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, February 18, 2023

YRCC 2023 Rehearsal Review Valentine's Day February 14th

It was so good to have a long break with treats, and most importantly, time to chat with our choir friends, old and new! Many thanks to all who set up and contributed to the treats. 

We always start with a warm-up. We begin with stretches to release tension in our bodies, our necks, our shoulders, and anywhere tension is lurking, even our hands. We loosen up and also bring blood flow to the areas we're going to use. We open our chests and breathe with our whole bodies. I want your whole body to support your singing. 

1. You Raise Me Up: Inspiring and touching, this sone is one of our favourites and our fans love it too. Do you know that we started singing this after Bill sang it in a concert of ours as a solo? We loved it so much that we all wanted to sing it. I think our audiences now do too, so we're going to ask them to sing the chorus with us. 

2. Walking on Sunshine: I thought it sounded pretty good last time we sang it, but this time I noticed that a lot of you have not sung this before and were pretty lost. So, we started at the beginning and learned parts. Please take some time to sing along with your part in the recordings on the YRCC website, yorkregioncommunitychoir.org. You'll need to log in with your name and email address and your password. You can reset the password if you forgot it. Open the pdf of the music or use your binder, then sing with the recording of your part. Here's a link to the baritone part. 

3. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring: We talked about how this is often played at weddings because it is so romantic. The original German lyrics are a much more personal and passionate song about Jesus. So, it's not just the contemporary Christian songs that are weirdly romantic songs about a personal relationship with Jesus. "He is my life's strength, my eye's desire and sun, my soul's love and joy". We went ahead and learned parts almost to the end! It's so cool, and beautiful, and satisfying to sing! We don't have parts recordings, but we have the accompaniment that you can practise with. 

4.You'll Never Walk Alone: When you make friends with the people at choir, you might find yourself going for walks together, or going to a bar, or chatting on the phone, and you will never have to be alone. We have walked through storms together holding our heads up high. Singing this is so rewarding that we can always hold our heads up proudly after this. It's a super strong version of this very famous song. See if you can catch a Liverpool soccer match to hear the whole stadium singing it. 

Here's us in 2014 singing it:

Next week: Tuesday, February 21st 


(Churches need their spaces for Pancake Tuesday dinners. Lent starts on Wednesday, so Tuesday is Mardi Gras, or Shrove Tuesday, and the tradition of having pancakes for dinner at church is pretty great.)

See you all on Tuesday, February 28th

6:30 Bill: Because We Believe

  • Happy Together
  • Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring
  • Top of the World
  • Viva!
  • Walking on Sunshine

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