popular choir warm-up from TikTok! It's a 4-part na-na from Hey Jude. Apparently, a high-school music teacher posted it on TikTok and the vocal group Pentatonix used it at one of their concerts. Pretty cool.

1. You Raise Me Up- super song to start the year. Remember: not too strong on the the "I am strong" sections on the first three pages. Loud begins at the end of page 3. Watch during the ending, as always.

2. This Little Light of Mine- Lauren and Melinda were outstanding as usual on the solos. Finding the repeat is easy "on a Monday". Get loud at the key change (starting in the second ending).

3. On Eagle's Wings- beautiful. And, it will be even more beautiful when we study it and look at how the dynamics will create beauty and drama. We will need to focus on "make you to shine like the sun". It's different every time, and that part highlights our theme. 

4. I Can See Clearly Now-Despite it being a new song and having all kinds of tricky parts, this was pretty good! Some of us have clearly studied this one. Things to review: We changed to "I think we can make it" in a few places, bar 21 and it's pickup have the same words for SAB "I've been praying for", the section at the Segno, 25 all of it, bar 33 and the pick-up, the section at 38, coming in at 45 after the segno section. I love the blue, blue skies section, which is our point: nothing but blue skies from now on. 

5. Top of the World- We started this just before the lockdown in 2020, so it's still pretty new. It's farily easy though. We started "learning" this one, going through parts on pages 4,5,6. Lucky sopranos have the melody, but altos and tenors have some learning to do. Sopranos just have to pay attention to how the melody and timing are a little different from the Carpenters' version. 

6. Hallelujah- This is always a treat. We sing the chorus softly the first few times to make it more satisfying and dramatic when we stay loud on page 9. There are some tricky bits in the alto section to review.

Next week:

  • I Can See Clearly
  • On Eagle's Wings
  • Top of the World
  • Viva 
  • Wonderful World
  • Why We Sing
This little light of mine is gonna shine

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