Blog Archives

Major Dates

As we stride towards the finish line, confirmation of our upcoming schedule is at hand:

Saturday April 13th. Rehearsal as usual

Saturday April 20th. Rehearsal CANCELLED. Go chase some bunny rabbits.

Tuesday April 23rd. Evening rehearsal 6:45 pm till 8:45 pm, Delta United Church, 47 Ottawa Street South, upstairs in the Sanctuary room. You must attend if you can, we’ll need the extra time to prepare.

Saturday April 27th. Rehearsal as usual. Perhaps this is also the date for finalization of section gifts baskets? I’ve been collecting flea market wicker baskets all year, so I’ll bring them all in this Saturday. Do not buy any horrific dollar store plastic baskets! No! They’ll just end up swirling around for centuries in the Pacific gyre. . . . . .

Sunday April 28th. Final concert at Christ’s Church Cathedral, 252 James Street North. Concert starts at 3pm, I imagine the doors will open to the public by 2:00 at the latest, and we’ll need to gather for a pre-show warm up, so get your butts, the butts of the volunteers you’ve sourced, and your goodies for the hospitality table, in the building no later than 1:15

Practice makes perfect, so perfect your practice by signing on to the Active Members page and groovin’ to the ever increasing number of voice files available there. Repeat after me, “repetition leads to learning”. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. You get my drift.

You already know Hanna as co-director of Hamilton Sings; however did you know that Hanna is an accomplished performer as well? Hanna will be on stage with Lynne Atkinson and Jamie Sae at Laidlaw United Church (corner of Ottawa and Cannon) this Saturday April 13th at 3:30 pm. Pay what you can.

The Sunshine Singers (non-affiliated with Hamilton Sings) is a group of folks who just can’t get enough singing done. We lead a sing-along of popular tunes at BayWoods Extended Care at 6pm on the last Wednesday of the month. We don’t perform as much as we encourage the residents to participate. It’s totally gratifying to see the joy we cause and we’re always open to more members. We meet this Saturday after rehearsal at HARRRP – come join us!

In closing, just a reminder to invite everyone you know, even those you don’t know yet, to our concert on April 28th. Accost strangers on the street, drag your mad aunt out of the attic, heck, even your parole officer is welcome. We must insist on a standing room only situation. What fun!


Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Singing Spring

Hi Gang

Clues abound that spring has finally shown it’s fresh face; the early buds that gardeners adore, the birdsong, and the neighbours you haven’t seen in months – all signs of winter folding it up for another year. Woo hoo! Similarly, signs exist of the inevitability of our upcoming concert at St. James Cathedral on Sunday April 28th. One of them is our concert set list:

  1. A La Claire Fontaine
  2. Earth Air Fire Water
  3. Merge With The River
  4. The Ghost Of Oak Island
  5. In Een Blauwgeruite
  6. The Water is Wide
  7. Stone and Sand
  8. Homeward Now
  9. Hear the Raindrops Fall
  10. She The Sea

And in the spirit of spring cleaning your house – get your music neat and tidy in concert order in a black, noise reducing folder so we don’t sound like we’re fashioning paper airplanes on stage when we’re shoulder to shoulder.

As spring is a time of renewal – I’ll renew the appeal to you all to put some time into any fundraising effort you can make. We’ve got raffle baskets to fill, advertisers to find for our concert programme, sponsorship ideas to flesh out, and volunteers to source for a multitude of tasks. You can come forward anytime at the front desk or contact the following people directly with your scathingly brilliant ideas:

For the security of getting those coveted concert tickets (remember, we sold out last year!) – click the link below. You can also find this link on the concerts page of


Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Born for the Concert

Hi there folks. . . .

You gotta check out the lovely poster on our web site for the spring concert “Born in the Ocean”.  After this long winter, I can barely remember water exists that’s warm enough to swim in – isn’t it usually slush soiling one’s thin winter boots?  And that colour of blue – you can actually feel the sun blazing through it. Spring’s coming, I’m sure of it now.

Have you approached your favourite local businesses yet for concert programme advertising? You should because:

A)    you’ve supported them, so now it’s time for them to support you (us).

B)    It’s great value – do you know how expensive conventional print advertising is? Eek!

C)   Everyone will sleep better for fostering an estimable community endeavour.

This update contains additional messages from fellow members so in the interests of brevity, I will resist the temptation to prattle on. However, do try to practice when you can, write a cheque for your favourite choir when you can, and scrutinize the Active Members page when you can for valuable information as our concert date draws near.

The following is a message from Tony Carlson:

Sponsorship initiative

Can you help us find new sponsors?

A subcommittee of the board is developing a sponsorship program, aiming to solicit two types of sponsors: 1) general sponsorship of the choir as a whole and 2) specific concert sponsors. Our approach would be to offer different levels up to a maximum of $3,000 for overall sponsorship and up to $1,500 for a concert. Because each approach requires a good deal of research, we want to target organizations that have some demonstrated interest in community building, especially if it involves support for the performing arts. 

Because it’s not what you know but who you know, we are asking any choir member who works for – or knows of – a company that fits that description and would be open to an approach from us to please let us know who to talk to.

We have identified and are contacting about a dozen potential targets, but any help from any chorister would be much appreciated. Please let Tony Carlson know of any ideas you have at

Bill Nesbitt, bass, also has a message for his fellows:

Hello fellow basses!  I wont be at practice on March 30th, but would like to get the ball rolling on our Ghosts of Oak Island” raffle basket.  If this is agreeable, I am happy to fabricate a reasonable facsimile of a Pirate Treasure Chest as our container.  What sort of booty” do you all envisage to fill it with?  Captain Morgan Rum, chocolate coins?  Your ideas will help me determine how big a chest we need!  Let me know by e-mail, and Ill report in person on April 6.  Yarrr!

In closing, what better way to send you on your way but with the calm soothing sounds of your very own choir. Check out this performance of Hanna’s composition “Butterfly”, conducted by Sue at our 2017 spring concert Take note that you will find yourselves performing in this stellar venue in a mere 4 weeks!


Brenda Atkinson

Hamilton Sings Volunteer

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

Choir Updates

Now on the Site for Choir Members

Click to listen
  • Print Your Own Posters & Binder Covers
  • Hear the Raindrops Fall
  • The Earth the Air the Fire the Water: middle sopranos, tenors and high sopranos.
  • The Ghost of Oak Island: recording from a previous practice.
  • The Water is Wide: Full song plus which bars to pay special attention to.
  • 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

Olimometer 2.52