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, 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)


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Review Mon. Feb. 21 and preview to Feb.29

Feb. 21
Grand Night for Singing met at 6:45

Warm-up: we sang I Will Always Be With You, and discovered that the recording is really fast, so fast that it's almost like a different song. Still pretty.

1. Why We Sing is coming along swimmingly. We are almost finished, having learned from the beginning to 74. Remember that all parts are recorded and available on the website.

2. Thank You For the Music is such a great song! We'll be so happy once we've learned this difficult piece! For now, we have to work hard. We reviewed the chorus which we learned last week- sections C and D. We'll need to sing it again and again. Thank goodness, it repeats several times in the piece! We only have the accompaniment recorded for this, so see if you can review it on your own, and if you can't, wait until Sapphire returns so we can get those parts recorded.

We had amazingly wonderful sweets at break-time. Judy, Pat, and Peggy brought a smorgasbord of cookies, cakes and squares. Thank you, kind friends!

3. After break we reviewed what we learned of the Joseph Medley, from the beginning to 81. It's not difficult and very rewarding to sing.

4. We ended the night with Can't Help Singing. We sang right through, and it was really great that so many of us had learned so much last week! It's great!

Next week:

We're at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Aurora to rehearse because our room is booked by others. We've rehearsed at St. Andrews many times in the past. They have a keyboard that we can use, and music stands. Set up will be easy: just the amplifier (and chords) for the accompaniments.

Grand Night For Singing meets early again.


  • Finish Why We Sing. First Sopranos can look ahead to their descant part 
  • Finish Can't Help Singing: First Sopranos again have a descant part to look at
  • Start at the beginning with Thank You For the Music. Tenor/ Bass has a special echo part to look ahead to.
  • Continue with Joseph. Coming next: cowboy Angel in Heaven (who can whistle?) and Elvis Song of the King (bop-shu-wha-da!) 





Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Family Day Monday YRCC Rehearsal

We had a great turnout on Monday! And, we got lots of work done!

We started learning 4 new songs:

1. Can't Help Singing (up to bar 50)
2. Joseph (first 2 songs!)
3. Thank You For The Music (chorus)
4. Why We Sing (just a sing-through)

We will continue with these 4 songs next week.

Next Monday, Feb. 21st, Grand Night for Singing will meet at 6:45 for the first small group rehearsal. That's Melinda, Kit, Lauren, Jane, and Blair with Anne Marie.

We will have social time with decaf coffee and treats at break next Monday!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Missing Sweater

Rob went home without a coat or sweater last night. He left his sweater in a pile of coats in the area we were performing in, but it was not there when he was ready to go home. If you happened to pick it up by accident, please let him ( or me) know and we'll figure out a way to get it back to him. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal on Monday, January 25th and Seniors' Visit Orders

Monday, January 25th

1. I Will Always Be With You is pretty enough, but adding the flute part makes it's magical. What a lucky thing it is that we have Robyn in our choir! This the second time Robyn (the soprano Robyn, or the Robyn with a Y) has played the flute for us. Watch your dynamics! Watch me for dynamics, too. There is a loud part on page 9 at the key change. Tenors and Basses listen to the run in the piano part for your starting note. Remember that your first 2 phrases are the same and nice and big, but get soft quickly with "in the quiet mountains". This one is ready to perform, and the seniors will love it!

2. I'd Like to Teach The World to Sing is coming along nicely. Soloists today were Janet and Carol. Debbie will be the main soloist for the first part. We're still working out soloists and back-ups.
Tenors, Altos and Basses will all be on the bottom part. It's good to have more depth there, as there is a lot of melody in that line. Sopranos are fine alone on top (aren't you!). We reviewed parts on pages 8, 9, 10,11.

3. Hallelujah is still awesome! Blair sang the tenor solo and Lauren sang the soprano/alto solo. Both were super. Blair will be our lead soloist on the tenor solo, and I'd like another Tenor to back him up. Several women have expressed an interest in singing the second solo.

4. Do Re Mi is charming and much more effective now that we have Sopranos alone on top and Altos, Tenors and Basses on the bottom, especially in the section with "When you know the notes to sing"- stunning! Tracey will be the lead soloist here. Lauren can back her up, and several other people have expressed and interest in singing this solo.

5.Thank You For the Music is big and wonderful. We just did a sing-through sight-reading of it while Sapphire recorded the accompaniment for us. There are repeats to worry about, some page-turning challenges, and big 5-part harmonies, but it's so good! We'll have fun learning it. There's a possible solo, or it might be a first soprano part, later in the song "I've been so lucky. I am the girl with golden hair..."

6. Sing! Sing a Song! will be a small group song (I'm picturing a folksy group with guitars) with audience participation for our concert in May, but for our seniors over the next 2 weeks, it will be a big sing-along. What a great song! Such Fun!

7. Canon of Joy is already show-worthy. What a pretty piece, and it shows off the beautiful voices in our Tenor and Bass section! Remember to make it smooth and pretty. Take breaths when other people in your section are not, so we have seamless sound. There is one part where the tenors all took a breath and it was okay: just before voices. It doesn't really make sense grammatically to have a pause there, but the emphasis on voices is nicely dramatic.

8. Magic of Winter will be our only winter song for the seniors. I was considering doing Button Up Your Overcoat, since it's a love song, but I prefer Magic of Winter. This sounded heavenly.

The order for both seniors' home performances (tentatively) will be:

  1. Magic of Winter
  2. Canon of Joy
  3. I'd Like to Teach
  4. Do Re Mi
  5. I Will Always Be With You
  6. Sing!
  7. Sing-Alongs
  8. Hallelujah 


Wednesday, January 20, 2016

YRCC Rehearsal Mon. Jan. 18

Mon. Jan. 18

  1. Magic of Winter: Beautiful
  2. Canon of Joy: Worked on all parts, esp. Page 7 and end. Tempo is better. Tenors and Basses at bar 49-50: Mark you music, with pencil, to say "thee" instead of "thuh"to anticipate universe so that we hear "thee you" We recorded the accompaniment.
  3. I Will Always Be With You: Worked on all parts, esp. Page 6-7, and end. Watch carefully from bar 67 to end. I will slow down and stop before the last word, you. 
  4. Can't Help Singing: we sight-read through, almost all of us hearing it for the first time ever. Our concert will open with this song! 
  5. Joseph Medley: So BIG! Can't wait to get started on this one? Go to the website and start learning your part. 
Mon. Jan. 25
  • I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (try soloists, seniors' performance soloists) 
  • Do Re Mi ( try ATB on bottom and S only on top, try new soloist- seniors' performance soloist) 
  • Button Up Your Overcoat ? Maybe, maybe not?
  • I Will Always Be With You
  • Canon of Joy
  • Sing?
  • Thank You For The Music (Introduction and recording)
Sign up for Feb. 1 and Feb. 8 Seniors' Performances. Remember that we meet on Family Day, Feb. 15. Small groups will start the week after Family Day. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

YRCC rehearsal Mon.Jan.11, 2016

Our first day back was wonderful despite the despicable driving conditions. What a lot of snow we got suddenly! Some of us were a bit late, but many of us were there and enjoyed reconnecting after the holidays. Most of all, we were happy to be singing together again!

We will not put our winter season totally behind us yet, as we are going to do 2 winter seniors' home performances in February. So, we'll be singing The Magic of Winter a couple more times, and maybe Button Up Your Overcoat. We hope to have a bunch of our spring music ready for those performances as well, but we only need 6 or 7 songs since the sing-alongs are important.

Here's what we sang on Monday, January 11th:

1. Do Re Mi (Melinda and Lauren had turns singing the solo at the beginning and both did a great job. Thanks for stepping up to bat!) So many of us remember singing this one that it was pretty good already! We reviewed the Alto and Bass oo and oh part on page 6, and their "anything"on page 8. We will look at the ending again. It will be soft to start and will build to loud while at the same time getting slower, a nice big ending which you'll have to watch me for :-) Tenors: warning: I'm thinking of moving you to the second part, so that Tenors and Basses are together for more oomph in the lower octave.

2. I'd Like To Teach the World to Sing also begins with a solo, but we all sang it together. There will likely be 2 solos, as we've done before. This time, we tried only Sopranos on top and Altos, Tenors, and Basses on the bottom. I like it! It solves a couple of problems we had last time with people jumping back and forth between lines. This way everyone stays put. At bar 81, First Sopranos begin on beat 1, holding their last note, and Second Sopranos come in on beat 4 with the echo.

3. Canon of Joy Fewer choristers remembered this one, but the melodies of this mash-up are so familiar that it's a joy to learn and sing. Bar 45- 48 is the only really challenging section. Basses have a ton of melody in this song! Enjoy! We want to remember to sound like strings instead of brass here. Gentle and smooth on all parts! Sopranos and Altos especially will want to use staggered breathing, so that the sound is seamless. Take breaths at different times from your neighbours.

4. We sight-read through Why We Sing, which is completely new! Nobody had seen it except for Sapphire, Lauren, Teija, and me. It's a beautiful, beautiful piece! It expresses what we feel about singing perfectly, and sums up our Spring Season theme: The Joy of Singing. The recordings for this piece are already up on the website, so you can start working on it at home.

We had a long-ish break and I spoke to a few people about possible solos. I also spoke to Robin about playing the flute part on I Will Always Be With You. We also needed to talk about the seniors' performances, which happen on February 1st and 8th. Sign up on the website. Not all of us will fit in the seniors'  homes, but it will be a wonderful opportunity for those of us who go. We needed to make quick arrangements for those Mondays, as we discovered that our room had been booked. Be sure to always check your email on Mondays before you come to choir to be sure what the plans are. If you don't have email, make another arrangement with Lauren.

Next week, Monday, January 18th:

  • Canon of Joy
  • I'd Like to Teach
  • Magic of Winter
  • I Will Always Be With You
  • Can't Help Singing Intro
  • Joseph Medley Intro







Saturday, January 2, 2016

January 11 Start to our Season of Singing

Spring Concert rehearsals start on Monday, January 11, 2016!

This season our theme is something like "The Joy of Singing". I want to express how wonderful and fulfilling singing is and how singing in harmony promotes harmony among people.

I've found a bunch of brilliant songs for us to sing, and we'll talk about operas and musicals (Nabucco, Joseph) where singing is central, and I want to mention that to us singing in the middle of a conversation is quite normal.

The list of our current songs is in the right-hand menu on this blog. There are links to the website and to the calendar, which you should use regularly. Always check your emails on Mondays before choir. If there are changes, you will get an email. If you don't use email, please let Lauren know so a different arrangement can be made.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Seniors' Home Visits: Performance and Sing-Along

Monday, December 7th: Roxborough
Monday, December 14th: Barton
Monday, December 21st: Mackenzie Place

There is a sign-up on the website. It's called Event Sign-up and you "register" for the event. They're all closed now. The seniors' homes don't usually have a lot of space so it's not possible for all of us to go. Some are especially small, like Mackenzie Place.

Tenors and Basses are always welcome, even when the event is "full". And, if a soprano or alto is desperate to come, just come. We can squish together. If there are 30 of us instead of 25, that's okay.

I post the order of songs on the website, but always be prepared to sing all of your music. Things change depending on who is there and who isn't. The sign-up helps, but it's cold season and bad-driving-conditions season, so you never really know until you get there.

The locations are listed on the website and on the calendar. Sometimes parking is an issue, so be patient and be prepared to walk a bit.

Be prepared to be hot. Wear white on top with your scarf or tie and black on the bottom, but it's okay to wear a shorter skirt or short-sleeved tops at seniors' homes. (Not for formal concerts!)

Try to make it to at least one of these performances! They are special, and very rewarding! You'll feel like a million bucks! The "performance" part is only about 7 of our songs and the rest is for singing  with the seniors. It's so much fun! Our songs are in top shape, and we are more relaxed, so we always sound great. The sing-alongs are the best!

Don't forget to come for the Pot-Luck Party on the 21st! Let's all get together to celebrate the end of our (hopefully successful) season, our 20th Christmas Season! After Mackenzie Place, we head over to the Admin Centre. If you're not singing with us at Mackenzie Place, just go straight to our room, and you can help set up :-)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Monday, November 23rd's YRCC Rehearsal

Mon. Nov. 23

Bowie and Bing met at 6:45 and were super! Those male voices are so special! Thanks for sharing your talents, guys!

Warm-ups included marching and clapping to get you in a following mood. Volume was another focus.

We had a bunch of guests, people in search of a choir to join. They will probably be signing up online and hoping that they'll get a call in January. Be sure to let us know if you can't make it back after the holidays so that we have a good idea of how many new folks can start.

1. We sang You'll Never Walk Alone to show off. It was amazing, as usual. Love that beautiful arrangement, and you do it very well!

2. Shine Hanukkah is better! We added some dynamics: during the Shine Hanukkah part, where we repeat that chorus 4x, we build up to the third one, and then get quiet for the 4th, fading to a decrescendo before the next section which is soft. Also, the descant part at the end is better now that we have all the first sopranos and helpers on the top part. We don't need that extra harmony. Problem solved. They came in on beat one!

3. 3 Folk Carols is fantastic! Maybe take some time to review your doo-doos. Remember to give the ending a lot of energy and volume!

4. Another show off piece: O Holy Night. I was disappointed to hear a bunch of sopranos mess up the O night divine on page 8. Remember that O is on beat one. You need to lean on it.


5. After break, we tried out the sing-along pieces, O Christmas Tree and The Twelve Days of Christmas. We're going to sing up to 6th and then skip to 12. I think our audience will have fun singing these less common carols. You'll get the words in the program. Feel free to add harmonies if the spirit moves you.

6. 12 Days After Christmas is very good. If we slow it down a bit, it's easier to catch the words, but continue to make every effort to enunciate clearly, especially on the ends of words, final consonants.
If you have time, sing with your part on line.

At break, Trix sang a very groovy Santa Baby using a feather boa as inspiration. Coventry Carol did a great job once they got the hang of blending. Dynamics are much better! Teija and Heather sang Home for us, one of my favourites.

Monday, November 30 at Trinity Anglican Church in Aurora

All small groups should try to come early next week. We have the church starting at 6:00, so 6:00, 6:15, 6:30 gather your group, and get your instruments in place.

All choristers must be there by 7:15. We want to start the run-through at 7:30. Be prepared to stay late. We often go until close to 10:00.

The order is on line, in the Members section, under Concert Order. Have your binders ready. Use place holders where there are songs that you're not singing.






Thursday, November 19, 2015

Nov.16 YRCC Rehearsal Review

Monday, Nov. 16

Bowie and Bing met at 6:45 The recordings are up on the website now, but you'll have to suffer with my voice singing the parts, and up an octave. It's better than nothing. Sing with me :-)

Breath of Heaven sang at break; also Anna and Trix had a go at their solos at break.

Warm-ups included very soft sounds. mmm and looo and variations in volume and tempo

1. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring is excellent

2. 12 Days After Christmas: we reviewed page 10 to the end and and sections E and F. It's getting really good. We've slowed it down to make it easier to understand the words.

3. 3 Folk Carols: We did really well without Sapphire's help on the a cappella parts! The soloists are awesome, and with a little review, we got our doos. Tenors and Basses: please, please come in hard and strong on the first beat of your long doos on page 11, with a strong d sound, like pulling a string and then letting it go and it resonates. When you did it, it was so good! When you don't do it, it's hard to hear you and it's not nearly as interesting.  It's the same as the Deck the Halls part in the 12 Songs of Christmas. Brrrm with a big strong B.

4.  Shine, Hanukkah: The dynamics could be better. They were pretty good in the parts we worked on, but I think we need more. I'll have a plan for next week.  The first sopranos, even with help, didn't come in on beat 1 at the end. I'll have to think of something. I'm thinking (Robyn would like this) of having them all come in on a C and forget the harmony in that descant part. We'll try again next week.


Monday, Nov. 23

Last chance to buy tickets, order poinsettias

Bowie and Bing at 6:45
Solos at break


  • 12 songs
  • 12 days
  • Shine
  • 3 folk carols
  • anything you need to go over- last chance 
Monday, Nov. 30 Rehearsal at Trinity Anglican Church to run through the concert order and to see what our sound system needs are, and to rehearse getting on and off stage