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, January 18, 2023

YRCC 2023 Rehearsal Review January 17

 Our warm-up included breathing, stretching and yawning, sirens/rollercoasters, na-nas and do-dohs. 

1. Wonderful World was also a warm-up, as it's sweet and not too challenging. 

2. We Rise Again was not on my list for tonight, but the composer of this song, Leon Dubinsky passed away earlier in the day, and it felt good to sing him home this way. I also had Dorothy Street in my mind as we sang this beautiful song about how life doesn't end when we die. We learned today that Dorothy passed away on Sunday. Dorothy sang Tenor, and was vibrant and youthful, always busy and singing, despite some health issues. We were surprised to hear that she was 93. Inspiring. 

3. Top of the World is done! Well, we got to the end. We'll sing it a lot in the next few months, don't worry. Something we talked about is how you are encouraged to make notes on your music- in pencil- because I often change things. We added a bass part to this because I felt that the baritone line was too high for our basses. They will sing melody 2 octaves down, mostly with sopranos, except in the section from bar 66-bar 74. Donna made up a great part for them to sing there, a low harmony to the baritone part. Remember to sing the same rhythm as, move with, the baritones, and not the sopranos in this section. We reviewed the alto part at 52 which is a bit tricky. It comes again at 74. 

3. Viva! This is one of two classical pieces in our binders this season. It's short and exciting and we're singing in Italian! Yay! The Italian is so much better. And, you can easily learn this at home by following along with your part on videos on YouTube. You can get there through my channel, but I'll put the direct links on the website. The video is just the sound, nothing to watch, so you'll want to look at your music while you listen. Look on the pdf side for my Viva Notes on Pronunciation (and meaning).  It's not difficult and there are so very few words to learn- don't worry. You're going to wish it were longer. 

4. On Eagle's Wings is so good, but I want to make it even better. We need to look at all the "make you to shine like the sun" parts. That's our theme, sunshine. It goes with This Little Light of Mine, I'm gonna let it shine". Same thing. (also We Rise Again like the sun, see?) I had planned to go through all of them this week, but we ran out of time. I wish choir nights were longer! You can look at them on your own, but we will do it together. Sopranos have it easy but still have to pay attention. Altos have a couple special ones. Tenors have special ones too. Here's where to look: bar 11, bar 29, 47 and 48, 65 and 66, 85. I especially love 48 an 66, altos and tenors. 

Next week:

6:30 Small Group Together Wherever We Go Starts! I've got three early Tuesdays booked on the YRCC Calendar for you. This is going to be a fun and cute song with back-and-forth interaction with body language and dynamics to make it "delightful" Here's a video for you to watch. 

Some of you have started coming forward with ideas for solos and small groups. If you have an idea for a small group or a solo you'd like to sing that you think will fit in with our theme, please do let me know. It's great to have lots of ideas to choose from! If you have a solo piece, be sure to get the music for Donna to play the accompaniment and so that I can have a look. Once I've taken a look, I'll choose a few and we'll book time with Lauren and Donna for you in that early slot 6:30-7:30. 

Next week's plan:

  • Blue Skies
  • I Can See Clearly
  • On  Eagle's Wings
  • Viva
  • Why We Sing

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