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!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal 14-Nov-2016

6:30 Jeremiah Joy to the World. I forgot to bring the tambourine and other percussion instruments I wanted to add to African Noel, and it made a huge difference. Somehow everything went sideways. We will regroup and will fix this song.

1. Hallelujah was excellent. We remember it. New folks followed very well and can listen to the "tricky bits" of their parts on the website. The accompaniment will be there as well.

2. Joy to the World is super. Almost all of you have memorized it! We will be standing with our binders closed to sing this, first in the centre aisle of the church and then on stage. We will open our binders for the second song.

3. African Noel Will be the first song of the second half. We will enter from the back, walking with closed binders, then open them all together to start African Noel. Remember that there are 8 bars of drums and piano before we start.

4. Various Themes on Fa-la-la is so cool! I've been wanting to do this for years. I love all those classical melodies! The transitions still need some ironing out. Listen to one of the many YouTube performances of this song for help, and sing along with Joy's recordings! Please do a little work on this at home if you're having trouble.

5. Winter Song! We got it! We got to the end together. I know there are still individuals who are feeling a bit lost here (second sopranos in particular). Again, it will help to watch those videos I sent you and sing along with Joy's recordings. We discovered that people were not watching for cut-offs so they were holding some notes too long, and others not long enough. Pay attention to the notes and rests.

6. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal. Be sure to be very powerful on the last page! This is our wish for the audience members, a direct message from us to them. Express it passionately. The second repetition of each chorus and verse should be soft and cute, not slower and not mushy. Crisp and cute and soft, almost like you're being sneaky to repeat it.

Go Tell it on the Mountain small group presented their piece to me and it's so cool! Groove and move to give it that extra oomph, friends!


Next Monday, 21 November

6:30 Jeremiah Joy (adding Joy back in and remembering the tambourine and maybe more percussion)
7:00 Please don't sing another fa-la-la

Run, Run, Rudolph at break time 8:30

  • Canon of Joy (dynamics)
  • Do You Hear What I Hear (dynamics)
  • Hallelujah (fun)
  • Magic of Winter ( timing)
  • Various Themes (transitions)
  • Winter Song (dynamics)
Todd at 9:30



Sunday, November 13, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal 7-NOV-2016

Yikes! I was sick on Monday, and although I didn't get hit with a big flu as expected, but only a short couple of days of discomfort, I still wasn't able to get a rehearsal review done. My week was messed up. Sorry.

I do believe you all did well without me. That's what I was told. I know that when I'm not there, you're in good hands. Anne-Marie and Lauren together with Joy must have been an excellent team.

This week, tomorrow, we will sing:

  • African Noel
  • Joy to the World
  • Various Themes 
  • Winter Song
  • Hallelujah (Yes, we need to do this to remember Leonard Cohen.)


We will substitute Hallelujah for We Wish You a Merry Christmas as an encore. I know that a number of people in our audience like to hear it as an encore, and it will be on people's minds this time especially. So, we will not disappoint them.

Jeremiah Joy to the World will meet at 6:30. I have already emailed the group.

See you tomorrow!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal 31-Oct-2016 Halloween Monday

Another holiday Monday, but we were mostly at choir :-)

6:30-7 Please Don't Sing small group
7-7:30 Noel Nouvelet with Rebekah

Warm-ups included scary sounds (sirens oo-ee) and minor arpeggios.

1. Joy to the World - a cappella. We started with Joy but easily mastered our parts a cappella. Don't forget to memorize this!
2. Various Themes on Fa-la-la: Fun! We did Beethoven's 5th and the Blue Danube, reviewed William Tell and started 1812 and the ending! We learned so much!
3. Do You Hear What I Hear?: Yes, I do! I hear beautiful sounds. We discovered that a lot of sopranos and altos were singing the melody at C, where they don't have the melody. Little lamb and ringing are the same note, a third above the melody. There are plenty of challenging bits, so we will need more opportunities to perfect it.
4. O Holy Night: Melinda sang the solo, and rocked it. This is a challenging piece, but at least you only have to learn one part. Melinda is bi-sectional on this one. She sings with the sopranos when she sings the solo, and with the tenors when Mary-Ellen sings the solo. Kudos to her. It's important for us to be strong on the one verse where everyone is singing together, the Truly he taught us part. Get yourself into a 1-2 groove from the beginning. The timing is tied to beats 1 and 2 (or 1 and 4 if you count the 6/8 time in 6, but I conduct in 2). This is especially important in the chorus part. 1-2.
5. Magic of Winter: For some reason, we were a bit messy on this. It'll work out. Listen to the recordings to see how you can improve. Listen to the performance too. It's awesome.

Next week: Monday, November 7th: Tickets, posters, poinsettias!

You can buy tickets for friends and family. You can take posters to post in common areas you might have at work or in clubs, anywhere you can think of. Roxanne takes care of tickets and posters. You can order poinsettias to take home after the concert, or to give as gifts after the concert. During the concert, they'll decorate the church. They're huge and impressive, and a great fundraiser for us. Jane coordinates this.

6:30 Noel Nouvelet with Rebekah
7:00 Run, Run, Rudolph

  • Why We Sing
  • Merry Madrigal
  • Do You Hear
  • Winter Song
  • Various Themes







Wednesday, October 26, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal 24-OCT-2016

Monday, October 24th, 2016
6:30 Small Group Please Don't Sing Another Fa-la-la

Warm-ups included breathing exercises

1. Carol of the Bells: excellent!
2. Winter Song: We hadn't looked at the top of page 9. That whole section is a bit different. It says "With more drive" and we're louder, but there is a swelling of emotion at the top of page 9 which is achieved with volume and with the higher notes. It's really cool. We spent quite a bit of time on page 12, trying to get all of us to the end together, and we nearly did it. Joy has re-recorded the accompaniment to include the ending, (although the accompaniment stops in bar 74 and we're acappella at bar 76) and has re-recorded the second soprano part, so that should help.
3. Do You Hear What I Hear:We learned the ending. It's very dramatic! Be sure to watch on the last line. I added a fermata, so we all hold the last note of "light" and stop before Bring us light. Watch for each note on bring us light.
4. Various Themes on Fa-la-la: We learned the William Tell part and reviewed from the beginning up to there.


Next week Halloween Monday, October 31st. 
If you have to be away because of children or grandchildren trick-or-treating, I understand. We will go on and you will be able to catch up. Remember, there are recordings on our website to help you if you need to catch up, or if you just feel like you need a little extra help.

6:30 Please Don't Sing
7:00 Noel Nouvelet

  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • Joy to the World
  • Magic of Winter
  • O Holy Night
  • Various Themes



Various Themes on Fa-la-la recordings on the YRCC website

Our Joy has done an amazing job of recording our accompaniment and parts of Various Themes on Fa-la-la for the website. Sign in and go to the quick link box on the right to music recordings. The name of the piece is the accompaniment alone, and the parts are there beside it. Click on your part and sing along!

Please listen to Joy's recordings and follow along with your part there. I realize that it's sometimes hard to distinguish your part from the piano part, but if you follow along with your music, you should be able to pick it out. We are looking at how to fix that, and hopefully future recordings will be clearer.

For more help and inspiration, go to YouTube and search Various Themes on Fa-la-la. Wow! There are lots of fun performances of it, and there are some recordings of parts, too. Beware, the recordings of parts are not our version. The soprano part starts out the same, but gets different. The other parts are very different from the start. Too bad, it would have been nice to have those to use. But, I do like our version better. It has 4 part harmony, for one thing. Shall I have us gallop like horses, and waltz?  What do you think?



Wednesday, October 19, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal 17-OCT-2016

Monday, October 17th, 2016

6:30 Noel Nouvelet with Rebecca on flute (Rebecca now has the music and we will meet again on November 7th to rehearse with Rebecca again.
7:00 Please Don't Sing Another Fa-la-la  started learning parts

Warm-up: Swans Sweetly Singing going up
1. Joy to the World: Acappella 3-part version by me :-) It was quick and easy! This will be our opening song, and I hope we can sing it without music. Please start working on memorizing the words and your part right away so that by December 4th, it's easy.

2. Various Themes on Fa-la-la! It's going to be so much fun! What a great opportunity to learn to sing some very famous melodies! Remember to watch the la-la-las! They're short and choppy. We sang through the whole song, sight-reading, and started learning parts at the beginning and got to the top of page 5! What we learned will take us far, because that theme is repeated several times.

3. Winter Song: Pages 10-12, in particular page 12. Second Sopranos, you will need to work on this. Your parts are important. Please review how the music goes, where you come in and how the repeat works. If you don't understand, please ask.

4. We didn't get a chance to look at the ending of Do You Hear What I Hear, so please take a look at the last page if you have some time before next Monday.

Next week: Monday, October 24

Please Don't Sing Another Fa-la-la Small Group parts at 6:30 (7:00 with Joy)


  • Carol of the Bells
  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • Various Themes on Fa-la-la
  • Winter Song
  • O Holy Night?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal 10-OCT-2016 Thanksgiving Monday

I am thankful that such a good group showed up on Thanksgiving Monday!

We had a rough start, as those of us who were there early for the small group at 7:00 were locked out in the cold with the security guard who locked himself out. But, we huddled together in a couple of cars until we got in shortly after 7:30 and had a little bit of a Noel Nouvelet rehearsal before our regular rehearsal which was very productive!

1. Magic of Winter was awesome! It's always extra pretty with a small group. And, I got to sing the tenor part with Stanley, which was a joy.

2. Carol of the Bells was great, too! It's so much fun to sing!

3. Winter Song: Wow! We worked hard! We did the oohs! We started at page 10 where there's a "treble group" on top. That's the Second Sopranos. They sing the melody while everyone else sings oohs. Nailed it. Then we went on to page 12! Page 12 is challenging. The Second Sopranos divide into 3 groups, and each group sings something entirely different and starts at different times, while the rest of the choir sings their "is love alive" bit over and over with a couple of differences. It took us some time and work, but we got it. Now, we have to teach it to the rest of the choir! But, once that's done, we'll have learned the whole song.

4. African Noel: Marianna, Janet, and I added some percussion. We will give the drums 4 extra bars at the beginning, and they will get the last "word", too. It's going to be cool!

5. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: I got to sing again! It was great! You guys are so lucky to be able to sing every week. What a wonderful feeling!

Next week, Monday, October 17th

6:30 Noel Nouvelet
7:00 Please Don't Sing Another Fa-la-la


  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • Joy To the World
  • Various Themes on Fa-la-la
  • Winter Song



Wednesday, October 5, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal 03-OCT-2016

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

small groups
6:30 Jeremiah Joy: keep working on clapping and singing
7:00 Noel Nouvelet: blend with your section, watch dynamics-so pretty!

warm-ups included movement again, not easy

1. Carol of the Bells: Melodie sang the solo at the beginning- pretty. Mary-Ellen will be Melodie's back-up. Awesome piece. First row altos showed that they didn't need any help. Remember that everyone sings the second time around. Tenors and Basses have to remember to come in with confidence on the second ending, and to wait for their special moment at the end. All ding dongs should have an accent at the beginning, like a bell.

2. Do You Hear What I Hear: Awesome! We learned the hardest bits: E, H, and D. And, most of the beginning too. Good work, everyone! Watch out for when you do and don't have melody. Melody must be heard above other parts.

3. Winter Song: We started at bar 23. Watch out for the notes that come in on the and of beat 1, just after beat one. We circled those words, like snow, that come late. At the beginning, everything is on the beat, straight-up and cute on the bum-bums (and piano-soft) but then the song starts and it's cool,

4. O Holy Night: Melinda sang the solo part. Amazing range! Well done. Melinda will be Mary-Ellen's back-up. Gorgeous piece! Great job by Joy, too!

Feeling a little lost? Help is a few clicks away! Log on to the website and go to the recordings. Find your part and you'll hear it played alone with the accompaniment. Follow along with your music. Don't feel shy to ask me, or even your neighbour for help during rehearsal. I bet if you have a question, there are others wondering the same thing. Speak up.

We had coffee and treats at breaktime, and it was really hard deciding what to eat. Everything looked fantastic. I had a cookie, a tart, and some cake- too much, but so delicious! Our coffee breaks are a good time to make connections with people in your section so that you can help each other, especially for times when you need to miss a rehearsal Cross over to the other sections too. You'll discover that many of us share other interests and talents besides singing.

Next week is Thanksgiving but we are meeting as usual! If you have holiday plans, don't worry. We'll have a smaller rehearsal, but often we get more done with a smaller group, and then those people will be leaders next time. The cool thing about a choir is that we are always learning from each other and helping each other.

7:00 Noel Nouvelet small group is meeting.

  • Magic of Winter
  • Carol of the Bells
  • We Wish You a Merry Madrigal
  • African Noel (drummers: Marianna, Janet can bring drums if you're coming)
  • Winter Song




Thursday, September 29, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Review 26SEP2016

Monday, September 26th, 2016 YRCC Rehearsal

6:30 Jeremiah Joy with clapping and shaker

Warm-ups incorporated ideas from our Saturday choir event with body movement.

1. O Holy Night: Mary Ellen sang the solo. It was beautiful. Joy was amazing on the accompaniment! What a fantastic arrangement we have! New folks, please sign in on the website and download the recordings to help you learn your part if you're having trouble following your neighbours. There's a lot going on.

2. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: We learned the 3/4 part in the middle, so now we have learned the whole song! It's fun and not too difficult. The parts should be on the website soon. They were recorded a few years ago. Remember to be loud on the first repetition of the sections and soft on the second each time.

3. Carol of the Bells: We learned the last 2 pages, so now we have the whole song. Remember that the ending is the second ending where the Tenors and Basses have the melody. We will need to be sure to build from pianissimo to fortissimo and back down again, and then back up again!

4. Do You Hear What I Hear: This is another really big, awesome arrangement of a favourite Christmas song. Again, Joy was spectacular! There is a lot to learn here for all parts. The recordings were also done years ago and should be on the website soon. You will want to take advantage of the recordings to help you learn your part.

5. Winter Song: New, new song! This one is new to everyone. We  only sang it through to see how it goes. This will take some learning and Joy is making recordings to help. There are special bits for Second Sopranos!

Next Week: 3 OCT 2016

6:30 Jeremiah Joy
7:00 Noel Nouvelet


  • O Holy Night
  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • Winter Song 
  • Carol of the Bells
Looking ahead: We are meeting on Thanksgiving Monday! Please try to come, but if you have to have a Thanksgiving dinner on Monday night, don't panic. You'll catch up. But the more people there, the better. 



Online Resources for Singers

When I'm looking for ideas for warm-ups, I go to YouTube and find all kinds of cool things.

Bill recently sent me the following links. If you go to any one of these, you'll have fun warming up and stretching your voice. Once you're there, you'll find a ton of other videos to watch.

Remember that it takes regular practice to keep your voice strong and healthy. You should be warming up and singing several times a week, not only once a week on Mondays.

Have fun!


https://youtu.be/hTCwcrjLAbQ

https://youtu.be/15T2FyETYv0

https://youtu.be/7Fhl2lYcWcg

https://youtu.be/AIqUX2QbLGw

Thursday, September 22, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Review 19-SEP-2016

We welcomed several people from the waiting list who were checking us out.
We hope to see them all back next week!

Small Group at 6:30:
Jeremiah Joy to the World- listen to the recording a few times to get in the groove ;-)

Warm-ups: breathing, relaxing, opening up the throat

1. Canon of Joy: excellent! Remember to raise your eyebrows and bounce a bit on the joys, but to be smooth and sweet with the aahs, not taking big breaths at the same time-staggered breathing on the first couple of pages

2. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: We learned the parts all the way to the 3/4 time section. Remember that the second fa-la-las are quiet but still bright and bouncy.

3. Carol of the Bells: New format. Last time we had lots of solos. This time we'll just be sure to do the gradual crescendo from pp to ff together, mostly. Everyone starts at bar 21. Solo at 9. Front row sopranos and altos start at 13, tenors at 17. We got to bar 33 and stopped there.

4. Why We Sing: Back to soloists: Trix and Stanley/ Peggy and Rob will do the beginning on Saturday.

5. African Noel: I've asked Marianna, Janet and the Kevins to accompany us on drums and percussion. Marianna started working on her Djembe. Fun!


Next week:

6:30 Small Group: Jeremiah Joy to the World

  • Carol of the Bells- starting at 33
  • Do You Hear What I Hear - intro
  • O Holy Night- awesomeness awaits
  • We Wish You a Merry Madrigal- 3/4 section
  • Winter Song- intro

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Noel Nouvelet: Video to help you learn it!

NOEL NOUVELET is a pretty 2-part piece for women only (SA) in French!
Sign up for the "Event" on the website. We start rehearsing on October 3rd.
Don't worry!
There's help!
This video!
Follow along with the music as you listen to the song being performed.


YRCC Rehearsal Review 12-SEP-2016

12-SEP-2016 Welcome Back!!! Registration Day.

Warm-ups included a new Swans Sweetly Singing round.

1. Canon of Joy: We welcomed our new accompanist, Joy, with a very lovely performance of Canon of Joy. We will be performing this at the Saturday 24th Choral Event. Don't drone. Remember to smile and raise your eyebrows when you're singing "joy". We'll try to get this prettier.

2. Why We Sing: We tried a new format with first row Sopranos and Altos and Tenors and Basses instead of the solos at the beginning. I liked it, but might prefer the solos. We'll try again next week. We'll also try it a bit faster. We are also performing this at the Choral Event.

3. Magic of Winter: Always pretty, a seniors residence favourite.

4. New Piece: African Noel: we sight-read and it was pretty good! I had planned to learn the first two pages, but we got all the way through!!! This will be extra-fun with percussion. I've asked some people to play drums and other percussion instruments with this. I heard a version with percussion and liked it, but like the choir part better with this version.

5. We Wish You a Merry Madrigal: new to many, this piece was done not too long ago, but we seem to have forgotten it. It'll come back. This is one of 3 fa-la-la pieces we have this season. Another one is a small group piece called Please Don't Sing Another Fa-la-la!

Our theme is still the Joy of Singing, and to extend it into the holiday season, we've called our winter concert YRCC Singing Joy to the World. We'll sing Joy to the World and a small group will sing the other Joy to the World (Jeremiah was a bullfrog...joy to the fishes in the deep blue sea,..). We'll also enjoy singing lots of familiar melodies from Christmas music and everywhere, songs that people sing along to, even when they only know the fa-la-las.

Log in on the website, and sign up for all the events: small groups, September 24th, and now Seniors' home performances!

Next week: 19-Sep-2016 Registration will continue. 
$75 cheque to York Region Community Choir or cash, please. $50 for half year.

Small Group 6:30: Jeremiah Joy To The World

  • Canon of Joy
  • Why We Sing
  • We Wish You a Merry Madrigal
  • African Noel
  • Carol of the Bells



Monday, September 12, 2016

Joy to the World YRCC version of Jeremiah Was a Bullfrog

A small group will do a fun Joy to the World inspired by the song in the "video" here.


video

I had to figure out how to make the song available to you. And, my solution was to create a video with the song in it. There's just a picture with the song played on it. Ignore the picture.
The beginning of the song is strange. There are some children speaking in French. Just wait. The song starts after a few seconds.

Our version will not be quite as exciting as this but we'll see. When my Teen Choir did it, we sang in unison, and together, without the gospel-choir stuff in the background. We did clap. It was fun and our audience enjoyed it.

Sign up for this small group right away. We start on September 19th.
Log in on the website and sign up for this Event.
The YRCC is Singing Joy to the World is our concert title. :-)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Monday, September 12th YRCC return!

Tomorrow, Labour Day Monday, is the last choirless Monday of 2016 until December 26!

Go online now and pre-register for the 2016-2017 season which starts next Monday!

Here's a link so you don't have to think.

The more pre-registration is done, the more singing we can do on our first Monday.

Registration on September 12 will simply be check in, pay, get your binder, and sing!

You can bring $75 cash or a cheque made out to York Region Community Choir.






Friday, August 5, 2016

YRCC 2016/2017 Choir Leadership Team

Introducing 
the Executive of the York Region Community Choir 
for the 2016/2017 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 the Board of Directors since we incorporated, but we can still use the name executive, I think. 

Our President is Lauren Solar (laurensolar@gmail.com). This is Lauren's fourth 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.  

Roxanne McCormick (roxannemccormick@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 Roxanne. The PR role is to keep us connected to the community. Roxanne rocks posters and programs.

Daphne Young (youngdc@rogers.com) is our Secretary/Treasurer. If you want to write us a cheque, make it out to York Region Community Choir, and Daphne will put it in our account. We accept cash too. Daphne will keep our paperwork in order, creating and maintaining records like the minutes of our meetings and accounting stuff. Michele Horton supports Daphne 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 recently took over the Music Librarian role. 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! 


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, Anne Marie Vandekemp and Enid Maize 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. 


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Accompanist Ad: YRCC ad has been posted in various places this summer. Interviewing soon!

The York Region Community Choir is a fun group of folks who just love to sing! We are a non-auditioning, non-competing choir and we are looking for either a full time accompanist or one to share the duty with our current accompanist. We meet Monday nights, from September to June, at the York Region Administration building on Yonge Street in Newmarket. As well, we have two concerts a year (December and May). Requirements: grade 8 piano and good sight reading ability.

We will be interviewing from 2 Aug -12 Aug. 

You can email me if you want more details: renatesdesk@rogers.com

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summertime and the Living is Busy? July Choir Update

Whoa! I haven't posted since when?
I'm sorry!
The end of our season was wonderful but busy, and now I've been working on planning for our winter season, and worrying about having an accompanist, and buying music on time, and I haven't taken any time to reflect and write here.
Our Joy Of Singing concert was fantastic! I heard from a good number of audience members that it was apparent that we enjoy singing, and that the joy and enthusiasm with which we performed made the evening most enjoyable! We sounded excellent! The music was great and everyone had a good time. Some people said it was our best concert ever!
I think our seniors' home tour was our best ever, too! We had tons of positive feedback, and we all felt uplifted from our visits singing with seniors.
We just keep getting better.
It's going to be hard to keep that up. It's going to be harder now that we're losing Sapphire. Sapphire gave notice that she wouldn't be renewing her contract for September, but understanding how hard it is to find someone new, she has offered to stay on part-time if necessary and to make recordings of our music if we need her to. She's so amazing! We are so luck to have had her for so long!
We have had a few leads for a new accompanist, and Lauren and I hope to interview people in the first 2 weeks of August.
Teija and I are working on the music for winter, and it will be fun and JOY-ful. We're continuing our joy of singing theme into the season of joy. We've found some fun new music and we'll bring back some favourites.
I'll post soon on our upcoming winter season.
I think about choir every Monday. Mondays are just Mondays without choir :-(
From September to June, I love Mondays. Now. Not so much.


Thursday, April 21, 2016

YRCC Soloists, Memorize!

Soloists, please memorize your solos so that you can look at the audience.

You will sound so much better looking up and out instead of down at your music!

You will enunciate better when you are actually singing to somebody, rather than singing to your sheet music. 

People like to see who's singing. Don't be a disembodied voice! Look out over the crowd, open your eyes and mouth expressively.

Have fun, feel the sentiments you are expressing so that your audience feels them too!

You are fabulous! This is not the time to be humble. Share your gift! Let it go!


April 22 YRCC Early Birds

Early Birds get to sing more 

6:45 Robyn and Trix
7:00 First Sopranos

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

April 11 and 18 YRCC Rehearsals

April 11
Song Sung Blue and Sing Small group met at 6:30 with Kevin T.
1.Hallelujah: remember to check the tricky bits on the website
2.One Voice! Sounding amazing! Love this song. Remember to watch for all words ending in s. So, here we have "voice" all the time and I have to cut you off, and you have to watch for the cut-off so that we're all together. First sopranos, give yourselves lots of air, open up and hit those high notes clearly and without over-reaching.
3.Thank You For The Music! So good! Everyone, watch the ending, as usual, especially "for giving it to me". We need all the first sopranos on that I've been so lucky... part! And, try to blend. Maybe we need to seat you differently? We also had this problem with Why We Sing on the descant. You're not together and you're not all singing.
4. Joseph: Two notes to watch: hold these notes all the way, until I cut you off- on page 16, starting on page 15 "die" is held through the first bar on page 16, and  on page 20 "you" goes all the way to bar 64, one bar into Close Every Door (imaging singing through the the words "close every"). Always hold notes until you see a rest or a new note. You don't get to choose to cut it off early. One More Angel is getting better every time. Benjamin Calypso is better too. Remember to watch out for when it's your turn to sing. You can watch me ;-)
5. Why We Sing. So pretty and powerful (like us)! First sopranos, learn your part and sing together.

April 18
Grand Night for Singing is meeting at 6:45 (Melinda will catch up whenever she can). Teija will come at 6:40 or so, to run through her song with the recording.

  • I Will Always Be With You (with flute)
  • One Voice
  • Thank You
  • Joseph
  • Can't Help Singing
April 18 and 24 are the last chances to go over parts. May 2nd is a run-through at Trinity Anglican, more to see how things will flow, standing, sitting, soloists using microphones, and overall sound, and hopefully not going over parts. If you have parts that are troubling you, let me know now. 



Wednesday, April 6, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Review Monday, April 4. Preview to April 11

Monday, April 4th

Sing Me A Song met early and  Grand Night for Singing met early.

1. We started with a good warm-up, physical and vocal. And, sang Do Re Mi as a warm-up. Tracey wasn't there so Mary Ellen sang the solo. It was awesome!

2. We finally started One Voice! The soloists will be Kristen, Jonathan, and Trix. Their back-ups and some other friends sang along to start. A good number of people know this piece, so it's already pretty good! We reviewed from the ba-da section to the end. We'll do more on the beginning next week.

3. Canon of Joy was a joy, as usual. The tenor/bass section was especially good tonight! We're really feeling the graceful joy of this piece. It's a good compliment to the exuberant joy of Can't Help Singing.

4. The focus was on the tenor/bass section again with One More Angel in Heaven. We've got to get this timing together. Try to learn your part well enough to be able to watch me more so that we're all together. You all sounded so wonderful tonight! What a difference it makes to have a few more people in your section!

5. We were going to sing Thank You For the Music, but did Benjamin Calypso instead. Be sure to know when to sing! The back and forth between SA and TB is a bit confusing. Soloists, learn your parts! It's best if you can memorize these short bits so that you can look at the audience. Rob and Robyn are soloists here, with Garry and Trix as back-ups.

6. We ended with Go, Go, Go Joseph, and are adding several tenors to the bass part at the end. Only the front row will hold notes.

Next week:

Sing! and Song Sung Blue are meeting at 6:30 with Kevin!

  • One Voice
  • Thank You For the Music
  • Joseph
  • Hallelujah







Small Group Change- Not Sing Me A Song Apr.11

There has been a change in plans.
Sing Me A Song is not meeting on April 11 at 6:45.
Instead, Song Sung Blue and Sing are meeting at 6:30 because Kevin is available on April 11 to come and help us with those songs. They will be accompanied by Kevin and Kevin on guitars.


Saturday, April 2, 2016

Weekend review- YRCC Monday, March 28 and prep for Apr. 4

My goodness! Again, it's the weekend and I haven't posted the review yet. I'm sorry. 
We made some important discoveries last week. We might have to get the tenors and basses in for a sectional rehearsal early or keep you late one night. There are some places where it's really important for you to be together, and you're not. More below.

1. Warm-up was I Will Always Be With You, appropriate for Easter Monday. There is still some confusion with the Tenor part at 46. Make it very clear that those 2 phrases have the same melody! "Where my love and peace abound." is huge and equal to "Near my heart I'll lay thee down." The second one goes sour when some of you sing it differently, the way it is for the rest of the song. This part is different. It's the high point of the song. We're at forte and then drop to piano with "In the quiet mountains."

2. Thank You For the Music is coming along really nicely! It's hard and we need to review it again and again, but we fixed an important bit. At the top of page 6, in the chorus, there was a bar that was messy. We all have to be together on "what are we". So, at the bottom of page 5, we sing Without a song. "or a dance" comes at beat 2, and altos and basses have an extra bit that falls on beat 3. "what are we" is on the + of 3: + 4 +. What are we = + 4 +. We practised this until we were all together. I hope we can manage to stay together :-) We also reviewed the oohs and aahs and the fist soprano part at E and the Tenor and Bass bits at the beginning. The second one: "You must have heard it before, oh yeah" is the most difficult. Review it please.

3. Joseph is in review, and it's looking very good.

 The first part we stopped at was One More Angel in Heaven. Tenors and Basses need to get together with their timing here. Please review this song. 

Song of the King: Blair is rocking his Elvis solo (memorize?). He will be on a microphone, so don't worry about your Bop-shu-wada-was being too loud. 

Benjamin Calypso: Rob/ Gary please memorize that solo " I hear the steel drums sing dere song..." Same with Trix/ Robyn on "Sure as de tide wash de golden sand..." You shouldn't need microphones since you're on your own, but it has to be strong and you have to look at the audience. 

Go Go Go Joseph: Fun! we need to be more together on the entry + 4 + (again). We'll keep working on it. And, at the end, 285, we'll need to add some tenors on "ahead of my time". I'm thinking all the men on that, and we can have only the women tenors on the ahhs.  


Monday, April 4

Sing Me a Song 6:30 and 6:45 with Renate/ Grand Night for Singing 7:00 with Renate

  • One Voice-finally! Kristen will sing the solo at the beginning, joined by Jonathan/Stanley and then Robyn/Trix (I'm not sure how that's going to work because Robyn was the one I had in mind to be Kristen's back-up, but let's see.) I'm counting on those who've done it before to remember it well so that we can learn this quickly,
  • Thank You For the Music
  • Joseph
  • Canon of Joy (since we'll be focused on the Tenors and Basses with Joseph)
  • Do Re Mi?

Sunday, March 27, 2016

YRCC March 21 and 28 Rehearsals!

Oh, my goodness! I've been so busy I didn't have a chance to review our rehearsal on the 21st and prepare for tomorrow's rehearsal until now!

Happy Easter! What a beautiful day! Church this morning was spectacular! What a joy!

I'm happy that I was able to celebrate early with my family so today is a quiet day. I really needed this break. I had a nap this afternoon. Now, I've got to look at my choir stuff.

Monday, March 21
Sing Me a Song met early and learned the whole piece!

1. Why We Sing- We looked at the dynamics of the song, how the volume builds. This is our finale and has to be dramatic. It's a powerful piece and we must express its message clearly.

We talked about dynamics in general, how you need to not give it your all when you see an F for Forte, loud, because you have to be able to sing louder for FF- Fortissimo. Your MF should not be loud, but Medium- Mezzo-Forte. P is Piano, soft and we really need to work on singing softly. Don't worry, we will be heard even at PP, Pianissimo, extra quiet. Really.

We have some dynamics built in to Why We Sing, because we start with Kit and Stanley's gentle and sweet voices, build with Enid and Rob's bigger, stronger voices, and then add everyone in at MP, medium soft, but think very soft, okay? Build that first phrase up to a MP on the word Harmony. Down again on This is Why, building to Take My Hand and Sing With Me, decrescendo. Pay attention throughout to the directions for dynamics!

2. I'd Like to Teach: We continued with our theme of dynamics. This one starts like Why We Sing, with solos to keep it soft, but it builds to a Forte (only) and the high point is at 57. After that section, we get softer and softer until the end, Piano (only) and a soft-but-strong last sentence.

3. Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves: Opera. Drama. This one uses dynamics very dramatically. We go from FF to PP twice in a row on pages 6 and 7! Wow!

4. Joseph! We finished! Go, Go, Go Joseph is so much fun! The last bit is hard, Ahead of My Time... but the rest is not hard and very satisfying. Now, we need to focus on cleaning up the rest.

Monday, March 28

Sing Me A Song is meeting at 6:30 and Grand Night For Singing at 7:00, or maybe 7:10


  • Thank You For the Music (timing top of page 6)
  • Joseph Medley, stopping to review trouble bits
  • I'd Like to Teach 
  • Can't Help Singing
  • Preview of One Voice?

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Joy of Singing! YRCC Spring Concert Poster


March 14 YRCC Rehearsal and preview to March 21

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

When we meet next, it will be spring! Spring arrives at 12:30 Saturday night. Something to celebrate. And, it means we're getting closer to our spring concert! Yikes! There's still lots of work to do, but we've come a long way. We have gone through most of our new music and soon will be only doing review and clean-up.

Tickets are now on sale. You should be inviting your friends and family to our show and posting our poster everywhere you can think of.  Thank you, Roxanne, for this adorable poster and matching tickets!
Sapphire recorded parts for Thank You For the Music, starting at 6:30, so there were no small groups. Those recordings should be up on the website soon. I know some of you were very anxious to have them! Thank you for using the recordings! It means a lot to Sapphire and me to know that our time is well spent creating these recordings, and Trix, too spends a good amount of time to upload them. So, it's actually very nice to hear that you are looking for them. 

We warmed up with I Will Always Be With You, and made a new recording to replace the one that was too fast.

1. We learned lots of oohs and ahs, and eees, in Thank You for the Music. Everyone except the first sopranos has oo-ah in section E. The special ending (coda) has a long "me", so some of us are singing an oo line with an ee vowel. We have now learned all of this song, so from now on, it's review and polish.

2. Why We Sing is also done! We learned the last part, the ending. Review and polish from now on!

3. We sang a piece that a whole bunch of new folks were probably worried about- Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves. It's a difficult piece, but only a few of us don't know it, so it's really very beautiful already. You can find your part on the website and sing along. Now that you've sung it once with everyone, it won't be scary anymore. You can follow along with everyone in your section. They know this one. We reviewed parts on pages 6 and 7, the most important part. There are videos of us performing it too. No worries!

4. Joseph: We did the Benjamin Calypso part! Perfect for March Break, when friends and family are away in warm places on beaches and we're stuck here. Everyone has la-las! Blair has a fun solo, as does (soprano) Robyn. Kristen and Trix tried it too to be back-ups. Rob will be Blair's back-up. We sang the whole Joseph Medley! It was so much fun!!! Next week, Go Go Go Joseph!

Monday, March 21
 Sing Me a Song Small Group meets for the first time at 6:30 
  • Joseph: Go, go, go Joseph!
  • Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves
  • I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing
  • Thank You For the Music
  • Why We Sing






Saturday, March 12, 2016

March 7 YRCC Rehearsal Review

Monday, March 7:
6:45 Grand Night for Singing

Warm up: Do Re Mi -We needed some review in the alto/tenor/bass line.

1. Can't Help Singing- Sop 1 descant (pg 9,10), pg 11 (ending)
2. Why We Sing-Sop 1 descant (pg 9), pg 8, ending
3. Joseph- Close Every Door

Monday, March 14:

No small group rehearsal: Thank You For The Music Recording parts with Sapphire 6:30.

  • Thank You For the Music
  • Joseph Benjamin Calypso
  • Why We Sing- ending
  • Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves



Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Monday, February 29 YRCC rehearsal

We warmed up with Canon of Joy to get ready to focus on the Tenor and Bass sections.

1. Thank You for the Music starts off with a cool echo thing in the Bass clef. The sopranos and altos will have to sing a bit softer for balance. We learned parts up to the chorus, so we can almost sing the whole song.

2. Joseph. We got through the next 2 songs! Angel in heaven features the Tenors and Basses. Song of the king has a big solo for Blair (Rob is his back-up). Everyone else does the bop- shoo- whadda- was. Tenor is on the bottom of the treble clef! 

3. Can't Help Singing has a tricky descant part that the First Sopranos learned. Listen to the recording if you missed this rehearsal, Sop 1! We learned our parts right to the end!

4. Why We Sing is almost done. Next week.

Next week: Monday, March 7

Sapphire should be back from her vacation, and we will be back in our room.

We will show off what we learned while she was away:

Same 4 songs

Grand Night For Singing small group meets at 6:45.

(Sing Me a Song postponed for a bit. We also need to do recording. Watch the Calendar for updates)