Blog Archives

A Few Things to Consider

Good morning fellow singers

So, the big day draws near. Just 3 rehearsals left until we take to the stage. Thus, we have a few things to consider:

Concert Volunteers. Feel free to nominate a spouse, sibling, child, grandparent, neighbour, even your parole officer if need be, and have them contact our fearless concert manager Jenny at jennifermcconnell42@gmail.com. I would guess that any volunteer would probably have to be at HARRPP no later than 5:30 on December 1st for an orientation before our warm up at 6pm. Doors open to the public at 6:30 with concert start at 7pm. Concert duration until 7:40ish? with time afterwards to continue selling bake goods.

Competency. Though our premiere focus at Hamilton Sings is FUN!, it’s not fun to flounder needlessly in front of your near and dear. Resist the temptation to look down at your music books – rather, your eyes should be glued to Hanna or Sue. I liken choir direction to flying a plane. We’re a big hulking group of voices and in order to avoid a crash, we gotta trust the pilots. And, though I risk sounding like a broken record, get to the active members page and check out those audio files. Password is sings!17-20

Baked Goods. Though I’m certain everything is going to be delicious, consider that you do eat with your eyes. A little ribbon, some sparkle, a consideration of display – all can go further to making the sale that supports your community choir. Additionally, in these days of food intolerances, avoidances, and allergies, an ingredients list will butter the wheels of commerce while garnishing our finances. (If you groaned at that previous metaphor – too bad, I couldn’t resist). Oh, and remind your invited guests that cash rules.

Big warm hugs going out to all of you who helped get our music archives in order last week – it’s gratifying to know I’m not the only person who appreciates the virtues of a label maker.

Best to all

Brenda Atkinson
Hamilton Sings Volunteer




Pliant Deliciousness

Dear Fellow Troupers

Just a handful of weeks until our end of term concert. Are you pumped yet? Music direction seems to think we’re sounding pretty good . . . . . But I wonder how many of us can actually pronounce “Hyggeligt”? I admit to being impressively dense when it comes to challenges of this nature. Maybe we can say it together a few times this Saturday, just so we don’t sound like slack-jawed yokels when promoting the concert to our hordes of friends that are going to pack the place on December 1st. You’re working with me on this – right?

Your friendly hordes can buy a concert ticket online at https://www.bruha.com/event/4071  or at the HARPPP door that evening. We will meet for a final run-through of our concert program at our routine rehearsal time of 10 am, with time to spare for decorating the venue before our normal dispersal time of noon. Then we return at 6pm for a pre-concert warm up. Doors open to the public at 6:30 pm, with music underway at 7:00 pm

Jenny, our indomitable concert General Manager, is smoothing the way towards our collective success. Check out her baked goods sign up sheet this Saturday, that’s designed to avert goodies duplication. I mean, chocolate chip cookies are darn fine – but you gotta round out the cookie crunch with, say, the pliant deliciousness of a buttercream cupcake, or the fruity opulence of a deep-dish berry pie, or the affluent icings in an Italian-style torte, or the rum-soaked bliss of a Christmas cake . . . . And then there are the gluten-free bakers – Can they rise to the challenge of satisfying the tactile joy required by milles feuille pastry eaters? Sure hope so. Oh, I could go on and on about this all day. And I’m starting to feel I need a snack.

I exhort you all to “bake it like you sing it”.

Contact Jenny directly at jennifermcconnell42@gmail.com if you (or the volunteers you’ve sourced) have any questions regarding our collective concert needs. Additionally, if you have any decorating ideas – please share them.

We need volunteers to go on and on about organizing sheaves of sheet music this Saturday November 10th after rehearsal. No prior experience required – but a love of order eases the pain of an occasional paper cut. Somebody is threatening to bring some cookies to share. Pretty sure that was me. Righto

Until the morrow then.

Brenda Atkinson
Hamilton Sings Volunteer




Concert Listing V.1.0

Good evening estimable singers all:

Sorry about the late-breaking update but I seem to have come down with a serious case of writer’s block that has now finally abated. I come now to you with my usual verbose attitude, so pay attention – we got some detail to go over . . . .

Our fearless concert general manager Jenny sent us all an email earlier this week detailing needs for the upcoming December 1st concert at 7pm. . . . So I’ll repeat those needs now, as we all know repetition leads to learning:

BAKED GOODS. Make them, Label and wrap. Ingredients list please. Allergy alert if nuts included.

CONCERT VOLUNTEERS. We need ‘em. Ticket-sellers, baked-goods sellers, ushers. Conscript your spouse, neighbour, adolescent in need of volunteer hours. . . . all welcome.

Feel free to contact Jenny directly if you have any questions jennifermcconnell42@gmail.com

SATURDAY NOVEMBER 10th, after practice, please lend a hand if you can in the admirable pursuit of order. Our sheet music archives are in disarray and there may be a cookie in it for you. Anyone wishing to preview their baked goods to a discerning group of paper arrangers . . . . ? See ya there.

MONEY. Make the temperature rise as depicted on the Active Member’s page at hamiltonsings.ca Cash, cheque, pay pal – they all work to making your choir financially healthy. You can sing along with the voice files while you’re there too.

The following is our probable concert list (not yet in concert order) with details courtesy of Sue:

  • Nana – Megrelian lullaby – Nana is an ancient term which is also used to denote “mother”. Lullabies are used not only for helping babies to sleep, but to keeping away evil spirits.
    Additionally, Hanna has something to say about this song “The bake sale will take part of most of the delicious parts, but the chords in Nana are really something scrumptious to sink your teeth into. 🙂 “
  • Solstice Carol – The Wyrd Sisters, arr. B. Whitla
  • Brilliant Stars – Bob Edmonds
  • Ar hyd y nos – Welsh Traditional – we’re singing the lullaby version

(Sue is into the cozy part of hyggelit, with at least two lullabies!)

Continuing concert list with added detail courtesy of Hanna:

  • Kwaheri A traditional Kenyan and Tanzanian farewell song.
  • Solen er så rød, mor A Danish lullaby where a girl or boy talks with their mother and asks a lot of questions as children usually do. The idea is that when evening falls, it is associated with things that a child (or an adult) can be afraid of: darkness, death, evening sounds. In contrast to the “scary things” we have the mother singing to the child and the bright stars, where – in the boy’s imagination – other boys like him are living. (That is: the light and the life in the sky in contrast to the darkness and death in the night.) This is considered a classic among Danish lullabies, written in 1920 by the Danish novelist, playwright and poet, Harald Bergstedt (1877-1965), with music composed by the world-renowned classical composer, Carl Nielsen (1865-1931). We are singing a combined version of Carl Nielsen and Phillip Faber
  • Watching the Apples Grow written by Stan Rogers
  • Me Too by Carol Greene, about the #metoo movement
  • Si mon Moine (maybe, maybe not) Quebequois song

As always, may your feet be dry, your virus at home with you, your perfume still in its bottle, and your chords ready to emit those subtle vibrations.

Cheers

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer




What’s a choir?

Greetings Fellow Songsters:

By now, many of you must already be aware of the many health benefits of singing and participating in a choir. Our group trilling chases away depression, lowers blood pressure, and increases lung capacity. However, it’s easy to forget the most important benefit – FUN! Yep, you and your co-singers are obliged to have a hoot every rehearsal. Don’t forget now.

Remember to keep your eyes on the ball – in this case the ball is either directors Hanna or Sue. There is a particular synergy of sound that comes from our work together and the directors can guide us towards a unified successful presentation. Avoid singing downward into your sheet music binder. Tone, enunciation, and volume are important details that direction can judge better than you because they’re not the ones singing. Duh.

Thanks to all who participated in the recent walkathon. Please get your pledge forms & funds to Tom (our hard-working Treasurer) as soon as possible. If you still have your term fees/donations sitting in your sock drawer, please try to get it to us shortly. We can’t manage the financial planning until we have the funds in hand. Check out the thermometer on the members page and make it overheat I say.

Be aware that if you like to park your automobile on the street beside the west side of the HARRRP building, there’s a 50% chance you’ve chosen the wrong side. Always double-check because parking tickets are oh so painful.

Saturday November 10th – stick around after our rehearsal and lend a hand organizing our sheet music archives. Our tireless.librarian Susan Noakes will appreciate an hour of your time and the more participants, the merrier the endeavor. With luck, someone will bring some cookies . . .

Saturday December 1st, 7pm, Concert and Bake Sale – concert theme is HYGGELIGT – a Danish term for “indulging the senses”. Jenny MacConell will lead the charge as concert coordinatior (thank you!) and a concert set list is in the works – more on that next week.

In closing, I’d like to share a choral joke I just googled:

Question: What’s a choir?

Answer: A group of people who’s singing allows everyone else to lip sync.

Heh. Love you guys.

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer




Brenda’s Back!

Greetings Fellow Choristers:

HYGGELIGT
No, it’s not a burp-sneeze. It’s a Danish word, apparently no equivalent English word exists. The best attempt at a translation I’ve heard so far is “indulging the senses”. And this unpronounceable word is the theme of our upcoming December 1st concert – as we intend to dazzle the senses with our music and baked goods. And you’re part of the action! But we need to get organized. Specifically:

CONCERT COORDINATIOR
We need a volunteer. This esteemed position requires a can-do sort – someone willing to direct the many other volunteers available to perform simple tasks like sell tickets, organize a bake sale table, and poster their neighbourhood. Just report to the entry desk ASAP and you’ll have plenty of others there to support you in your efforts. Volunteers rock.

PAPER SHUFFLE
If you are like me, and get giddy at the idea of perfect order, we need your help about 3 weeks from now, for a sheet music archiving endeavor. We’ve got sheaves of sheet music that requires organization so we can lay our hands on it once more without tearing our hair out. Details to follow soon however it would simply involve 4 or more people hanging out for an hour after practice to shuffle some paper. Paper cuts are a possible hazard but I know you guys are brave. . . . .

WEEKLY PRACTICE
May you arrive no later than 9:45, with dry foot ware, a scent-free personna, and a “me and my co-singers are gonna rock the house this morning” attitude.

WE”RE A COMMUNITY, AFTER ALL
If you have questions or concerns, feel free to send an email to hamiltonsings@gmail.ca. We’re in this together, growing together, messing up and winning together – so let us know your thoughts. Additionally – check out the singing voice files on the member’s page, password is sings!17-20. These voice files can be an invaluable way to practice your part so you can sing with confidence anytime.

FEED THE HAT (and the thermometer)
That magical thermometer on the members page requires your stimulus to grow. Or you can feed the hat upon your arrival at practice. Recommended term fees this fall are $125/participant but whatever you can afford is acceptable. Give it up for the choir! That’s your choir folks!

As always, I look forward to seeing your shining faces this coming Saturday. Hamilton Sings is an exceptional endeavor, and you are all exceptional people.

Hugs.

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer




No rehearsal Easter Weekend!

Good Morning!

Reminder – NO rehearsal tomorrow. We’ll see you all back, hopefully well rested, on October 13th. You’re sounding so wonderful, and we’ll give you folks a chance to “step out” so you can hear the group……we think you’ll be pleased.

“Mind the Gap” – have a look at our Active Members’ Page on our website hamiltonsings.ca/active-members-page/

The Board and Fundraising Committee thought it would be helpful for us to see how we’re doing with our fundraising this term and we have a wonderful thermometer to check it out. We’re hoping to raise $12,000 and we’re already about half way there! Woohoo! We know some of you are still planning to make a contribution through your fees, thanks.

AND there is the “Walk in the Park” Walk-a-thon on Sunday, October 14th from 1:00-5:00 p.m. at Gage Park – you can walk, or sponsor, or get sponsors for a walker. This is also a pot luck social, so come along just to hang out even if you’re not walking.

Our concert is confirmed for Dec. 1st at 7:00 p.m. at HARRRP. More details will be available soon.

Hope you have a beautiful, restful and fun Thanksgiving weekend.

The Board, Hanna & Sue




Reminders & Rewards

Hello all you wonderful singers!

The first two rehearsals have gone really well, and you sound amazing! But why should I be surprised, eh?! Thank you for your joyful participation.

Info – to get onto the Active Members’ Page of our website you need the password, which is XXX.
Hanna’s playlist is up and Carol Greene’s songs.
Please DO NOT listen to, nor practice Solstice Carol – it’s a slower version, and I don’t want you to get comfortable with that pace, as it often becomes a dirge.

Helpful reminders:

  • Please arrive by 9:45 to sign in on Saturdays; we begin promptly at 10:00.
  • Please don’t wear scented products – we don’t work that hard to churn up a sweat!
  • Say hello to someone who is new to you.
  • As said at rehearsal last week, please ONLY use pencil on the choir music and especially DO NOT mark it with highlighter. If this is your preferred way, you are able to make a copy for your own personal use and mark it to your heart’s content. (some music we have had to purchase printed scores from which we can make copies. If we have to replace them it’s more expense to the choir)

Walk-a-thon – Our “Walk in the Park” – Sunday, October 14th at 1:00 in Gage Park, with a pot luck social and singing! Sign up and get sponsors – even a few dollars helps. If you can’t come, speak with Andrea about getting pledges for another walker.
If you have raised $250 in pledges send us an email right away – first one we receive – you’ll have your membership free next term!

Take care out there, and see you Saturday.
Sue




Autumn Details

Welcome back to YOUR choir – our main goals are to have fun while learning music from the many cultures who call Hamilton home.  We also learn about healthy singing AND develop our musical skills, and encourage experienced members to help new folks both with orientation AND their skills.  We endeavour to be a community together…

If you are receiving this email, but shouldn’t be on this list, please let us know – we’ll correct it as soon as possible.
Please bring your name badge back – a suggestion is to tie it into your folder at the end of each rehearsal and it will be there next week.  We’ll have new name tags for new members.
Please return any music from previous terms – a sorting bee will take place after this week’s rehearsal.
Finances – for those of you who are planning to pay for the term we’d like to have any fees in by the end of September – this helps the Board determine how much needs to be raised to cover our costs for the season.
“A Walk in the Park” – our annual walk-a-thon is on Sunday, October 14th at 1:00 p.m. in beautiful Gage Park.  It’s an easy and fun way to meet and get to know other choir members AND raise funds for your choir.  Pot luck munchies before/during/after!  Singing has been known to break out during this event 🎶
You can register to walk and pick up a sponsor sheet at rehearsal.
There is NO rehearsal Oct. 6th – Thanksgiving weekend🌽🍎!
Our winter concert is the evening of Dec. 1st… more details to come.
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!
Sue



Hello Everyone!

Hello everyone!

We hope you’ve had a wonderful summer break and are raring to go and get back together with your friends to sing… we are!!!
Our first rehearsal is this Saturday, Sept. 15th at HARRRP, 705 Main St., East, Hamilton.  Please arrive by 9:45 to sign in and pick up your music.
This is an open rehearsal.  Afterwards registration will be closed for the term, and our contact lists updated to add new members AND move those not returning this term to our Alumni list.
If you plan to come back this term and haven’t already registered, please do so at:
If you’re not sure if you registered, please do so again – we can delete any duplicates 😉
Our fee is $125 for this autumn term, and sliding scale – down and up.
Payment can be made by cash or cheque in person to our treasurer, Tom Ciancone, at rehearsal, online via e-transfer (link on the registration page), or Paypal (please note – we pay about 3% to Paypal, so if you want more of your contribution to go to the choir, please consider one of the other ways).
Folks, this is by the honour system – no one will come asking you about paying – we respect that each of us is in a different place and want to make sure all of us can participate.  Also, you’ll be hearing about our autumn fundraising activity at rehearsal on Saturday…….should be fun, and is literally a walk in the park!
Looking forward to seeing all of you!
Sue & Hanna
Co-conductors



A Concert Well Done!

Congratulations on a concert well done!

My hubby, an unapologetic critic of everything, was unreserved in his praise – “the best concert yet” were his very words. The after-party buzzed with excitement from choristers and audience alike. Pat yourselves on the back – you’re in the choral adult class now.

From where I was standing, it looked like we drew a good crowd. Thanks again to the 5 individuals who took charge of the gift basket initiative. Thanks again to Jenny, our fearless concert co-ordinator, for pulling it all together in the end. Thanks again to our choir directors Hanna and Sue for wringing the best out of our diverse membership. Thanks again to the Hamilton Sings board of directors for putting in the necessary hours on administration and institution building. And ultimately, thanks again to you – you, that lone voice made mighty when united with kindred spirits every Saturday morning.  Adele may be big, but you guys are massive.

We’ve got a last bit of business to take care of before the term really ends . . . . SHEET MUSIC RETURN and social, this Saturday May 5th starting at 10:15 pm at HARRRP. Somebody is bringing some muffins, so bring along your morning coffee and if the mood strikes you, additional snacks to share. We’ll chat about this past term, our current lives, and future terms to come, all while sorting sheaves of music scores. Our librarian Susan looks forward to your assistance. I’ll be hovering with the label-maker in hand – and will need help spelling almost everything.

Hugs to all you fine, fine people,

Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer




Choir Updates

Now on the Site for Choir Members

Click to listen
  • 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
Click to see:
  • Our Fall Fundraising thermometer!