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 25, 2023

YRCC 2023 Rehearsal Review January 24th

 Life is so much better with choir! 

I was a bit frazzled from my day at work but soon forgot all of that and had a wonderful evening.

We had a quick warmup only so that we could get singing asap.

1. Why We Sing- so satisfying. Not sure how I want to do the beginning this year. Maybe we'll do it differently. Not the back and forth? We discovered that could use another one or two additional first sopranos. If you'd like to try, sit in front with Anna next week. We don't have a lot of first soprano parts, but a few important ones, like this song and We Rise Again, and a few special bits, kind of like bass parts. The special bits usually go above C so you have to be comfortable singing D E F and up to G, and the odd A.

2. Top of the World- we've got it. We just sang it through and we'll keep on getting better. Sweet.

3. On Eagle's Wings- We looked at all the "make you to shine like the sun" and they are pretty cool. We'll keep on tweaking and improving, but it's really quite good already. Well done! Sopranos and Altos marked their music at 43 with a note to say "altos only and soft". Baritones have the melody there, and then altos have a really good "sun" there. Altos should be loud on "sun". Sopranos have a pretty "make you to shine" which should be strong but not louder than the altos. Pretty like angels floating above the melody. At 61, the baritone part has the special bit that the altos had at 43, a harmony above the melody. Don't slip into melody there. Soprano and Alto both sing softly on the melody: stronger than just the altos, but not loud. The baritone line has the melody and should be strong right through make you to shine like the sun and "sun" is good and strong, please. Altos have a special sun again too. We looked at the whole ending, with special attention to altos and baritones again. Watch out for the short movements onto beat one at: 88, 90, 94. Don't hold them longer-observe those rests on beat two! I might lengthen beat one at 94: watch! That's the beginning of the end and you need to be watching anyway. There's a rit.(ritardando, slowing down) there which means the tempo will depend on the conductor, so watch. We added a bass note to the very end "hand", a low A (or was it an F?).

4. Viva!- It's so cool singing Mozart and so close to his birthday, January 27th! We did really well and sang all the way through the first section. We sang in Italian! Some of us are a little worried about how to say the r sounds. It's not a big deal but maybe we'll work on it a bit. Pay attention to the rests. Don't hold notes longer than written. There are short half-beat rests, one-beat rests, and two-beat rests. This Mozart piece is delightful and good for learning how to read note values, because it's pretty clear and even 4/4 time. 

5. I Can See Clearly Now- We reviewed the changes to the lyrics here and there, and looked at the parts at 16. We did great despite a few new folks getting lost. It's a bit confusing, but we'll keep working at it. Be sure to have a look at the repeats and the notes about them. Make note of the segno at 25 and the Coda at 43 where you come in at 45. We'll need to go over those sections again too. No worries. 

We talked about: small groups and solos

If you have an idea for a small group song or would like to sing a solo that fits in our theme, please let me know as soon as possible. I'll need 4 or 5 at the most. We've started Together Wherever We Go and in 2 weeks, we'll start the next one. We'll need to plan for rehearsal time with Donna at 6:30. I've got 3 solo suggestions and 4 small group possibilities, and when I've heard from everyone, I'll see which ones fit best. 

Next week:

  • Blue Skies
  • I Can See Clearly Now
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
  • On Eagle's Wings
  • Viva

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