Blog Archives

Just Six More

Hi Gang:

So, the countdown begins. Six more rehearsals and then our April 28th end-of-term concert is upon us. Thus, our to-do list is growing. Here’s how you can help:

Contact to put a name forward. She’ll need ticket sellers, raffle basket builders, decorators, hospitality workers, set-up/tear down people – the list goes on. Get your lager lout brother-in-law outta bed and put him to work for your choir.

Any extra time you spend to become more comfortable with the lyrics and your part is time well spent. Get thee a music folder that will muffle the sounds of paper shuffling and discipline yourself to keep your eyes on choir direction rather than downcast on the sheet music. We’ve got to stay together – too soon or too late and we perish! Eyes up and trained on either Sue or Hanna is key.

As our Treasurer Tom pointed out last week – we’ve got a long way to go before reaching our financial goals for this term. Sell concert tickets to your entire social circle, exhort your favourite local business to contribute an item for our raffle baskets, feed the front desk hat as often as you can, and if you have any additional ideas to help the bottom line – let us know.

You’ll be hearing soon about resources that will aid in concert ticket and programme ad sales.

Have fun
That’s vibrate with joy my dears. When burdened with the quotidian details of life – one always has to concentrate on the high points. I’m certain Hamilton Sings is a bright spot for you all. I know I’m not the only person among you that notices feeling better after our rehearsals. Wallow in joy I say.

Looking forward to seeing your shining faces Saturday.


Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Lotsa Dates

Hey there,

Looks like our calendar is starting to firm up – so listen up:

Saturday March 16th till term end? – in response to an AGM request to extend the term (which is impossible due to budget limitations), Sue is offering instead to extend our routine rehearsals to 12:15 pm.

Sunday April 28 at 3pm – our end of term concert entitled “Born in the Ocean” takes place at Christ’s Church Cathedral, 252 James Street North. Our intrepid concert co-ordinator Jenny McConnell has once again stepped up to take on the daunting tasks involved in making our concert a success. She needs volunteers – contact her at

Tara Bolker has produced a concert program as well as a form to sell ads in this same program. Clever incentive plans are being developed to make you and your brethren more inclined to buy concert tickets and sell ad space. More on this next week.

Saturday May 4th, morning – we’re planning a choir social to sing and celebrate!

Saturday June 1st – Hanna will be looking for a show of hands for a possible performance at the Barton Village Festival. Details to follow . . . . .

Help minimize printing by bringing in that copy of “Henay Ma Tov” you may be hiding in your sock drawer at home. A limited number of copies will be made available at the front desk.

As we meet tomorrow, on the eve of that Guinness marketing event called St. Patrick’s Day, I thought I would send you all this fun link to a group of people who have a hoppy perspective on singing.

See ya.

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Go to Delta United Church, 47 Ottawa St. S.

Howdy Folks

If you find yourself at HARRRP this coming Saturday morning, you’ll find yourself standing in the cold, all alone, and whimpering from frost bite. Get thee instead to the warm confines of Delta United Church, 47 Ottawa Street South. Give yourself a little extra time to find the address, find a parking spot, and find your co-singers within.

So, you guys really came through on the blueberry initiative – $1,000 (or so) into the choir piggy bank! Well done. Please check in with Catherine or Sue after rehearsal this Saturday if there were any problems associated with your purchase. Thanks for your savvy participation in last weeks Annual General Meeting – so impressive, even my ignorance of Robert’s Rules of Order didn’t impede a successful meeting. Our newly elected board is ready to get to the tasks required to insure our successful continuance. Congratulations all.

In case you missed this detail last week – our final concert date and time is 3:00pm, Sunday April 28th. This means we have 8 rehearsals before the big day. So, get some lyrics in your head, some pitches in the air, and some rhythm in your bones. Hanna has recently posted detailed voice files for She The Sea – check ‘em out to see why I’m gratified I jumped from the Alto section to Soprano. Alas, poor altos . . . . .

With the countdown to our concert day in mind, it’s time to start thinking about how you as an individual, and you within your voice section, can contribute to our concert fundraising needs. We will be asking each section, that’s 4 sections if you haven’t been paying attention, to come up with a theme for a gift basket and to proceed with filling the darn things up. The fundraising letter on the web site needs to be updated however don’t let that stop you from checking out your attic, twisting a neighbours arm, or approaching your favourite local business for items. Speaking as an individual intimate with small business concerns – standard print advertising is very expensive and it’s efficacy debatable. Approach your favourite local spot and give them the rare chance of contributing to your choir – you might be surprised at their enthusiasm.

As always – yours in song.

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Annual General Meeting & Important Dates

Good Day Fellow Singers

Reminder to show your lovely faces tomorrow morning at 9:45, with information package in hand, in order to register for our Annual General Meeting (AGM). Quorum is a minimum of half of you in attendance so don’t be a putz and skip the fun – its your choir, your community, your responsibility. We’ll follow up with rehearsal until 12:30 and collect our treasured blueberries. Bring an insulated bag to carry them home or in a pinch, use what the humblest of hobos knows works – bring a section of your morning newspaper for wrapping.

Next week’s rehearsal on Saturday March 9th will take place at Delta United Church, 47 Ottawa Street South. It’s fairly easy to find, even for no-sense-of-direction people like myself, and parking challenges are not daunting.

Our end of term concert date is now carved in stone. Sunday April 28th at 3pm. This also means we will need to assemble earlier to warm up and I’m presuming our dress rehearsal will be our regular rehearsal time of Saturday April 27th at 10 am. For those of you unfamiliar with the event – the end of term concert is an important fundraiser as well. We need a concert co-ordinator, non-singing volunteers to work the raffle tables/entrance, setup, tear down, decorations, and most importantly, your entire extended social network clamouring to bring the venue to capacity. So mark everybody’s calendar folks!

Now that we can count the number of rehearsals left before our big day – can you count how many times you’ve listened to those handy voice files on the active members page of Though we are a non-professional choir, it’s still satisfying to succeed and you all know the line – practice makes perfect. Additionally, try to memorize the words so you can keep your eyes on our fine choir directors rather than the paper. They’ll unify us to bring out our best pitches, harmonies, and rhythms. I can hear you all now.

See you tomorrow.


Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Dates: Prospective & Certain

Hey there Gang,

I’d planned on constructing an-ever-so-organized calendar of dates for you to remember however we’re still waiting on about 1/3 of you on your availability for our end of term concert. Please send us an email in reply to these weighty questions:

#1. Are you available for our end of term performance on Sunday April 28th – Yes or No

#2. Are you available for our end of term performance on Sunday May 5th.   – Yes or No

#3. Are you available for dress rehearsal Saturday April 27th 9:45 am till noon – Yes or No

#4. Are you available for dress rehearsal Saturday April 27th 1:45 pm till 3:30 pm – Yes or No

#5. Are you available for dress rehearsal Saturday May 4th 9:45 am till noon – Yes of No

#6. Are you available for dress rehearsal Saturday May 4th 1:15 pm till 3:30 pm – Yes or No

Some dates that are certain:

This Saturday February 23rd is the last chance to get your blueberry orders in. Don’t be tardy and regret not getting your hands on bags and bags of these delicious blue babies. They really do stand out as being special – such depth of flavour in a little orb! Get em for yourself and everyone you know. $20/bag (cheep!), please pay in advance. Who knew fundraising for your choir could be so tasty?

Saturday March 2nd General Meeting and Blueberry delivery. We’ll elect your preferred nominee, peer at spreadsheets, sing some tunes, AND get our hands on those delicious blue babies mentioned above. Please bring some sort of insulated container for easy blueberry transport.

Saturday March 9th – we meet for practice at Delta United Church NOT HARRRP.

Sue and Bob have made voice tracks available on the Active Members page of of Stone and Sand. I’ve found it a great practice tool to listen to your own part using headphones while cupping your hands in front of your mouth. The sounds you make whip around your face into the headphones and once you have a unified sound – you’ve got it! Additionally, it can be fun to listen to the other parts while you attempt to sing yours – knowing where other people are can make your place more understandable – am I making any sense here? Hope so.

Here’s to you in song . . . 

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Blueberries. And the story of a singer,

Good Morning.

Blueberries, gotta have em. They’re tasty, very blue, and come in variable round shapes. Put em’ in your lunch bag, your morning pancakes, a smoothie, and your lover’s freezer. Sign up today!

Our March 9th rehearsal will take place at Delta United Church, 47 Ottawa Street South, in the Memory Room.

The final concert and dress rehearsal dates are still in question as we have not yet heard from enough of you. Get off your duff and let us know your availability so we can book a venue ASAP. I’ve pasted the core questions below:

Please reply to this email and say, yes or no.  Please note, we are asking you to say if you are available, and not asking for your preference of date.  This means if you can come both dates, please say “Yes” – even if you’d like one date better than the other.

Concert Dates – on Sundays:

April 28th       Yes     No

May 5th          Yes    No

Dress Rehearsals – Saturdays:

April 27th morning  9:45 -12 noon       Yes    No

April 27th afternoon   1:15 – 3:30         Yes    No

May 4th  morning  9:45 -12 noon       Yes    No 

May 4th  afternoon   1:15 – 3:30         Yes    No 

And an important detail regarding your pent up desire to donate – our long-suffering Treasurer Tom can no longer endure the utter incompetence of Paypal and has banished their link from the Hamilton Sings web site. Happily, you can easily offer up an e-transfer instead, with no password required. While you’re there, you can also check out the Choir Finances page to get the dope on the dough required to run this enterprise.

A couple of years back, HS membership was lucky enough to attend a special weekend workshop. One of the tunes we learned, “In The Rain” has been uploaded onto the Active Members page. Check out the fun here

My restaurant employs a prep cook who belts out Gilbert and Sullivan tunes while chopping vegetables at dizzying speed with a razor sharp chef’s knife. He’s Sri Lankan and an utter orphan, as his entire extended family was wiped out in the 2004 Asian tsunami. Yet he sings while he works. Awesome.

See ya tomorrow kids.

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer


Synergy. Defined as an interaction of two or more parts to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their parts. Do you realize that every Saturday morning we come together and substantiate the phenomenon of synergy? Singing in the shower was once satisfying enough, but once you get a taste of the good stuff at Hamilton Sings, there’s no going back. Sort of like craft beer vs Bud Light.

Have you checked out the active members page at yet? You will now find voice files for “In Een Blauwgeruite Kiel” Give it a listen so you can wow your fellow choristers with your Dutch language savvy. Many thanks to Jeff Seffinga for giving the choir an opportunity to delve into the Netherlands. We are a world choir after all . . .

I understand I may be trying your patience about mentioning money again however I have to. The economics of our continued survival are simple enough: if everyone gets approximately $175 to us, we can continue to afford the venue rental, music printing costs, professional choir direction, and other expenses involved in operating a community choir. Trust me when I say that your contribution will not go towards a Malibu condo – it will go directly where it’s needed for the continued existence of Hamilton Sings – your choir, your community, your special place.

One of our fundraising initiatives for a few years has been a “Blueberries for Singing” drive. We’re pleased to announce that $20 pre-ordered 2 kilo bags of frozen prime Nova Scotian Oxford Co. blueberries will be delivered to HARRP on March 2nd. Place your order at the front desk and demand your neighbours, co-workers, friends, and foes buy a bag too. These berries are of exceptional quality and are considered a “superfood” for their antioxidant content. And most importantly, they taste good too. Whoever sells the most bags will win a free haircut, courtesy of fellow chorister Andrea Kurzfield, proprietor of Manestream Traveling Hair Studio. Second prize is 2 free tickets to the cultural event of the season – Hamilton Sings Sunday May 5th 2pm end of term concert.

And as the March 2nd General Meeting approaches, please consider putting your name forward for a board position. The 2 year commitment is not daunting as board members meet only once a month and exchange a few emails. Not only does the position look nice on a resume – you’ll be making a valuable contribution to this special community.

Looking forward to getting together with you all in song tomorrow.


Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Coins may jingle, but bills stack better

Hello Gang

The first voice file of the term is now available on the active members page at

She The Sea, sung in angelic 2 part harmony. Give it a listen, several times if you can, so you can internalize the tune and hopefully memorize the lyrics. Password is sings!17-20

Though not much of a fashion statement, donning a name tag can really help lubricate the social machinery. Can’t remember the name of that soprano vixen you desperately want to know better? Distracted by thoughts of “What’s that dude’s name again?” Relief can be found by asking for your tag at the front desk. Feel free to employ fun fonts and decorative emojis.

Money makes the world go round, the world go round. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend. Buddy, can you spare a dime? Coins may jingle, but bills stack better.

Well, you get my drift by now – please continue to drop your much-needed contributions in the front desk hat. Suggested amount is $175 per person or sliding scale. Additionally, you can play the odds with our weekly 50/50 draw and/or put your creative energy into fundraising efforts. Together, we’ll slay the wolf at the door and prosper like royalty.

Dates to remember (so far):

Saturday March 2nd – rehearsal as usual with a Board Meeting added. Become a board member and appreciate what it takes to run this entity made up of you, you, and you.

Sunday May 5th at 2pm – our end of term concert and fundraiser. Invite your entire social circle so we pack the house! A number of tasks need to be completed and prospective volunteers are invited to step forward sooner rather than later.

Last Saturday Sue introduced us to a rote tune. If you’re a simpleton like me, and find it easy to forget lyrics, mainly because you never really learned them in the first place, I thought I would not be the only one to benefit from looking them over again:


Finally, a few words from HS board member Eric Matto:

Hamilton Sings Community Choir is having our annual general meeting on Saturday, March 2. During this meeting we will be having elections for new Board members, and we are looking for volunteers to serve. It is a 2-year term, and typically the Board meets once per month for about 2 hours or so. Board members help in setting the choir budget, planning choir activities and setting the future direction of the choir. You can ask me or any other Board member for more information about what is involved. You can let us know ahead of time if you are interested in putting your name forward, or you can decide right at the AGM.


Eric Matto (tenor), Board member

See you all tomorrow

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

A Quick One

Hi Folks

Just a quick note to remind everyone that we meet again in song tomorrow at 9:45. Looks like old man winter won’t get in the way this time. However, do remember to:

  • Bring dry footware
  • Dress in layers as it can get chilly
  • No strong perfumes please
  • Bring a refillable, non-spill water bottle for your tender chords
  • Have you invested in a sheet music folder yet?
  • Check out the active members page for handy voice files
  • Drop your troubles at the door and revel in the joy found with song and your fellow humans

See ya tomorrow.

Brenda Atkinson
Hamilton Sing Volunteer

Welcome to Hamilton Sings

Dear Fellow Songsters

Welcome to Hamilton Sings, our fair city’s ultimate non-audition community choir. Though our repertoire is global, our focus is definitely local because you guys are the lifeblood of this endeavor. Both new and returning choristers are encouraged to have fun! fun! fun! while spending a few precious hours Saturday mornings immersed in song and each other. Listen up while I explain how things work around here:

Rehearsal Decorum. Please be on time. If you arrive by 9:45, you’ll have a chance to chat with your new friends before we get underway at 10 sharp. We generally take a 10 minute break at 11:00. Make sure your shoes are dry, and bring a refillable, non-spill container of water so your tender vocal chords remain wet.

Sheet Music. Returning members will already have a package distributed in September – if you’re taking this term off, please get the music back to us so we can avoid excessive printing costs and save a few trees. New members will receive a package and are advised to invest in a noise-muffling folder, preferably black. The dollar store sells them for $1.99.

Musical Direction. Our choir leaders are Sue Connolly (proprietor of Claim Your Voice Studios) and Hanna Mathieson (voice teacher, performer). Both these ladies bring considerable expertise to our choir and we’re lucky to have them. If you’re unsure about your “voice” or section of the choir your suited for, feel free to ask Hanna for an assessment. Additionally, keep your eyes glued to them while they direct the choir so we sound unified rather than like a flock of crows.

Volunteers. As we are a community, our mutual success depends on the energy you yourself lend to this activity. Volunteers are needed to perform a number of tasks such as front desk, library, administration, fund-raising, advertising, concert organization, etc. The commitment is not onerous and there is always a gaggle of people to lend a hand to someone that stands up. It’s really quite amazing the synergy that occurs when a bunch of people lend a hand together. Stand up, step up, get up – you’ll be better for it!

Money. Makes the world go round apparently though speaking as a cheapskate, I think it’s over-rated. Let’s just call it a necessary evil. The choir depends utterly on your largesse and deeply appreciates your material assistance. Bean-counters far brighter than I am have determined that if all choristers were to contribute $175 for the term, we’d be in a fairly sound financial position with the assistance of some fundraising activities. The math works out to just over $10/Saturday morning this term. That’s a pretty fine deal! Feel free to drop your contribution in the hat at the front desk anytime. Remember that we understand money can be tight – so do what you can. And if you’re a wealthy patron – bring it on!

It’s common knowledge that meditation reduces blood pressure however did you know that singing in a group does the same thing? Looking forward to doing my favourite Zen activity with you guys tomorrow.


Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Choir Updates

Translate this website

Now on the Site for Choir Members

Click to listen
  • She the Sea: Soprano, alto, tenor & bass parts by Hanna. Plus melody and original harmony sung together.
  • Stone & Sand: Melody plus soprano, alto, tenor & bass parts
  • I Love the Rain: Video from workshop with Brendan Taafe Oct 15-16, 2016
  • In een blauwgeruite kiel: New spoken version, all three verses sung afresh, history, and pronunciation

  • Solen: Pronunciation, spoken, and all parts sung
  • Me Too: Soprano & bass, alto & bass, tenor & bass. Link to Carol’s Sound Cloud version
  • Ar Hyd y Nos (All Through the Night): pronunciation, spoken, and sung
  • Brilliant Stars: Melody, chorus and bridge – all parts. Melody and lyrics.
  • Nana: soprano, tenor, bass
  • Solstice Carol: Melody – Verse One; Tenor – Verse Two; Soprano – Verse Three
  • Hanna’s Fall Playlist: Link to YouTube

Our Fundraising Target for 2019

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