Welcome to Renate's Baton. This blog is mostly for and about my choir, The York Region Community Choir.

But, While I'm holding the baton, I'm in charge. So, if I want to talk about other parts of my life, I will. :)

The choir itself is a community and I'm discovering that we have a lot in common with one another besides our love of music and singing.

When I go off on a tangent, there is always a crowd coming along. Join us!

Wednesday, 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

Saturday, March 11, 2017

YRCC Spring Concert: Canada: a Land of Harmony, Sat., May 6th

Sing! Sing! And Sing Some Moire! Georgina Choir Event April 29th

SING! SING! AND SING SOME MORE! 2017 Saturday, April 29th 9-5

Register yourself and pay on your own.
Click on the links below to register.

Register on the YRCC website to see if we can offer a YRCC choir song for the concert at the end.

Enjoy a morning of vocal workshops, lunch and an afternoon of singing! 

Click below to sign up for the full day:

$30.00 Full Day 9:00am-5:00pm 

Includes two workshops, group sing-a-long and group choir, lunch and snacks

just come out and Sing! Sing! And Sing Some More! in the afternoon! 
To register for the afternoon only, click here: 

$15.00 Afternoon Only 12:30pm-5:00pm 

Includes Group Sing-a-long and group choir and snack

For more information, please check out their Facebook page (link)

Search Facebook: Sing Sing And Sing Some More (no exclamation marks)
Or email Susan stewartsusan78@yahoo.ca 
or call her at 905-716-2565

AGES 12+
There will be a 4:00 public performance.
Please invite family and friends.

Refreshments will be served.

The event is brought to you by The Town of Georgina
In partnership with The Voices of Georgina

YRCC Rehearsal 6-MAR-2017

Monday, March 6th, 2017

6:30 St. Elmo's Fire- Excellent! We got over the timing issues. It helps that it's in cut time, 2 beats per bar instead of 4. You feel beat 3. You've got to cut off on time, too. It helps to watch me. ;-)

1. They All Call It Canada Wow! It's awesome, but we didn't remember everything at first. Keep looking at this one, please. Especially Sopranos and Altos at the "new" part, pages 10 and 11, that descant part. It's really cool there and makes for a big climax to the song, making our big ending even bigger. Review the ending too, and make sure you're ready for it after the second "from the Atlantic", and remember to cut short the "-tic" on Atlantic and Pacific.

2. Where the Coho Bar 27 seems like a little thing but it's the way that section B connects to section C through the key change. A,B,C, D are all fine. We need to review E. Please look at it on your own. Use the recordings on the website if you need to.

3.Song for the Mira We heard a few different soloists and it was cool! I'm trying to figure out how I want the solos to work, who sings what. We've tried different things at the first "Can you Imagine" and I think I want to go back to what we've always done before, having the whole choir come in soft and in unison. It's a better transition from the ooh part. Also, the last solo should be one person. In the meantime, Tenors and Basses, please review section 5, especially page 10.

4.Unity We learned from bar 24 to the bottom of page 3. Take the second ending only and continue to the end. Yes, we're almost at the end! Such a pretty song, and powerful too.

Next Week:
Monday, March 13th, 2017 March Break Monday.
If you've got plans because the kids are at home, enjoy them! We expect there to be people missing. Those of us who are there will work had and will help you when you're back. If you have some time, listen to the recordings of your parts on the website.



6:30 This Island Earth- Melinda

  • All the Little Rivers- just sing through
  • Four Strong Winds - middle section
  • Song for Canada- just sing through  
  • Where the Coho- E
  • Unity- ending, review page 2

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 27-FEB-2017

Monday, February 27th, 2017

6:30 St. Elmo's Fire Small Group-getting closer. Timing seems to be an issue.

We had a wonderful surprise visit from Enid who sat in the alto section, having a hard time not singing. We can all imagine the frustration she must feel at being told not to sing. Hopefully, her health will improve and she will be able to sing again soon. We wish her all the best!

Joy was at a choir event with her church choir, so she prepared a few recordings for us, and we managed quite well with Anne-Marie at the keyboard and Lauren managing the recordings. We look forward to having Joy back next week! We all have an increased appreciation for our wonderful pianist.

1. All the Little Rivers. Well, I had planned for us to just sing it through. But, the recording was faster than what we're used to, and we did really poorly. It seemed to me that we didn't know our parts as well as I though we did. So, we went over a bunch of stuff, even the second page. I asked the sopranos to come in at bar 12, noting to the altos and sopranos that this beckon me line is different form the first one. We sang through a couple times and it got quite a bit better.

2. Four Strong Winds. We learned section F to the end. At F, we come out of a fancy section and it feels like going home. It's the regular timing and harmonies and the ending is only a little bit big, just so you know it's the end. We sang along with Joy's recording and it went better than I expected. We know the beginning and the end. Next, we have to learn that fancy middle section.

3. Song for the Mira. We learned the oohs at section 2. It says hmm, and we tried it that way, but we've done it before with oohs, and I think we'll do it that way again. We can have the soloists on microphones. These are very pretty oohs. If you missed today's rehearsal, you probably want to listen to the recording of your part to hear how they go. We will review them, but everyone who was there learned them very well. We sounded so pretty! And, Joanne had a go at the solo part along with Blair. I will listen to other possible soloists. I haven't decided on a soloist for this, so consider whether you'd like to try it and let me know. I also haven't quite decided who sings when.

Next week: Monday, March 6th

6:30 St. Elmo's Fire Small Group: I will also come and we'll see what we can do about the timing.

Four Strong Winds- starting at the a cappella part
Song for the Mira- review oohs, sort out solos
They All Call it Canada- once through
Unity- starting at pick up to bar 24
Where the Coho Flash Silver- bar 27 and a cappella

Thank you for supporting me on my CNOY walk!

A very big, heartfelt thank you to Trix, Rob, Robin, Melodie, Lyn, and Ellen for supporting me on my walk! I love my choir! It felt wonderful to have raised close to $500. Soraya, Victoria and I walked with our heads held high among approximately 200 walkers and volunteers. It was cold and windy and there was a stretch of the walk where we were walking with our faces towards the setting sun and into the wind, but it was great.
This year we walked 5 km. Next year, we are thinking of walking 10 km.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Support the Newmarket Community: Coldest Night of the Year

CNOY stands for Coldest Night of the Year. 

CNOY is a walk, a fundraising walk which supports programs for homeless people. My daughters and I will participate in the walk this year on February 25th. We are joining a team from our church, Trinity United Church in Newmarket. Walking at night in February gives participants a small taste of what it might be like to live in the streets in the winter. It's meant to be uncomfortable, but we will be walking in teams and will have snacks and a warm home to go to afterwards. We will be reminded of how lucky we are.

To find out more about the Coldest Night of the Year, click here. 

Please sponsor me on my walk! You can donate online here. Just enter my name in the Search box: Renate Naghavi. 

In Newmarket, Inn from the Cold is the recipient of the funds raised. Inn from the Cold started as a shelter for the coldest winter nights only, but has grown to a multi-service centre for people who find themselves homeless or at risk.

You can find out about Newmarket Inn from the Cold here. 

Briefly, here's what they do:

Services offered by Inn From the Cold

Inn From the Cold is a service hub for the homeless and at risk of being homeless. We offer our guests a range of helpful services year round that are designed to assist with finding housing, employment, mental health support and other necessities such as hot meals, warm clothing, laundry, internet and bathing facilities.Our goal is to not only provide the basic necessities of food and shelter but also to help our guests upgrade their skills in order to be able to enter or reintegrate into the workforce and to obtain financial stability.

YRCC Rehearsal Review 20-FEB-2017

Monday, February 20th, 2017: Family Day!

6:30 Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire- Wow! What a beautiful song!

1. Hallelujah: Always a treat to sing this! Having different soloists was fun!
2. Hockey Song Great Wayne Gretzky!
3.We Rise Again: Section C is the hardest part and we did it! It was awesome! I got goosebumps. We also sang the first verse oohs and aahs and they were really cool.
4. Where the Coho Flash Silver: We sang through the whole song so that we could record Joy playing the accompaniment on our keyboard, but it was really hard! There are tempo changes and fermatas and we had some technical difficulties (forgetting that there's a speaker on/off switch on the keyboard). Also, there's the a cappella part which is awkward. I don't think we can sing that without Joy. But, now we'll be able to rehearse it with accompaniment without Joy when necessary up to the a cappella part. We reviewed everything up to the a cappella part as well.
5. Four Strong Winds: We also recorded the accompaniment for this. The same challenges apply here, so we just did it at one tempo, so we could have something, and Joy played something during the a cappella part. We cannot hope to sing this without Joy, but we'll be able to rehearse without Joy when necessary. We reviewed the parts up to the a cappella part here too.
6. Ca-na-da: We recorded this, too. It is a much easier song, and fun, too.

Next week: February 27th ( Joy will be absent, but we have recordings and Anne-Marie! )

6:30 St. Elmo's Fire Group

  • All the Little Rivers (just a sing-thorough)
  • Four Strong Winds (Section F-we'll skip the tricky middle part for now)
  • Song for the Mira (section 2- the oohs)
  • They All Call it Canada (just a sing-through)
  • Where the Coho Flash Silver (bar 27, review up to a cappella)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal 13-FEB-2017

Monday, February 13th, 2017 at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Aurora. Thanks, again, for providing us a home when we're bumped out of our room at the Administrative Centre!

St. Elmo's Fire small group started at 6:30

1. Unity: We learned the whole difficult part on page 2! This beautiful piece holds a special place in our hearts because it was created by a friend of our friend Rob for Canada's 125th birthday. The arrangement was prepared by a friend of Blair's and by me just for us. In case you didn't catch the words of the second verse, which were somehow missed, here they are:

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

2. Where the Coho Flash Silver: We learned A (the soloist will be Blair or Todd, with the other as back-up) and B (the soloist will be Daphne or Ellen, with the other as back-up). We reviewed C, D, and E and now we're almost done! We looked at the ending, too. We still need review, and there are little bits that we seemed to have missed, but it's awesome.

3.We Rise Again: We sang section F first, where S2ATB have melody and S1 has a descant, and looked at the key change too. There is a small difference in the tenor section which we will ignore. Tenors can sing with Bass throughout that section. We will look at section C next week. It's where there are 4 parts and it's cool.

Monday, February 20th: Family Day -regular rehearsal in our room 

6:30 Small Group St. Elmo's Fire

  1. Four Strong Winds- once through to record
  2. Hallelujah- a treat for missing time with our families :-)
  3. Hockey Song- a family day treat
  4. We Rise Again- section C
  5. Where the Coho Flash Silver- once through to record, plus bits we missed

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 06-FEB-2017

Monday, February 6th, 2017

6:30 V'la l'bon vent was excellent! We've got it moving now, and we'll have an awesome surprise too!

Warm-ups today included trying out harmonies for Happy Birthday! Now, you'll be able to impress your friends and family when you sing Happy Birthday. It was my birthday on the 5th, so I enjoyed being sung to in such a wonderful way! Thank you!

1. Unity is a song written for Canada's 125th birthday by a friend of Rob's, Kathleen Deters, at the same time as Rob wrote and produced a play, Sentimental Journey. They performed the song together with Rob's cast and crew on several occasions in 1992. We are honoured to be chosen to honour her memory by learning and sharing her music. Unity is a sweet and catchy song that you'll be singing all day long.

2. O Canada is going to be great! We tried singing the first verse with the with piano accompaniment, then the pines and maples verse a cappella, then the French with piano and an extra chorus of English as an ending, It was excellent, but I'm still considering different variations.

3. Four Strong Winds: I had goosebumps several times! It was beautiful! We learned C and then went back to the beginning and learned A and B. Take note: the tenors have the melody at A and B, so sopranos and altos don't! Cool!

4. Song for the Mira: More goosebumps! At one point I had goosebumps not only up and down my arms, but across my body, a big frisson! I love this piece! We learned half of section 5 and reviewed the Can you imagine part. It's hard, but so satisfying!

5. We Rise Again: I am looking for a soloist for this. I'd like to hear a few possibilities. We sang through, and a bunch of people sang the solo part to see if they felt comfortable doing it. It's not easy, but the parts are recorded and you can review your part on line. We've forgotten it, but it won't take us long to pick it up again. Please review your parts, everyone, to make it easier.

Next week: Monday, February 13th 

We will not be in our usual room again, having been bumped. We're rehearsing at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Aurora, on Mosley. 

6:30 Love Theme from St. Elmo's Fire Small Group

  • Four Strong Winds (D, and E?)
  • Unity 
  • We Rise Again (section F on page 9, then C on page 5)
  • Where the Coho Flash Silver (Try solos- A: Blair/ Todd and B: Daphne/Ellen and continue with C, D,E)

Listen to all kinds of music. Share it.

So, researchers have said that people who listen to more than one genre of music tend to be smarter, more creative, open minded, and honest. 

Is it because of those traits that people are drawn to different kinds of music, or does music inspire people to be better? I think it's both. Maybe it's good, smart people who introduce their children to all kinds of music as part of their education, or up-bringing, who start the cycle? I believe we need to include much more music in children's education, all kinds. I know music inspires me in a million ways. 

Just more than one genre is all it takes? Only one more genre than pop, or rock, or classical can do that? Cool! If you only like rock, then all you have to do is add one other genre? If you only like classical, then you only need one other type of music to make you smarter and more creative? Imagine if you added two or three? I like almost every kind of music I hear, and listen to all kinds. All of the buttons on my car radio are used, and I'd like more. I'd like to hear more world music, and more folk on the radio, but there's so much more, and readily available, than what's on the car radio!

I like that the new "radio", internet sites, YouTube, the Spotify and Apple Music-type things, offer playlists of all kinds: genres, moods, artists, eras, etc. It's amazing what you can listen to while you write on your blog! If you haven't tried it, do a Google search for relaxing music playlist, or study playlist, or Harry Belafonte playlist!

I'm so grateful for all the music in my life! I aspire to being smart and creative, open-minded and honest, and I hope that I inspire that in my children. I know they are both very musical and open-minded consumers of all kinds of music. I sang and danced and made music with them from the moment of conception. My mother and father probably did the same for me. 

I also had wonderful teachers, excellent music teachers, and musical teachers in my very early years. We all had band and orchestra in Junior High School when I was young. Many of us continued to choose music in high school I have an appreciation for jazz because of Mr. Miner. Maybe I'm crazy for John Williams because of my band experiences with him and Mr. Beatty and Mr. Eason and more recently, Madame Leblanc. (It's not the movies. I haven't seen most of them.) Kids I went to school with learned to play violin, viola, and cello and bass, and played music from Bach's Brandenburg Concertos, in grade 8! It was normal. It was awesome. My kids had an excellent music program at their school, but it was exceptional.

Music is magical. Explore the world of music and take your kids there, too!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 30-JAN-2017

Monday, January 30th, 2017

6:30 V'la l'bon vent Bilingual Small Group. Fun! We added spoons and a few repetitions of the chorus so we modified the arrangement from a slowish and soft song to a joyous jig!

Warm-ups were just to get our bodies ready to sing and our spirits ready to sing together. The vocal warm-up was our first song.

1. Ca-na-da from Canada's Centennial is so sweet, we'll sing it twice and we'll invite the audience to sing along the second time. Sopranos are on top (one little, two little,...) and Altos, Tenors, and Basses are all on the bottom singing the main melody.

2. Coho Flash Silver is still stuck in my head! What a sticky melody! We did the difficult part, the a cappella section at E and then the ending. You should have enough of a feel for the song to practise on your own with the recordings at home for a while, as we move on to other songs.

3. Song for the Mira: We just reviewed the Can you imagine part we learned last week, and that was hard enough.

4. Song for Canada: we learned the ending ahs. Mark on your music where you sing. We move around a bit.

5. All the Little Rivers: we just sang it through to remember what we've learned. I think this song is also ready for some individual rehearsal at home. We've learned the trickiest bits together. If you're not sure how to use the recordings at home, ask someone on the executive or the person you sit next to. The resources are there for you. Take advantage.

Next week, Monday, February 6th:

6:30 V'la l'bon vent  Bilingual Small Group meets again. We might be able to finish. We were just not sure of the tempo and dynamics, but the parts were very good already.

  • Four Strong Winds (starting at C)
  • O Canada (French words)
  • Song for the Mira (5)
  • Unity (new)
  • We Rise Again (run-through with potential soloists)

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 23-JAN-17

Warm-ups were different moves done as we sang Frere Jacques in a 4-part round. It was not easy.

1. All the Little Rivers is so cool! We worked on the a cappella part and it was excellent! It reminds me in parts of Pocahontas :-) I love Pocahontas too. We worked on the dynamics of the rest of the song. Make sure you pay attention to where to those ps and fs and mfs! Also, save your ff for the parts that are marked ff. This is a very challenging song, so use the recordings to help you if you're feeling uncertain.

2. Hockey Song! We learned sections B and C and sang to the end. It's not as easy as it sounds, so listen to your part recorded for you and posted on the website. It will help!

3. Song for the Mira. We learned the 4-part section before 5 "Can you imagine". It's my favourite part of the song. (aside from the words "stars on the river face sparkle and spin". Sometimes a group of words makes me especially happy. The "snow was falling snow on snow, snow on snow"of Bleak Midwinter is my all-time favourite. Maybe I just like the alliteration of sibilants.) The timing here is pretty tricky, and we all have to be together. If you missed this rehearsal or just want to review what we learned, go to the website and download the recording of your part. Sing along, watching your music and listening. For a challenge, listen to another part and sing your part with it!

4.Ca-na-da. If you remember this from the Centennial, you're lucky. I don't quite remember how it goes, and a bunch of us are even younger than I am, but we'll learn it. We have to learn a bit of French for this song, too! Wow! We're becoming so bilingual! We talked a bit about changing the words, since it refers to the centennial year and the population at the time. I think we should sing it as is. It's history. And, we can make fun of the word sesquicentennial instead of singing it. My plan at the moment is for the Altos, Tenors, and Basses to sing the main melody and the Sopranos can sing the special bits on top.

Next week, Monday, January 30th:

Bilingual small group V'la l'bon vent starts at 6:30.

  • All the Little Rivers (B and C)
  • Ca-na-da
  • Coho Flash Silver (E)
  • Song for the Mira (5)
  • Song for Canada (ending)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 15-Jan-2017

We were at St. Andrew's in Aurora because we were bumped out of our room in the Admin Centre.
Thank you to Lauren and Enid for arranging that!

We started with a moving and singing warm-up with ha-ha, ho-ho, and hee-hee, since it was supposed to be the saddest day of the year. How can you be sad at choir!? We're so lucky to have happy Monday nights every week!

1. Hallelujah was better when we put our music away and watched so that we were all together. Watch. Not just at the endings. When you know the song so well that you could sing it without the music, you should be watching almost the whole time.

2. They All Call it Canada. We reviewed pages 10 and 11, all-new with the descant part over top of the tenor/bass melody. Even the tenors and basses found it challenging, but it's really cool and we're getting it!

3. Song For Canada. We sang the French verse a few times to get used to the pronunciation and how the syllables go with the melody. If you want, you can hear me sing it on the website, but you can find it on YouTube sung by lots of different choirs, including the YRCC.

4. The Hockey Song! Yay! It's so much fun! We have to review it, as there are some bits that are tricky. We started with the Great! Wayne! Gretzky! part. It was heavenly! Hey, thanks, Rob, our "announcer", for bringing the whistle! It was Great!

5. Where the Coho Flash Silver: New song! We're all in the same boat, on this one (har-har), since nobody knows this, except for Karen and Daphne who learned it during a choir camp this past summer. (Yes, overnight camp for grown-ups where you sing!) We started learning it at C, where we all sing. OMG! It's going to be awesome.

Next week (23 Jan):

All the Little Rivers (focus on a cappella)
Hockey Song (B and C)
Song for the Mira (Section 5 page 9-10)
Where the Coho Flash Silver (E)

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

YRCC Rehearsal Review 9-Jan-2017

First rehearsal of 2017!

1. O Canada. It sounded beautiful! Especially a cappella! We reviewed the alto, tenor and bass parts, and they're really cool, especially when you can hear how they blend with the soprano part. We will have to perform one verse a cappella. I think it will be the "pines and maples" verse, which I love. We need a verse that the audience can sing, so that will be the first verse, I guess, except, maybe we'll repeat it at the end? We will sing a French verse. I'm not sure how it's going to be, but we will have a big O Canada this year.

2. They All Call it Canada! What a big, patriotic song! It will be even bigger this year. We will sing the soprano and alto descant part on pages 10 and 11 over the tenor/bass melody. We started learning it, and it's quite hard. We'll have to make a recording of this part for the sopranos and altos, but don't worry, we'll review it often.

3. All the Little Rivers. So pretty! We'll need to review this, as it's also quite difficult. You can watch us sing this on YouTube, so we've done it before and we can do it again. Just, maybe take some time to review the recording of your part.

4. Four Strong Winds. New Song!!! So, nobody is ahead on this one. We're all starting together on this. We just sang through to see what to look forward to. We didn't really look at parts, but just sang the melody. It's so pretty! Just so you know, the Tenors and Basses get the melody at the beginning! That means sopranos don't. There is a doo-doo part later on and it's a cappella! And, it doesn't have a big ending. The piano part is really sweet. Joy has recorded the accompaniment and the 3 parts so you can practise at home. Thank you, Joy!

5. Song For the Mira. will be different this time. We will not have 6 solos, because it was messy and distracting and the song suffered. So, we will have 2 solos, one male and one female. Todd and Lauren sang it tonight, but I haven't decided who will get those solos. There will be a back-up for each to choose as well. We need to have a flute, so if Robin doesn't come back, then we'll ask Rebekah back again.

6. Song For Canada will be different this time too. We will not have a solo. I haven't quite decided how it will go, but I want a group on the first verse, probably the sopranos, and then everyone on the French verse and everyone on the last verse. The descant will be done by the flute. I want everyone to hear the beautiful words of the last verse. We will work on enunciating them and using dynamics to create drama and variety in the song.

Next week:

  • All the Little Rivers (a cappella part)
  • Hallelujah
  • Hockey Song 
  • Song For Canada (French part)
  • They All Call it Canada (page 10-11 again)
  • Where the Coho Flash Silver (intro)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

YRCC Celebrates Canada: This year, we sing more O Canada.

We need to spice up our O Canada for our special Canada theme.

I'm thinking about having us sing a whole verse in French, or maybe some of us?

Ô Canada!
Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux!
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.

And, we need to sing this verse:

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow. (all the little rivers)
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea.
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!

What about this verse?

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies
May stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western sea.
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!

Monday, January 2, 2017

Small Group and Solo songs for YRCC spring 2017

Soloists and Small groups, we need some pop songs, famous melodies, some fun stuff.

Please see me soon with your ideas!

Canadians have created some excellent songs.

I'd like to do a sing-along of a Canadian Pop song, too. What do you think?
What song do you think everyone will enjoy singing?

Here are some ideas, some songs I found online, some melodies to get you thinking:

Wondering Where the Lions Are or Lovers in a Dangerous Time by Bruce Cockburn?

If I Had a Million Dollars by the Barenaked Ladies?

Summer of 69   or Everything I do I do it for you Bryan Adams

Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald or anything by Gordon Lightfoot

Snowbird Anne Murray

Put Your Head on My Shoulder Paul Anka

No Time The Guess Who

Big Yellow Taxi Joni Michell

Here for a Good Time Trooper

Life is a Highway Tom Cochrane

Spinning Wheel Blood Sweat and Tears ( ooh. need some brass)

That don't impress me much Shania Twain

My Own Way to Rock - Burton Cummings

Well? What would you like to sing?

BTW: here's where I found these titles:

York Region wishes us all a Happy 2017

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

YRCC end of season. Did you hand in your binder?

If you still haven't handed in your binder. Please do it as soon as possible!

If you don't know where Lyn lives, look her up in the Members-only section of the website.

Lyn is emptying the binders of their winter music and filing that all away now.

Don't make it difficult for her! She shouldn't have to go back into those files in January because of you. Get your binder to Lyn right away! Now.

Everyone will have new music in their binders on January 9th. Our theme is Celebrating Canada, because 2017 is the 150th anniversary of Confederation.

I will post the song selections soon. Look up some of the titles in the "Previous Seasons" section of the Resources page before they show up on the main page if you want to look ahead. Sing along with They All Call it Canada and Song for Canada as well as The Hockey Song! I can't wait!

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