Welcome


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, November 16, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 13Nov2017

6:30 Barenaked small group rocked! We got it.

We had a surprise sing-along of Ahead by a Century by The Tragically Hip. Some of us were unfamiliar with that song. We'd like to add it in to the show somewhere, so please listen to it a few times before then. Here is a link to a video for you. I think we'll sing it with the Kevins and Janet playing guitar and drums. Joy might want to join them.

1. In Our Town in December: Bill wasn't there and we found a few good back-ups. I'm hoping Bill and Teija can sing the solos at the show.

2. River: It worked! It felt so good to hear our arrangement come together as I had hoped, or even better than I had hoped. It does help to be able to hear the solos. We have to remember to be soft when we come in during the solos, wispy and hushed on the word wish. It was beautiful.

3. Hockey Song: Excellent!

4. We Rise Again: Such a powerful song! We are so good on this! Joanne will charm everyone with her solo. Robyn is a super back-up. Don't be too soft on the oohs and ahhs. Joanne will have a mic. The way that the oohs and ahhs move and sound so good, we don't want to miss that. Altos and Second Sopranos need to try to be soft and try to hear the tenors and basses especially on page 5. The tenors and basses have some cool stuff that needs to come out. First sopranos, you need to review your part please. Try to be confident and not stressed on your part so that it sounds pretty and strong. Sometimes it sounds harsh.

Monday, November 20th :
Last chance to buy advance tickets and poinsettias! Tickets will be available at the door, but they will be $15 for everyone.

Silent Night small group will meet early at 6:30

  • Hine Ma Tov
  • Magic of Winter
  • Noel Nouvelet
  • Somewhere A Child is Sleeping
  • River
  • We Rise Again







Tuesday, November 7, 2017

YRCC Christmas Concert


YRCC Rehearsal 06-Nov-2017

Tickets are on sale. Pick up tickets for friends and family.

Poinsettias are on sale. Order them for yourself and as gifts for friends and family, especially those who are coming to the show. This is a good fundraiser and we will have a beautifully decorated concert space. The quality and size of the plants is outstanding.

6:30 Pentatonix Silent Night

1. Song for Canada: We worked on dynamics. Be sure to save some Fortissimo for the crescendo at the top of page 12. We get loud at 81 on page 8 but we have to save some for page 12. And, we can't be loud before page 8. We made the first verse soft and pretty instead of strong, so that we can build to loud and strong at page 8. Page 8 to the end is very proud and big.

2. River: We sang all the way through to get used to where we sing and how the repeats work. We learned that the timing isn't always as written. Don't worry. We will sing with the soloist and under the soloist mostly, so focus on your notes and the timing will work itself out. We learned the second ending oohs and the coda. Don't forget to mark the coda "way on" to remind yourself that it's very long.

3. Noel Nouvelet: Don't forget that Tenors and Basses sing where it says Alto. We talked about how the piece is in cut time even though it's not fast. The time signatures are 3/2 and 2/2 (4/4 cut is 2/2) so the half note gets the beat (we count the half notes), and you'll feel extra weight on the third quarter note.  The cut time gives a special motion, a different drive, to the piece that's not about speed. Where there are 3/2 bars and then 2/2 bars, count 1and2and3and1and2and3and1and2and1and2and...

4.We Rise Again: Such an awesome piece! We looked at the tenor part on page 11. There's a special bit that is very effective at bar 53 and 55. We looked at the ending too, and some of the tenors move there so that we've got tenors in the tenor line, tenors on the top of the bass line and Bass on the very bottom. Check out this recording of Lydia Adams leading her Amadeus Choir on her arrangement of We Rise Again, which is our arrangement of We Rise Again! You have to be able to sign in on Facebook. I don't know if it's anywhere else.

Next week, Monday, November 13

Barenaked Small Group at 6:30

Hockey Song
River
Somewhere A Child is Sleeping (if Philip can bring the cello)
We Rise Again
Surprise

Friday, November 3, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 30-OCT-2017

When Halloween is the night after choir, the choir director forgets all about writing the rehearsal review. Sorry; I've had a wicked week. This is late, but hopefully will still help.

The small group that met early was Pentatonix Silent Night. Those of us who got to hear a sample of this group's work were impressed.

Warm-ups included minor scales which sound spooky, or moody. Minor scales are used for sad, moody, or spooky music. Major scales are what we're more accustomed to. It was difficult to sing those minor scales!

1. Wonderful World: We discovered that we were singing the top of page 7 wrong last week. It's an important part, and getting the notes right is a big part of expressing the meaning of that line. It's like the top of page 5. So, we did page 5 first. "the bright blessed day; the dark sacred night" has a big contrast between the two phrases, which we accomplish by singing the first part louder and the second softer, but the notes also help us create the moody "dark sacred night". The interesting chords and the dynamics underscore the words. On the top of page 7, we have the loud section, "I see friends shaking hands..." It ends with "I love you." --They're really saying, " I love you."-- We put the quotation marks there by singing I love you softly, and the notes really help to add emotion to the words and to set them apart. Let's be sure to hear the altos and the bass especially- they have key notes.

2. River: This is hard now, but will get easier when everyone gets a feel for when to sing, and where to go to repeat.  It's also a different format from what we're used to reading. It's the free music-writing software that Joy and I were able to find and learn relatively quickly that looks unusual and that's throwing some of you off too. I'm sorry. Remember that there are 3 verses, so we go back to the beginning twice. There is a first ending and a second ending and a coda. The coda is the ending-ending. We jump to the coda before the third verse is finished. It's like the 3rd verse is a bonus bit and it could be seen as the beginning of the ending. Also, we decided that it was nice for the choir to come in on page 3 and we'll do it on the first verse too. So, you should have a note written in on beat one of bar 23 in the first ending. Soprano=D, Alto=A, Tenor=E, Bass hold your D. If not, write it in.
We sang the third verse up to the beginning of the coda (ie: page 1 to the top of page 2 in bar 8, and then jump to the last page bar 51.) If you don't have the word way written in on beat one of bar 51, please write it in. There should also be a tie/slur to attach the note before "on" to the previous note. You hold "way....."and drop to the next note still on "way" before you sing "on".

3. Hine Ma Tov: sounding good! Don't forget to bounce those lai-lais and smile! You probably want to write the English words in on the second repetition of page 3. Sopranos will notice that there aren't enough notes in the soprano part in bar 39. Repeat the same note, the C, in the same rhythm as the other part has below (which you heard on the top of page 2 bar 21). sing to-ge-ther-in-song.

4. We Rise Again: We learned section E, which is from the pick-up to bar 40 to the first note of bar 43, basically the first system of page 9. It's not very hard, but the Second Sopranos and the Tenors move here, each down a line. Second Sopranos sing with Altos on mostly melody, and Tenors go to the top of the Bass line. Bass gets the bottom. We reviewed section D, where oohs turn to aahs. The altos were getting lost, so if you have some time, practice your alto part on pages 7 and 8.

Next week: Buy tickets! They're beautiful! The posters have a typo in the phone number, so we'll have new ones. Think about where you could post a poster.

6:30 Pentatonix Silent Night small group


  • Noel Nouvelet
  • River
  • Song for Canada
  • We Rise Again

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 23-OCT-2017

7:00 Baby it's Cold Outside

1. Somewhere a Child is Sleeping: So beautiful with the cello! Philip changed his accompaniment (which he is creating on his own) to whole notes, and it was not only easier, but also more beautiful!
I'm still thinking how best to use this wonderful gift. We might have only the cello and Mary-Ellen on the first part. Won't that be special? And, for the instrumental interlude between verses, Joy and Philip will have something special. We'll figure it out (right, Philip?).
2. Wonderful World: performance ready. It's so special! But, we found a bit that we can improve on: the top of page 7.
3. We Rise Again:We worked on section D: bar 29-39, the oohs, which we turned into aahs at the page turn :-) So, as you go from page 7 to page 8, your oohs turn into aahs. It's really cool, really. The tenors and altos have very cool parts at the bottom of page 8. If you missed today's rehearsal, you will want to review page 7 and 8 for your part. Listen to the recordings on the website. It will help. We also reviewed the previous section, C, from bar 19-29, which we learned last week. If you missed that, you probably want to review that section too.
4. River: My aim was to learn page 3, and we kind of did. We're still getting used to how this is going to work. So, we spent some time "walking through" the piece. I've added in the choir on the first verse, so it's not exactly as written. I will have the sheet music for the solo version put on line. That might help the music-reading folks.
5. Noel Nouvelet: This gets better every time. It will take some time to get the choir and flute and piano to all be together, but it's getting very close. The choir is sounding very good. We'll have to work on dynamics, but that has time. Great job, everyone!

Next week: Monday, October 30th

6:30 Pentatonix Silent Night small group

We Rise Again: Section E and reviewing B, C, D
River: 3rd verse up to the pa-pas
Hine Ma Tov
Noel Nouvelet
Wonderful World: top of pg 7

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

YRCC in the Auroran Newspaper RE ACC

Click here to read the article in the Auroran Newspaper about the Aurora Community Cafe and our concert!

YRCC Rehearsal 16-Oct-2017

6:30 Barenaked Small Group: learning to live up to our name, we're sounding less 'sweet and pretty'.

Warm-ups: Interval sheet, major intervals going up and minor intervals going down.

1. Magic of Winter:
"We could perform this right now!" Beautiful, always satisfying.
2. River: 
We're all doing it! Well, there will be 2 solos, but we all get to participate and the choir does the third verse in harmony with a special a cappella ending. Joy and I created this arrangement in her basement. It was cool. Today, we just walked through it, getting the general idea of how it goes. Trix will do one of the solos for sure, probably the second (who else is sexy enough?). Yes, you don't have the words for the second verse. It's okay. It's a solo and if you want to sing it, I'll give you that part.  I'm already thinking of how to improve this arrangement (even my own arrangements, I have to "interpret"). I think we'll have the choir come in for both 1 and 2 at the top of page 3. We'll have to change the first ending to give everyone a landing note. We're going to start learning this next week.
3. Noel Nouvelet:
We learned the middle section where the flute and piano are the focus, pages 5 and 6. The choir comes in at the 3/2 bar at the bottom page 5. It's reminiscent of the beginning of the song where there are also 2 bars of 3/2 time. The counting here goes: 1and2and3and1and2and3and1and2and1and2and...
The altos, tenors, and basses start first in bar 48 on the and of 1
(1No-eland3and1No-eland3andnoo...).
The sopranos come in on the and of 1 in bar 49.
(1No-eland3and1noo-noo-noo-noo...).
Remember that you are the "accompaniment" here, so keep it soft and sweet.
We sang through the whole song a couple of times, and it's getting pretty good! We reviewed the ATB parts, which are not easy, but repetitive. The hard thing with this song is getting all the timing to come together, the 2 voice parts, the piano, and the flute. It will be so impressive when we're done!
4. We Rise Again:
We also worked on pages 5 and 6 on this song! This part I call section C. It goes from bar 19 to 28. This is the most important part of the song. The first time the audience hears the chorus, we sing it in 4-part harmony. It's broad and moody and moves in mysterious ways. It will be very impressive if we can hear the tenor and bass parts. Tenor especially had a cool part.  Give it all you've got, Tenors and Basses, and lean in on all notes that you have in interesting places (beat 3 of 19, beat 2 of 22, beat 3 of 23, beat 3 of 24). This is the first time we hear that Soprano descant part too and that's really impressive, but it has to be soft and light. Let those high notes float gracefully out of your eyeball sockets. Second Sopranos and Altos have the melody, and it has to be tight and light. Timing cannot be mushy and you have to be able to hear the Tenors. We even had to ask Joy to be softer on the accompaniment! The blending here is very important!

Next week:
7:00 Blair and Trix
  • We Rise Again: oohs and aahs: section D (and reviewing section B)
  • Noel Nouvelet: timing
  • River: Page 3
  • Somewhere A Child is Sleeping: dynamics



Sunday, October 15, 2017

YRCC Monday 16th 6:30 Barenaked Group

Don't forget that the Barenaked Ladies Group (God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings) is meeting early this Monday morning (Oct.16)!

I haven't made a proper plan for tomorrow yet, as I've put all my energy into the concert.

I do know we have to rehearse We Rise Again, Noel Nouvelet, and River. You'll be getting the music for River tomorrow!

Next Monday is the first Mistletoe small group rehearsal at 6:30.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

YRCC Oct. 9 Rehearsal for Oct 15 Concert for the Aurora Community Cafe

Our concert rehearsal was perfect. That is, we had enough terrible moments to ensure that the concert goes smoothly. A rehearsal with no mistakes is unlucky ;-)

We will need to work on 2 things before the concert at 1:00: The ending of Hine Ma Tov and the ending of In Our Town in December. We'll also give the soloists a chance to play with Joy and the microphones from 12:30-1:00.

Just a note on the fundraising: We are supporting St. Andrew's, but if you read their flyer you'll know that we are supporting a special project of theirs which will help the whole community:

ACC – THE AURORA COMMUNITY CAFÉ
The Aurora Community Café is a non-profit café with a social purpose involving local non-profit organizations, faith communities and individuals working together to
 - serve fair-trade coffee, tea, and freshly baked goods
- offer work experience to adults with disabilities in a supportive environment
- create a space for the community to come together
Open every Wednesday starting November 8th from 10am – 2pm 
(Located in St. Andrew’s, 32 Mosley St. – Victoria St. Entrance)

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 02OCT2017

Coffee and Treats Night!
Wow! What a sweet spread we had! Thank you to all who contributed!
This is why our bake sale is always so successful. We have talented bakers with kind hearts. You can taste the love in the treats.

6:30: Barenaked Ladies small group is sounding really good! I'd like to hear a bit more punch. It sounds too pretty.

1. O Canada was our warm-up. We will sing 2 verses on October 15th. First verse with piano and audience, second verse (pines and maples) a cappella. I'll bring the audience in at "God keep our land" to the end.

2. In Our Town in December: This is such a good song! Bill and Carol did a great job on the solos. They will sing them on October 15th as well. We fixed the ending. It was not a YRCC ending. We added another "in our town" with harmony. Wait for it and watch. Also, watch carefully for the cut-off on the word "art" we have to be clear that we're singing "art on display" so enunciate the final T.

3. Hockey Song: Blair will provide the "announcer" lines. Sophie and Kit will bring whistles. This is a fun audience favourite. We do a great job. (Except that Melody noticed that there were lines that we sing incorrectly! Never mind. For now, we'll keep singing it "our way".)

4. We Rise Again: We've got lots of time to rehearse this, but it will take some time to learn it. If you can, do some work on your own. Use the recordings on the website to learn your part. I have asked Joanne, Nicole, and Robin to look at the solo part. If you are also interested in trying it, let me know.
We started by singing the mm-ooh-aahs on pages 4-5. In this section, some Sopranos move at bar 19, S1 stays in the top of the choir bracket and sings the descant part but S2 moves to the Alto line, the melody. Altos stay put. Tenors move at bar 16 to the top of the Bass line, but jump back into the Tenor line at bar 19. Basses stay at the bottom. There are lots of places where your part might move to another line. Be sure to make notes in pencil on your music!

5. Somewhere A Child is Sleeping: We have a cellist among us! Philip brought his cello and tried out his accompaniment arrangement for this beautiful, Canadian Christmas song. It will add such a touch of class to our concert! We'll see if we can start off with just Philip and Mary-Ellen for the first verse. I learned that I have memorized this song. I gave Philip my music stand and did fine without it. Ha!

6. Go Now in Peace: We didn't need to, but we reviewed the A-men ending. You guys are amazing!

7. Song for Canada: This is another winner. You sing it beautifully, and Robin makes that flute sing!

Next week: Thanksgiving Monday, October 9th

Yes, we are rehearsing! We are at St. Andrew's for a run-through and sound check rehearsal. If you're going to be singing on the 15th, be sure to be there or to let a buddy know that you will be missing the rehearsal so we can account for you and watch out for you on the concert day. We have to plan where everyone stands and sits, and how people will move to microphones and music stands, etc.
We start at 7:30 but I'm trying to get us the space a bit earlier so that soloists can have extra time.
For the concert order, go to the event page on the website. I've also posted the order on the Seniors (and other) Performances page. Put your binder in concert order please. Add tabs/flags if necessary, as long as they are not visible to the audience.

Monday, October 16th Barenaked Group rehearses at 6:30!
(Mistletoe small group starts the following week!)

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 25-Sep-2017

6:30 Barenaked Small Group fist rehearsal: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings

Warm-ups were short because we had visitors and plenty of chatting (it's good to hear everyone engaged with each other-natural team building). Enid came with posters for the St. Andrew's concert and we serenaded her a bit. She also reminded us to buy tickets (see Daphne) and offered us a rehearsal time. We'll meet at St. Andrew's on Thanksgiving Monday, October 9th. So, I went off my plan a bit. No worries. We're still on track.

1. You Raise Me Up: We're singing this straight-up, as written (no solos or special instructions. Just watch for dynamics.)
2. On Eagle's Wings: Just adore this arrangement. You did a great job! We've got this.
3. Hine Ma Tov: This is coming along swimmingly. Such a positive song! Love the message and the fun. Our soloists will be Lauren (Hebrew) and Robin (English). Thank you, friends, for volunteering. I think we'll slow down slightly for those 2 verses, then pick up the pace again with the lai-lais and keep it up through to the end. Write in the English words on page 3 for the repeat (in pencil only, of course) and remember to take the second ending on page 4. There are a couple notes that are different, and the Sopranos have to fit in an extra word (repeat the C), compared to page 2.
4. Noel Nouvelet: We have some time to learn this since we're not singing it on October 15th, just December 3rd. It's so cool! I love the flute part. For your part, try to rehearse a bit at home. You can follow along with the accompaniment, and there is a perfect video to sing along with too (see below)
5. Somewhere A Child is Sleeping: When I heard that Philip plays the cello, I thought of this song. We have had Mary Ellen sing the first verse as a solo before, and I thought it would be really cool to have her accompanied by a cello. The piano accompaniment isn't perfect for a cello, but maybe Philip can think of something. The harmonies are very easy and it's really repetitive. That middle part is a bit tricky (with the ahs), but very effective. Take note: the top line is extra. It's really in 3 parts. SAB, Soprano can read the top or the second line (marked Alto). Alto is in the line marked Tenor, but it's in the treble clef and is truly an alto part. The bottom line, in the bass clef is Baritone (or Tenor/Bass).
Mark your music with pencil if this is a challenge. This is a Canadian Christmas song, perfect for our December concert.
6. Go Now in Peace: This sounded beautiful already! Hey, new folks, how did it feel? Were you able to join in? We'll review the A-men ending, but it was really good! This will be our finale song. And, after that we anticipate an encore will be needed, so we'll sing Hallelujah again.
7. Hallelujah: We don't have it in our binders yet. We were not planning to sing it, but when we talked about it being our biggest hit, our fan favourite, we had to sing it. So, we did! Without music. It was awesome.

Next week, Monday, October 2nd:

Barenaked small group at 6:30

  • Go Now in Peace
  • Song for Canada
  • Hockey Song
  • In Our Town in December
  • We Rise Again

Reminder for Monday, October 9th: We're rehearsing at St. Andrew's at 7:30.





Tuesday, September 19, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 18-Sep-2017

Another fun, energy-filled rehearsal!

Warm-ups:
We started off with a short physical warm-up and then tried out our new interval exercises. They're meant to help with our sight-reading. If you missed this rehearsal, you'll need to get the hand-out next time.
1. In Our Town in December. Sweet, multicultural holiday song (mostly Christmas). There are 2 storyteller solos. Bill is going to do the first one (Carol back-up) and Trix will do the second at 24 (Lauren back-up). The choir sings at 13 and 32. Alto, Tenor, Bass are all on Part II. We will not do this on October 15. It'll wait for December.

2. Hine Ma Tov: Bilingual, Hebrew and English. We need someone to sing the first solo in Hebrew, also in a storytelling style, and another to sing the second verse in English, clearly translating the first. Think about it, and let me know if you're interested. This song is for October 15 and December 3rd, and for next Spring (Unity/Peace theme). We have Alto, Tenor, Bass all on Part II. We only sang the melody line this week.

3. Noel Nouvelet: French. Like on Hine Ma Tov, there is a guide to the pronunciation. I disagree with a couple things. Take note: chantons ici = shã-tõ-zee-see, gens=zhã, crions=kree-yõ, l'ange disait= lã-zheh-dee-zay... there are a number of other places where there are nasalized vowels and the letter n simply indicated this but is not pronounced. I'll point them out as we sing. Remember to have your pencils handy to mark your music (never pen!). I have lots of pencils in case you forget yours. We have 2 parts in this song as well, and Alto, Tenor, and Bass are down on part II. It's a really cool part! And, there's a beautiful flute part. I'm so happy that Robin is back! It was fun having Joy's friends play flute with us, but this is more comfortable. Altos, if you have trouble with the high notes, there are a couple of things you can do. 1. just don't sing them, those who can will probably need to sing them louder than usual and we won't notice your voice missing, but be sure to pretend to sing them. 2. sing with the tenors, and skip the lowest notes in the same way. 3. do vocal exercises every day to increase your range. This song is for December 3rd only, not for October 15.

4. Song for Canada: Bilingual French and English! There's a short flute part for Robin in the last verse, the O Canada descant. This is ready to perform. Altos, the last verse is a bit high. Same 3 choices as above apply to dealing with the high notes. Everyone, don't stress about the ahs at the end. I like lots of harmony there. The tenor/bass section (men) have added ahs starting at the French verse which I like, but the women in that section are singing the melody an octave down. It would be good if a few altos could join them in that lower octave. October 15, for sure, and Dec. 3.

5. I Will Always be With You: We have to be careful not to sing this too slowly or too loudly. It's sweet and pretty. Be sure to enunciate well so that the words can be understood. They're lovely. The flute is gorgeous and must also be sweet and not too loud. I don't like the ending, so we'll probably add something there. We will sing this on October 15, but probably not on December 3.

Tickets are on sale for October 15th. 
Tickets at the door will be $30.  
In advance, they're $25, with $20 for seniors and students.
In advance there's a family discount $50 for 4. 

There will be a number of songs only sung at the October concert, but not at the December concert. If you want your family to hear them, then you'll want to get tickets. On Eagle's Wings, You Raise Me Up, I Will Always Be With You, Go Now in Peace, as well as a few solos and small groups (Janet and Kevin, Todd, Trix, etc) are just for Enid. I'll have the order set soon. 

Next week: 25-Sept-2017
Small group: Barenaked Ladies starts at 6:30!
Hine Ma Tov
Noel Nouvelet
Somewhere a Child is Sleeping
You Raise Me Up
You'll Never Walk Alone



Wednesday, September 13, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 11-SEP-2017

We're back! 
This is the first rehearsal review of the 2017-2018 season!

This Fall/Winter season is different from others because we have a concert to perform on October 15th, a fundraiser for our friends at St. Andrew's in Aurora who allow us to use their church to rehearse when we cannot have our room at the Admin Centre. We're going to sing some of our past songs especially for Enid. Thank you to those of you who have already signed up for the concert on the website. If you haven't yet, log in on the website and sign up for this "event". 

To start the rehearsal, we did some of our usual warm-ups. Some are physical, to release tension and to raise awareness of the musical instrument that is our whole body, not just the mouth. Sometimes our vocal exercises are also an introduction to following the conductor and working together as a choir. 

1. Wonderful World is one of our top 10 YRCC hits. It's awesome, and it's already performance-ready. Gorgeous.
2. Song for Canada was also super. Front row tenors sing an octave down, coming in at verse 2. The rest of the tenors and basses come in on the second verse with ahs. Very cool. Altos can choose to sing down an octave with the tenors, especially on the third verse after the key change. We will have Robin on flute. She has also sung that descant line before. Should be great! 
3. On Eagle's Wings is probably Enid's favourite YRCC hit. It's a powerful version of a church hymn, full of drama and movement. The ending! If you haven't sung this with us before, please log in to our website and listen to your part and listen to this YouTube video of us.
4. You'll Never Walk Alone is my favourite YRCC hit. It's also based on a hymn and very powerful. It's got a jazzy gospel element which I love. Again, if you're new, you'll want to do some homework. Log in to the website to hear your part. Here's a link to a YouTube video.
5. Hockey Song is still in good form. It's a perfect song for Canada's 150th and winter! The audience will appreciate this rousing, up-tempo piece. 
6. I Will Always Be With You is a sweet and touching piece that is also pretty much ready to go. It will feature Robin on flute. Here we are on YouTube.

Coming up next week: Christmas already.
1. In Our Town in December
2. Noel Nouvelet
3. Hine Ma Tov
4. Song for Canada
5. I Will Always Be With You
I will hand out music for small group: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We 3 Kings
Please sign up to participate in this small group song. 




Monday, August 28, 2017

YRCC Winter 2017 Start is 11-SEP-2017

Today is the second last Monday without choir.
I've been missing you all, but I'm working on choir today and thinking about you, because it's Monday :-)
Next Monday, Labour Day, will be the last Monday before we get started.
Monday, September 11th is our first day back! Yay!

Joy and I are working on the music, and the Executive is getting ready to register everyone and make sure all is set for our new season.

You should get an email asking you to pre-register soon so that we can quickly have everyone pay their dues so we can get singing right away!

We have a busy schedule this season because we're singing a concert on October 15!
Be sure to sign up for that so that I don't panic. We need lots of you there so that we can do our 4-part pieces. If you're not familiar with some of the titles, please go to the recordings page on the website and download them to start learning them on your own. Even if you kind of remember them, you might want to brush up on your own. We won't have a lot of time on Monday nights to review them.

I'm looking forward to our wonderful new season. We've got lots of great music to sing, as always.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

YRCC 2017/2018 Choir Leadership Team

Introducing 
the Executive of the York Region Community Choir 
for the 2017/2018 Choir Year:

The Executive works together with the Director and Accompanist, and the Reading Committee, to choose music, decide when and where we sing, and make sure people are there to sing and to hear us sing, and take care of our equipment, finances, website and music library. The Executive is elected and the Reading Committee, Conductor and Accompanist are appointed. The Executive is now officially called the Board of Directors since we are incorporated, but we can still use the name Executive, I think. 

Our President is Lauren Solar (laurensolar@gmail.com). This is Lauren's fifth year as President. Lauren is responsible for everything happening. 

Our Vice-President is Jane Griffiths (jane.griffiths@rogers.com). Jane's role is to help Lauren and anyone else on the executive when they need a hand. She's a fundraising superhero.  

Daphne Young (youngdc@rogers.com) is our Public Relations ChairIf you need to contact us regarding advertising, or to book us for a concert, or just need some information, contact Daphne. The PR role is to keep us connected to the community. 

Karen Andrews (karenc.andrews@sympatico.ca) is our Secretary/Treasurer.
If you want to write us a cheque, make it out to York Region Community Choir, and Karen will put it in our account. We accept cash too. Karen will keep our paperwork in order, creating and maintaining records like the minutes of our meetings and accounting stuff. Michele Horton supports Karen and will continue to represent us when we share condolences and congratulations. 

Trix Verge (trix.verge@gmail.com) is our Webmaster and former Music Librarian. She had our music collection in her basement for years and her organizational skills and patient dedication served us well in our greatest period of growth. Trix is the one to go to for help using the website, and she makes sure that it's functioning properly. Trix has magical computer skills, and could probably herd cats.

Lyn Gadd (maralynr@rogers.com)  recently took over the Music Librarian role but may have to ask someone to take over. She has several filing cabinets full of music in her basement now, along with tables and a printer, and she makes sure we all have music to sing every Monday, and has extra binders made up for guests, or people who are checking us out. If you have a binder of music that belongs to us and want to know how to get it back to us, contact Lyn! If you have space and can store our library, please let someone on the executive know!

Carol Ford and Debbie Hood are the Registrars. They make sure the membership list is up-to-date and coordinate registration in September. They will be calling you if you're on the waiting list. Debbie had our coffee (and tea) equipment and supplies in her basement for many years, and together with Carol took care of our refreshment needs, but Sophie is going to have a turn in that position this year.

Teija Cumming and Anne Marie Vandekemp are the Reading Committee. They help choose new music and order it from the publishers, shopping in person and on line. They are chosen for their ability to read music and knowledge of our strengths and weaknesses. 

Renate Naghavi (That's me.) is the Conductor/Musical Director of the YRCC. The Conductor chooses a theme and selects music for each season, with the help of the Executive and the Reading Committee, and with input from the Accompanist. The Conductor teaches the music with the help of the Accompanist, and leads the choir in performances. 

Anne Marie Vandekemp has been the Assistant Director, officially and unofficially for at least a decade. Since she is one of the original members of the choir, Anne Marie is consulted on everything from music to venues and managing member politics. Anne Marie leads the small group rehearsals. 

Joy Zhang is our Accompanist. She is a talented pianist who helps Renate teach the music and accompanies the choir in rehearsal and in performances. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

YRCC St. Andrew's Fundraiser Concert October 15th

Mark your calendars and start rehearsing!

St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (click for map)
Sunday, October 15th 
2:00-4:00
(12:30 arrival for rehearsal)

We will be performing a concert for St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church as a fundraiser to thank them for providing rehearsal space for us whenever we are bumped out of our free space at the Admin Centre.

Members, please sign up for this event on our website. (click to follow link- you'll need to log in)
I do hope everyone can come!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

YRCC could we do Bohemian Rhapsody?

This video was brought to my attention (shared on Facebook), and some choristers are saying we should do this. What do you think? It would take some work, but we would feel great. We wouldn't have to shake our heads. It's too big a song for a small group, I think.
Whether or not we decide to sing this, take a look at this video of a choral Bohemian Rhapsody.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Free Outdoor Concerts in Newmarket Summer 2017

'Tis the season! It's outdoor concert season!
Christmas isn't the only singing season, Choristers!
This summer, be sure to sing and dance to live music whenever you can. There are plenty of opportunities here in Newmarket!
Starting tomorrow, with our very own Carrot Sticks, there are 2 free concerts every week!
Read about it here. 
You can bring your lawn chair or you can choose to stand so you can move to the music.


I love the Carrot Sticks!





Saturday, June 24, 2017

Get your tickets for the Newmarket Music Festival 2017!

Formerly the Newmarket Jazz + Festival, The Newmarket Music Festival takes place at Riverwalk Commons again this year, and it's not on the August long weekend as in the past but on August 25, 26, and 27.

For three days of live music, the tickets right now are only $25 per person. I've got tickets for my family. Even if we only go for a few hours it will be worth it, but we will be there for most of the weekend, I'm sure.

There's something very special about a live outdoor concert, a wonderful feeling of celebration and community. I highly recommend this!

Buy your tickets here before July 3 for the "early bird" price. After that they're still cheap at twice as much.


There is also an opportunity to volunteer at the festival. My girls and I have done that before and it's fun and you get to be there for free.


Sunday, May 7, 2017

YRCC Spring 2017 Seniors Tour

O Canada- 2 verses 
Four Strong Winds/ Hallelujah
Song for the Mira/ Where the Coho Flash Silver
Love Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire/ V’la l’bon vent
Both Sides Now/ Don’t Go/ This Island Earth
Hockey Song/ All the Little Rivers
7 Ca-na-da
Sing-alongs
They All Call it Canada/ Song for Canada

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

YRCC Canadian Pop Songs audience participation medley

So, we didn't get a chance to go through this on Monday, but here are some links to the songs I'm planning to do. We're just doing bits of each, and you'll have the words. 
Don't stress over it. It's meant to be fun. 


1.       Put Your Head On My Shoulder  by Paul Anka (1959)

2.       Snowbird by Gene MacLellan  (Anne Murray 1969)

3.       If You Could Read My Mind by Gordon Lightfoot (1971)

4.       Closer to the Heart  by Geddy Lee of Rush (1977)

5.       Up Where We Belong by Buffy Sainte-Marie et al (Joe Cocker 1982)

6.       Everything I Do I Do it For You  by Bryan Adams (1991)

7.    Everything by Michael Bublé (2007)


8.       Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen -2012

YRCC Rehearsal 24-APR-2017 last one before dress rehearsal

This Island Earth, V'la l'bon vent, and St. Elmo's Fire met early, and all was well.
Mary-Ellen, Stanley, and Trix and Rob had time with Joy to rehearse.
Echo Beach met at break with Kevin and Jeannie.

Song for Canada is beautiful with Jeannie an octave up on her flute descant. Basses are awesome on ahhs! It's not what I planned, but I like it.
Song for the Mira is also so much more beautiful with Jeannie playing flute. Thank you, Jeannie! (and thanks to Joy, too for finding Jeannie for us)
Where the Coho Flash Silver now has a solid ending! We reviewed and polished and now it's good and strong.
Unity is pretty and uplifting. Remember to keep it light and positive. Sopranos and altos only on the first page the first time. Only first sopranos in the verse until the Love thy neighbour part. Bass on tenor for the verse.
We didn't have time to go through the pop song medley!
I'll post links to the songs. I hope I chose well-known songs.
If you're feeling a bit behind on anything, remember there are recordings on our website to help you.

Next week: Dress Rehearsal-really! We're wearing our formal white and black to take an official picture. If you like, you can bring a change of clothes for the rest of the rehearsal. Don't forget black shoes and hose. Black to the floor. If you want to wear a skirt, it must be floor-length. Long pants to the floor. Long sleeves to the wrist.

6:00 start: solos, small groups until 7:00 for sound checks, where to stand.

7:00 everyone arrives. 7:15 picture and warm-up.

7:30 run-through. have your binders in order. The concert order is posted on the website (members only: Spring concert order).

Sunday, April 23, 2017

YRCC Canadian sing-along songs on YouTube

Thank you to Ellen, who found our sing-along songs on YouTube and sent these links!


https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=upsZZ2s3xv8  ( The Log Driver's Waltz- iconic film)

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=WSjMuKh1Wpo  ( This Land is Our Land) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=JstZIsrGlP8  ( Give Us a Place ...Ontario)

https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=BN_mZgSt5k0 ( Land of the Silver Birch- we're singing boom-boom) 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G9m4g8H4f4Q  ( O Siem)       

Thursday, April 20, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 17-APR-2017

Sorry, I missed rehearsal on the 10th. We had a family emergency.
Thank you to Joy and Lauren and Anne-Marie for leading and making sure "the show went on"!

Echo Beach met early with our new flute player, Jeannie. Anne-Marie led you in Song for Canada and Song for the Mira with Jeannie, and apparently timing was an issue. We'll work on that next Monday when Jeannie is back. Four Strong Winds and Where the Coho Flash Silver are getting good, as is Unity.

On April 17th, St. Elmo's Fire was the early group. We did well, even without Joy, who got her days mixed up on the long weekend. I'm so glad it happens to young people too.

1. We started with a test run of my "traditional Canadian songs" medley. It was not bad, but I thought you'd know all the songs I know. You'll have the words, but the audience won't, so I have to work out how to manage this thing. It might mean we do fewer songs, but repeat the chorus twice.

2. Four Strong Winds. We worked on the musicality. Dynamics and tempo are getting good. We had to review the Tenor and Bass part B. Please look at this  Tenors and Basses! It's hard to correct something this late in the game, but you're all here now, and you've got to become a team and sing together. We'll keep on top of it.

3. All the Little Rivers. Getting the middle of the first page good and loud was a challenge. Try to remember that part so you can be strong there. Remember to anticipate the fortissimo at the top of page 7 so that you come in super-strong.

4. Unity. Page 2 we had to take the second sopranos off of the verse from "Sometimes/ Through respect", and add the basses to the tenor part there for balance. First sopranos are alone on the soprano part until "Love thy neighbour/ No race", which is strong, so everyone can sing their parts.

5. Where the Coho Flash Silver. I love Blair's solo there! Daphne seems well-suited to her part as well. We'll hear her better with a microphone, don't worry.

Next week: 24-Apr-2017

Early groups: 6:30 This Island Earth
                       6:50 V'la l'bon vent
                       7:10 St. Elmo's Fire


  • Song for Canada with Jeannie
  • Song for the Mira with Jeannie
  • They All Call it Canada
  • Unity
  • Where the Coho
  • Four Strong Winds
  • Pop Medley?


Wednesday, April 5, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 03-APR-2017

Monday, April 3rd. Wow! It's April already!!!

Roxanne sent a nice sample email that you can copy and paste to send to all of your friends and family. I've sent mine :-) Offer to pick up tickets in advance for them. They can pay you back at Easter :-) Or, you can have tickets set aside for them to pay at the door. Get them booked now, so they don't make plans for our weekend! May 6th is not far away.

We had a really nice coffee break with sweet and savoury treats. It was great to hear the noise of happy conversations. It's good to be able to relax and chat for a change, when I've got you working so hard all the time. Thank you to the volunteers who brought delicious delicacies.

6:30 V'la b'bon vent:  Rob had his clogging shoes on! It's so cool! We need to support Rob and Joanne (spoons) with more energy to in our singing. At the end, we don't slow down, maintaining the energy and tempo, and we're nice and loud, then give Rob and Joanne a bit of a last hurrah before our last bar.

1. O Canada We talked about whether Altos, Tenors, and Basses should memorize their parts or write the words of the other 2 verses into their music. It's up to individuals. Whatever makes it easier for you. I absolutely love the pines and maples verse!

2. Ca-na-da This song is fun and not serious, so relax and have fun! There are a ton of words for the Sopranos to fit in, but don't stress about it. Do practise, though. Say the words a few times getting faster each time. I was hearing Sopranos saying province and territories in the French verses. Remember that provinces comes out something like pro-van-sa and territoires is kind of like terra-twar. We decided to ignore the two beats on Notre (first bar at bottom of second page) and sing NOooootr instead of no-traaaaaa.

3.Where the Coho Flash Silver It's getting very good! We sang all the way through and went over bits we had trouble with. The a cappella part to the end was reviewed for all parts. If you missed it, try to listen to the recording to review your ending. Endings are important. We also worked on the transition between part B and part C at the bottom of page 4. We need to listen for the piano accompaniment to know when and how to come in at the key change. There's a little "la-la-la-la pa-pa oom-pa-pa" and we sing 'Well the' on the second pa-pa. Listen for that low note.

4. Unity This is getting very good. Page 2 is really cool. I'm worried that the tenors are not loud enough on their bit of the melody. We have to fix it. My first thought was to have the basses join, but the basses have a really cool part there. Not sure what the answer is. I'll figure it out. We had to work on page 3. We are in unison, so we have to sing the same thing. This is also on the website. Listen to it if you can find some time.

5. We only sang Four Strong Winds once through, but it's still stuck in my head! I love this song. We got the doo-doos! All the stuff we worked on last week went well. I'm happy. We need to review the tenor and bass part at B. First of all, "Think I'll" is fast on beat 4 not 3 and 4, "fall" is only 2 beats, so "I got some" takes 2 beats not one. Same with "go to working". It's part of the "full warm sound" that is indicated in this section. The rhythm is a bit different. Take a look please, tenors and basses!
Second Sopranos: at the end, from 98 to the end, you have the melody. Enjoy it! You're forte until 'back this way'.

Next week: Monday, April 10

6:30 Echo Beach with flute

1. Song for Canada (flute)
2. Song for the Mira (flute)
3. Four Strong Winds
4. Where the Coho Flash Silver
5. Unity



Wednesday, March 29, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 27-MAR-2017

Monday, March 27th

Remember that tickets are for sale for our concert. Roxanne is selling them at break. Next week, we will have coffee and treats at break too (oops. we forgot to ask for treats)

Remember to sign up for Sing! Sing! and Sing some more! April 29th all-day choir event.
Sign up on our website so that we can determine whether we can offer a YRCC performance for the concert at the end. Right now there are only 4 of us signed up. You have to register for the event on the Georgina website and pay your fee there too.

6:30 Rob and Trix: OMG I love this song! You two are wonderful for sharing this with us!
7:00 Melinda's group: now includes Rob. Thanks, Rob, for joining us on this island.

1. Warm-up was Hallelujah. What a joy! Washed away our Monday stress. We need to sing it in the concert, so we're going to have to think of a way to make it into a sing-along for the encore. It's fun to try out different soloists during rehearsals. Will you try some time?

2. Song for the Mira gave us opportunities to hear other solo voices, too. We are getting very good at this East Coast song! We reviewed section 5 again. It's hard, but it's awesome.

Kudos to those of you who rose to the challenge when I called on new soloists! You are not only beautiful, but also brave! It's not easy to sing alone when you're used to singing in the choir. It's a different thing. We don't have many willing and able soloists. We hear the same ones again and again for that reason. I think I need to give people more opportunities in rehearsal time even if you're not going to sing a solo in a performance.  What do you think? You can say no when I ask. But, didn't it make you proud for the ones who sang? It felt wonderful to me. Remind me. (Having said that, it sounds strange to say that I still haven't decided on the soloists for that song. I haven't found the right combination of voices, the right chemistry.)

3. Four Strong Winds This has been stuck in my head now for 2 weeks! Luckily, I love this. We looked at the triplets in the tenor part at B. Remember that they take up beats 3 and 4. We need the tenor and bass section to sound like one voice here, so you've got to be together. We also decided on pronouncing Alberta the normal way, with a Canadian flap and not a strong aspirated T. We reviewed the doo-doos to the end and sang the whole thing. It's funny how I'm not so good at so good at quiet endings. I love a big end, or at least a very clear end. This non-ending is stressful for me. I understand the idea of it, but I'm having trouble doing it. I'll keep trying. We all have to try to be wistful at the end.

4. Hockey Song We did this one instead of O Canada. I just wasn't in the mood, somehow. This one is so much fun! Just remember to have fun. It's not too picky a song. Just watch for the weird entries.  Enjoy it and give it a great big goofy Wayne Gretzky!

5. Where the Coho Flash Silver We are pretty good at this West Coast one too, now. We spent some time on the last page. There is still some work to be done, but it's coming along. It's hard work, but worth it.

We're on the home stretch. we should not be looking at anything new, but only reviewing and polishing our performances. (if there's stuff you haven't learned, you can go online to hear your part, but also let me know) We do still have the sing-alongs to learn. I'm working on them, and they should be easy- all unison, all well-known bits of songs, that we have to just know better than the audience, or be better prepared than them, anyway ;-)

Next week: Monday, April 3rd 

6:30 V'la l'bon vent Small Group

  • Ca-na-da
  • O Canada
  • Four Strong Winds
  • Unity
  • Where the Coho









Wednesday, March 22, 2017

6204 Main Street, Stouffville 24/7 music Record Attempt


YRCC Rehearsal 20-MAR-2017

Monday, March 20th, 2017

6:30 Rob and Trix
7:00 Melinda's group

Roxanne had tickets and posters at break time.

Remember to buy as many tickets as you can in advance. It's good to know how big our audience will be. Tickets are priced better in advance. You can buy 2 for $25. At the door, all tickets are $15. Everybody enjoys the student and senior rate ;-)

1. Unity: We reviewed page 2 thoroughly and spent some time on the transitions- from the first to the second verse, from the bottom of page of page 2 to the nest section (we didn't observe the 2 fermatas) and from page 3 to the end. It was pretty good.

2. Where the Coho Flash Silver: We reviewed the a cappella section and the end, pages 7 and 8. It's getting great!

3. They All Call it Canada: We reviewed pages 10 and 11 where the Sopranos and Altos have the descant part and sang from there to the end (going back to "from the Atlantic" and skipping to the coda).

4. Four Strong Winds: We reviewed the middle hard part starting at the doo-doos and sang to the end! We weren't sure we liked the end, but decided that if we slow down starting a bit earlier and get softer and softer that it would satisfy my need to have a clear ending :-)

5. We Rise Again: I was sad to announce that we will not be able to sing We Rise Again this season. We are running behind because we needed work on songs that I thought we knew better. Not to worry; we'll do it again soon. It's a beautiful song and will fit into all kinds of themes.

We do have lots of work to do on the songs that we have. Spend some time working with the recordings, please!

Next Week: Monday, March 27th

Get more tickets for your family and friends! You can take tickets and pay next week, giving you time to get the money from your family. Or, maybe they'll pay you at Easter :-)

  • O Canada
  • Hallelujah
  • Where the Coho
  • Four Strong Winds
  • Song for the Mira



Thursday, March 16, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 13-MAR-2017

It was March Break and it was a crazy-snowy day, but lots of us came and sang and felt wonderful!

6:30 This Island Earth, Melinda's small group

Warm-up were quick and focused on where our breath comes from.

1. All The Little Rivers: getting excellent!

2. Four Strong Winds: we did the hard middle part! It wasn't so bad. The doo-doos were good! The "fancy" verse is cool, and we do get that "going home" feeling when we get to E. This is something to review on your own if you have some time. It's challenging and beautiful.

3. Song for Canada: in wonderful contrast to Four Strong Winds, Song for Canada is straight-up in unison, and the focus is on the words and the fact that we sing in French for the second verse. The end is cool and will include a Flute Descant based on O Canada. The timing is tricky, but you've got it! If you're uncertain, you can listen to the recording online.

4. Unity:we've now learned the whole song. We just need to clean it up, and remember page 2. Don't forget to write in the words for the second verse:

Through respect and dignity (sopranos)
Will come peace and unity (tenors)
No race, religion, skin nor creed (all)
For you are you. And I am me
Together we're we.

Next Monday: Monday, March 20

6:30 Trix and Rob 7:00 Melinda's group

  1. Four Strong Winds review all, focus on middle
  2. Unity review, all focus on pg 2
  3. Where the Coho Flash Silver review middle
  4. Song for the Mira try further pair of soloists to finalize who sings where
  5. They All Call it Canada just page 10-11
  6. We Rise Again? Talk about whether or not we can keep it