Brenda’s Updates

Ahoy Mateys!

Ahoy Mateys! Ha! And you thought you’d heard the last from me for a while. No rest for a windbag. This Saturday May 4th, from 10:30 till noon, we meet at HARRRP to socialize, pat each other on the back for a successful term, return our sheet music, and hear about planned summer & autumn activities. Come by when you can, bring a snack to share, and help our hard-working choir librarian Sue conquer the paper chaos. Timely return of your sheet music saves us stacks of legal tender in future terms, and prevents regrettable incidents like arousing the interest of a copyright lawyer. Scarier than the meanest pirate. Yar! See you Saturday, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Dear Choristers

Dear Choristers: Our end of season concert is just about upon us – good golly, time flies! And you guys are about to fly to lofty new heights, powered by the music, your months of preparation, and the lift of our community spirit. In order to assist our mutually assured success, the following are some important details to consider: Saturday April 27th – we meet at our usual time of 10:00am, at our ancestral HARRRP home for our dress rehearsal. Those interested in assisting the sing-along tunes should arrive by 9:30 am. Not only will we put in time polishing up our performance pieces, we will construct our raffle baskets – so please remember to bring in your basket contribution(s). Also, perhaps it’s a good idea to consider planning your next day’s food donation to our concert hospitality table. Simple, non-messy, hand-held items work best. Our concert set list has been finalized. Please arrange your sheet music in the following order to help minimize paper shuffling noise: The Earth, Air, Fire, Water Hear the Raindrops Fall The Water is Wide Merge with the River The Ghost of Oak Island Homeward Now She the Sea A la Claire Fontaine In Een Blauwgeruite Kiel Stone and Sand Sunday April 28th – our big day! The concert venue is Christ’s Church Cathedral, 252 James Street North. Concert commences at 3pm, doors open at 2pm. But you guys must be there, in comfortable shoes and preferred garb, for a warm up/sound check at 1:15. Remind your hordes of invited guests that cash is the sole method of payment for our event – have everyone schedule an ATM stop. As well, let them know that there is plenty of parking available on the east side of the cathedral – street parking on James North can be a little elusive (annoying). The road map for the concert is basically: performance starts at 3pm, intermission at 3:40pm ish to allow for hospitality table grazing and raffle ticket purchases, with raffle winner announcements at 4:10pm ish and a sing-a-long, which should take us to around 4:45pm ish? The time lines are a little soft however an end time of no later than 5pm is likely. As Hanna and Sue reminded us this past Tuesday evening – do remember to have some fun. We know the songs, we know each other, we know to keep our eyes trained on musical direction – we’ve got this! Cheers. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Hey Everyone

Hey Everyone In case you missed it – don’t show at HARRRP tomorrow Saturday April 20th as rehearsal is cancelled. It’s too difficult to get all of us together, as many of you are busy with relatives, travel, dinner plans, and/or goofing off on a long weekend. Speaking for myself as a lapsed Catholic, my Easter childhood memories involve an itchy new frock, an overly long church service, and an Easter bonnet seemingly styled to ensure my schoolyard demise. But happily, I’ve clung to the time-worn feast themes of a good home-cooked meal, a noisy gathering of guests, and, well, the chocolate availability is pretty darn good this time of year. Yum. A make-up practice has been scheduled for this coming Tuesday evening, April 23rd, 6:45 to 8:45, at Delta United Church, 47 Ottawa Street South, upstairs in the Sanctuary. Please, oh please, try to make it – we’re sounding sooooo good, and it would be great to keep our momentum going. The Saturday April 27th rehearsal at HARRRP is our “dress rehearsal” – the last one before our Sunday April 28th 3pm final concert at Christ’s Church Cathedral. Also, the dress rehearsal is the date chosen for the soprano and alto sections to finalize their raffle baskets – not sure what the tenor/bass sections are up to but I’m keen to see everyone’s final efforts. It’s really quite amazing what wonders collective intelligence can bring about – you guys are awesome. Oh, and on concert day, wear whatever makes you feel fabulous – anything goes, but do try to get your sheet music into a black noise-muffling folder. As we’ll be standing for our concert’s duration,  comfortable shoes are highly recommended – you want to be shifting with the musical beat, not your arch pain. Bob Edmonds, our faithful Hamilton Sings webmaster, has uploaded numerous additional voice files (courtesy of Hanna and Sue) to the Active Members Page at hamiltonsings.ca. You can now sing along with; Hear The Raindrops Fall, The Earth The Air The Fire, Ghost of Oak Island, The Water is Wide, She The Sea, and Stone and Sand. Additionally, you can print off those beautiful blue concert posters to paper your neighbourhood, as well as a binder copy to adorn your sheet music folder. About a century ago, I was besotted with a boy who had eyes that colour of blue. Oh, will he Sea me? Sigh. Both Hanna and Sue mention this final detail often, and I’m going to echo it, because it’s very far from trivial: you must, must, must, keep your eyes trained on musical direction at all times. No matter how perfect our pitch, pristine our vowels, or measured our air – we must be unified in our delivery. We can only be unified by keeping our eyes up and focused on Sue/Hanna. If not, we cancel each other out and sound like white noise, rather than the warm, focused choir we’re increasingly successful at being. Believe it or not – you guys are totally up for this! Did I say awesome already? Enjoy your weekend and see you all Tuesday. Cheers Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

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 hamiltonsings.ca 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! Cheers, 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: A La Claire Fontaine Earth Air Fire Water Merge With The River The Ghost Of Oak Island In Een Blauwgeruite The Water is Wide Stone and Sand Homeward Now Hear the Raindrops Fall 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 volunteers, contact concert manager Jen McConnell at jennifermcconnell42@gmail.com For sponsorship initiatives, contact Tony Carlson at aetcarlson@gmail.com For anything and all else, contact board members at hamiltonsings@gmail.com 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 hamiltonsings.ca https://www.bruha.com/event/4514 Cheers 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 hamiltonsings.ca 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 aetcarlson@gmail.com. Bill Nesbitt, bass, also has a message for his fellows: Hello fellow basses!  I won’t 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 I’ll report in person on April 6.  Yarrr!  bill_nesbitt@sympatico.ca 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 vimeo.com/326358079. Take note that you will find yourselves performing in this stellar venue in a mere 4 weeks! Cheers, 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: Volunteer Contact jennifermcconnell42@gmail.com 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. Practice 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. Fundraise 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 hamiltonsings.ca 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. Cheers, 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 jennifermcconnell42@gmail.com 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.  http://www.startribune.com/minnesota-beer-choir-combines-love-of-suds-and-singing-zero-talent-is-required/435694203/ 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 hamiltonsings.ca? 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. Cheers 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 hamiltonsings.ca 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 http://hamiltonsings.ca/active-members-page/ 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

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 hamiltonsings.ca 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. Cheers 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 hamiltonsings.ca 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: HEAR THE RAINDROPS FALL. LIKE A VOICE THEY CALL. URGING ME TO GO. FROM THIS LAND I KNOW. TO A PLACE THAT’S FAR. LIKE SOME DISTANT STAR. SHALL I GO AND FOLLOW? SHALL I LEAVE TOMORROW? 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. Thanks, 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 hamiltonsings.ca 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. Cheers Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Here Comes the Big Day

Hi Gang Just a quick few reminders regarding tomorrow, the big day. . . Concert Playlist Order. Please have your music in concert order and encased in a noise reducing folder, preferably black. Remember to keep your eyes glued on Hanna/Sue. And the song order is: Nana Solen er sa rod, mor. Me Too Solstice Carol Hymn 23 – Ar Hyd Y Nos Brilliant Stars Watching The Apples Grow Kwaheri Time Lines We meet for rehearsal as usual tomorrow at 10:00 am. After rehearsal we’ll get the joint decorated with all the lovely stuff you’ve brought. For those last minutes types ( I count myself among you), we’re looking for white light strings and preferably red/white cozy throws for chair festooning. If at all possible, bring your baked goods with you to allow for pricing and placement ahead of time. We return at 6pm sharp for a pre-concert warm up. Doors open at 6:30 pm and concert commences at 7pm. Concert volunteers would be wise to gather at 5:30 to allow time for any last minute issues like late incoming baked goods (you can count me in on that too, I’ll be chained to my stove in the afternoon) and decor tweaks. Additionally, we need about 6 containers that can serve as cash boxes. I’m fully expecting you’ll put as much heart and soul into your baking as you do your singing. Whenever I bake, I recall the warm of my grandmother’s kitchen. She was a WW1 nursing sister and a perfect stand in for a classic grandmother – hugging her was like getting wrapped up in an eiderdown comforter. She also baked relentlessly and shared her goodies with all who were lucky enough to be invited into her house. And she managed this with a wood-burning stove. So tomorrow kids, we’re gonna go grandmother, we’re gonna go cozy, we’re gonna go Hyggeligt! Cheers Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Our Concert Looms Large

Salutations Singers All As our concert looms large, please consider the following details to ensure our collective success: Music Folders. Get one, preferably black. Not only will you be able to keep your music neat and in concert order, you’ll avoid annoying our audience with the unattractive sound of 70 odd pieces of paper flapping in the breeze. The Dollar Store stocks a simple black folder with vinyl inserts for a buck ninety-nine. Attire. Wear whatever makes you feel like the romantic magnet you are. Be especially careful about comfortable shoes because you’ll be on your feet for awhile. Time lines. On December 1st we meet for our usual rehearsal at 10am. We will warm up at 6pm that same evening. Doors open at 6:30 to your adoring public. Concert starts at 7pm. Baked goods. Bring ‘em. Jennifer will take care of pricing but do include an ingredients list if possible. Remember to bring your contributions towards decorations tomorrow. The color theme is red/white and we’re looking for lights and throw rugs. Cozy, fuzzy wuzzy, comfy, snuggle up with your favourite person sort of things. Make sure to label your contribution so it makes its way back to you. Solen tracks are now available on the Active Members Page for eleventh hour home practice. If cheque writing isn’t your thing, we now have the capability to accept e-transfers directly without the hindrance of a password. Tom Ciancone, Treasurer, will gratefully accept your generous donations at treasurer.hamiltonsings@gmail.com Hopefully you’ve already plastered our lovely posters throughout your neighbourhood, and the only challenges we’ll face are a capacity crowd and sold out baked goods. See ya tomorrow. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

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: http://hamiltonsings.ca/membership/ 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

Illuminated by a Fierce Light!

Hey Gang.  Spring has sprung and I just finished a walk through Laking Gardens. Saw a blue heron, a red-winged blackbird, a red-headed woodpecker, and almost got mugged by a flock of chickadees. Here’s the choir current events  – now illuminated by a fierce light! DRESS REHEARSAL SATURDAY APRIL 28TH at 8:45 a.m., Christ’s Church Cathedral, 252 James Street North (near Barton)., church parking as well as city lot parking are available on the east side of the Church on Hughson St.  Of course you’ll  have your music in a non-noisy folder and in concert order. Test-drive your shoes for comfort, as there’s no sitting down for you buddy. HAMILTON SINGS SPRING CONCERT “FIERCE LIGHT”, Christ’s Church Cathedral, Sunday April 29th, 1:00 p.m arrival for choir members, warm-up starts at 1:15, doors for public at 2:15, concert start at 3pm, $10/person or $30 family of 3+, sliding scale Wear those comfortable shoes you tested out Saturday and don whatever makes you feel like God’s gift to the world. Make sure you’ve needled your friends and family to bring cash so they can invest mightily in our gift basket raffle items. POST-CONCERT RECEPTION MENU Here’s hoping all of you can make a contribution of some non-messy, hand held munchies, to be shared with attendees at our post-concert reception. Don’t forget that not all of us have a sweet tooth, so savory items are as much appreciated as your Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. Including an ingredients list can also make life easier for those of us with allergies/intolerances. We will not be offering any beverage service; however guests are permitted to bring along a bottle of something… But leave the hooch at home! Additionally – and this is important – please be prepared to take any leftovers, as well as the containers they came in, HOME WITH YOU. We’d like this to be a zero-imprint event for the generous souls who maintain the cathedral. MAY 5TH SOCIAL AND SHEET MUSIC RETURN After 10:30 am, debrief with your fellow singers while adding to the librarian’s workload, feel free to bring along some munchies to share See you all bright and early at the cathedral tomorrow. Cheers! Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Concert Time Draws Near

Well folks, concert time draws very near. Are you pumped yet? We’ve got a lot to do, read on: 1.      Voice files. Use ‘em. Internalize those elusive words, pitches, and beats. 2.      Music folders. Get ‘em. And put those sheets in the concert order (subject to change) as follows: Sho Sholosa 1,2,1,(fun rote exercise) Panther Minun Kultani Kaunas On Tourdion Ver Mee O The Trees of the Field Come, Love Away The Sun Comes (Morning Time) Matlakala Sumer Is Icumen In Sho Sholosa (reprise) 3.  Gift baskets. Fill ‘em. Keep in mind that an itemized list of the baskets’ contents will need to be on hand. I’m bringing the wicker baskets tomorrow for sure. 4.  Hand-held treats for post-concert reception. Make ‘em. Both savory and sweet are good! 5.  Concert volunteers, We need ‘em. The following is a rough list of the tasks involved: Reception/Ushers – say hi to concert goers and point them in the right direction Ticket sellers – take the dough and distribute concert programs Raffle ticket sellers – take more dough and talk up those beauties on the raffle table Hospitality table – set up the goodies for the reception, then tear down. Try to remind your invited guests to bring that old-fashioned thing called CASH. In this age of digital commerce, people tend to rely solely on their bank cards. Ask anybody who lived through the Quebec ice storm a few years back what happens when the grid goes down… Be aware that street parking beside HARRRP has switched to the east side of St. Clair. You don’t want to give your hard won money to parking infraction officers – why do all those guys bear an uncanny resemblance to Gollum? Precious… Methinks the red red robins are finally, finally, bob bob bobbin’ along. Whoo hoo! Cheers, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Creative Alto Ideas

Hi Y’all How are the concert gift baskets going? Can’t speak for everyone but I was privy to some impressively creative ideas in the alto section last week. Just a reminder that I have been collecting wicker baskets over the past year and will bring them in for everyone’s use this Saturday. Please don’t buy any of that cheapo dollar store plastic stuff – it’ll add to the Pacific gyre dump sooner than you can say Trump’s a doofus. Please take the time to organize your sheet music in the current concert order, preferably in a black, paper-noise reducing folder. Here’s the list (subject to change): Sho Sholosa 1,2,1,(fun rote exercise) Panther Minun Kultani Kaunas On Tourdion Ver Mee O The Trees of the Field Come, Love Away The Sun Comes (Morning Time) Matlakala Sumer Is Icumen In Sho Sholosa (reprise) Here come’s a calendar again – the beat goes on: Friday April 20th, evening,  Hamilton Sings! has been invited to perform at Cinquefoil at Church of St. John the Evangelist, Locke and Charlton, this is an ticketed evening event and details for those who have signed up will be emailed to you separately, in the meantime you can check it out at  http://www.rockonlocke.ca/cinquefoil1 Saturday April 28th, 9:00 a.m., concert dress rehearsal at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James North – no going to HARRP that day folks! Sunday April 29th, 3pm, our term-end concert entitled “Fierce Light”, at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James Street North, $10 at the door (CASH please), $30 for a family of 3 or more, or sliding scale, invite your extended family, neighbourhood, and entire social circle if you wish. We’ll more than likely fill the house, so come early! This will also allow time for concert goers to invest in our soon to be constructed raffle baskets. Friday June 15th, evening, Sidewalk Sounds on Concession, Andrea will contact everyone as arrangements develop. Sorry to those counting on it however we’ve decided to postpone a blueberry order as we already have our hands full with everything else. You can only juggle so many obligations before one drops – and a bag of blueberries would make a heck of a mess. Heh. And… this link https://www.thespec.com/events/8386465–fierce-light/ is for our Hamilton Spectator listing of our upcoming concert. Feel free to forward it to friend and foe alike. See youse guys tomorrow. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

AGM is a cumen in!

Hello Choristers Tomorrow’s rehearsal is significant for 2 reasons; it’s one of the 4 remaining rehearsals prior to our final concert of April 29 AND is our Annual General Meeting (AGM) of 2018. A few words from the board for your consideration: The AGM will start at 10:00 a.m. sharp and hope springs eternal that we can wade through the agenda by 10:30 a.m.. Print off the AGM package sent to you on March 13th or save some trees by sharing a copy with your neighbour. Elections will be held for 2 board vacancies. Feel free to nominate yourself – the Alto section is currently under-represented on the board. WE NEED A CONCERT CO-ORDINATOR! This individual will oversee the ushers, box office, concert reception, and gift basket raffle. You’ll have plenty of people pitching in, so don’t be shy – let your control freak tendencies shine, whoever you are. A fundraising letter has been made available on the hamiltonsings.ca web site for downloading. Members can download and customize to suit for approaching particular businesses. The blueberries are a cumen in! Actual delivery date is still up in the air (April 28th or May 5th) but at $20 per 2k bag of frozen wild Nova Scotia goodness, you’ll be treating yourself to some anti-oxidant deliciousness while contributing handsomely to your favourite choir’s financial well-being. A very healthy choice for all concerned. Orders can still be placed by email request to info@hamiltonsings.ca or track down Jill Detlor (that raven-haired soprano you’ve always wanted to meet). In closing, I just want to remind you (and myself), that one should not get too distracted by the details above. Administration is always a necessity however one should not linger too long on it. Rather, we gather every Saturday morning with the simple idea of raising our voices together in song as one community with one voice. I know I speak for many when I say that I look forward to our Saturday mornings as an oasis of calm and meditative focus in a world that seems to be increasingly noisy and discordant. Breathe folks, breathe. One must always remember to sing in the shower. Cheers, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Easter Greetings

Howdy Folks: Okay, so I slept in today… Lent is almost over after all… Calendar considerations abound… read on: Tomorrow, Saturday March 31st, rehearsal cancelled, the only creatures at HARRRP to greet you will be old church mice and dust bunnies. Happy Easter, Passover, and welcome springtime! Sunday April 1st, noon, deadline for blueberry interest, submit the google form as sent earlier this week or express your commitment with an email to info@hamiltonsings.com. $20 for a 2 Kilo bag of frozen Nova Scotian goodness, delivery on Saturday April 28th if demand warrrents April Tuesdays (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th) choral workshop series, 7-9pm, Delta United Church, $80 or sliding scale, new songs with tips on healthy vocal function and improving music skills Saturday April 7th, 10 a.m.,  Annual General Meeting (AGM) followed by our usual rehearsal until 12:30 pm Friday April 20th, evening, we’ve been invited to participate in a ticketed event called Cinquefoil at Church of St. John the Evangelist, Locke and Charlton, sign up sheets at front desk or drop info@hamiltonsings.ca a line. Saturday April 28th, 9:00 a.m., concert dress rehearsal at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James North – no going to HARRP that day folks! Wear what ever makes you feel fabulous, choose supportive shoes, and house your score sheets in a noise-reducing black folder in concert order. Sunday April 29th, 3pm, our term-end concert entitled “Fierce Light”, at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James Street North, we’ll need to assemble earlier than 3, and many of you will find yourselves involved in pre-concert preparations – more details to come as things take shape. Friday June 15th, evening, Sidewalk Sounds on Concession, a street-performance opportunity. Take note of the following developments courtesy of Andrea : Hi all you fabulous Choristers. In the words of the “prez” they’re really excited to have us there, and will give us an exact location closer to the date. Takes place from 6-9pm. – relax, we’re not singing for three hours – June15th.  Why don’t you send us your favourite songs – doesn’t have to be part of our repertoire, though we’ll do those too. But they must be easily teachable that we can have our audience sing along with us. (“Row Row Row your Boat” not an option).  Send me your emails so I can reply direct, without missing anyone.  Will ask Brenda to send this out to the whole Choir with my apologies to anyone I have missed.  Thanks to all those who signed up.     Andrea Take note that our Treasure Tom Ciancone continues to rest up after eye surgery but his fellow board member Terri is happy to accept any donations that are crowding your wallet. Here’s hoping that everyone has a plan for scoring a contribution for our fundraising concert gift baskets, that you continue to pester your descendants, predecessors, and neighbours to volunteer for our concert, and you check into the Active Members Page occasionally for some fun practice. We’re still on the hunt for a “concert coordinator” – someone who can oversee all the folks eager to make a contribution to the success of our final concert.This person does not have to be a Hamilton Sings member.  Have a chat with Sue soon to see what’s involved. Trillingly yours, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Salut Sublime Singers All

Salut Sublime Singers All: Just like your life outside the choir, the Hamilton Sings calendar of events keeps expanding like the universe. May Stephen Hawking rest in peace: Saturday March 31st, rehearsal cancelled, prepare to eat too much while arguing politics with your annoying brother-in-law April Tuesdays (3rd, 10th, 17th, 24th) choral workshop series, 7-9pm, Delta United Church, $80 or sliding scale, new songs with tips on healthy vocal function and improving music skills, sign up today! I attended the Voice 101 workshop this past Tuesday and now know why we “Ah” and “Hoo” for warmups, as well as other valuable insights into the instrument that’s been invisible to me my entire life. Terrifically informative. Saturday April 7th, 10 a.m.,  Annual General Meeting (AGM) followed by our usual rehearsal until 12:30 pm, you’ll get to elect a couple of board members, peruse pieces of paper called minutes and by-laws, and other fun stuff. Friday April 20th, evening, we’ve been invited to participate in a ticketed event called Cinquefoil at Church of St. John the Evangelist, Locke and Charlton, more details to follow however check out the following link for more info http://www.rockonlocke.ca/cinquefoil1 Saturday April 28th, 9:00 a.m., concert dress rehearsal at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James North – no going to HARRP that day folks! Sunday April 29th, 3pm, our term-end concert entitled “Fierce Light”, at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James Street North, we’ll need to assemble earlier than 3, and many of you will find yourselves involved in pre-concert preparations – more details to come as things take shape. Friday June 15th, evening, Sidewalk Sounds on Concession, a street-performance opportunity with a whole bunch of fun involved, more on this shortly The concert gift basket raffle themes will be selected by the 5 volunteers (Are you one of them? You’re making your mama proud….) this Saturday. Hanna and Sue have cooked up some themes based on this term’s music and will ask these esteemed volunteers to pick one out of a hat. Good luck all. Your co-chorister Caroline would like to start up a Friday afternoon coffee social. Time and place to be determined. Interested? Contact carof@cogeco.ca Adieu Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Have you been doing your homework?

Hi There: Have you guys been doing your homework? For myself, I’ve spent some time with my headphones on, deliberately daring the soprano from the Drakensberg Boys Choir to distract me from my correct alto starting note for Sho Sholosa. I’m almost at the point where hearing the higher note automatically causes the lower one to spring into my challenged little brain – is that a Pavlovian response? Where’s my reward? Not having to think so much about it and just letting the notes flow is truly satisfying. Don’t be shy about having to ask for the password to the web site Active Members Page if you have not yet paid it a visit. Continuing calendar considerations besides our usual Saturday morning rehearsals: Tuesday March 20th at 7:00 p.m., Delta United Church, a special workshop called Voice 101 – what’s that instrument called you?, led by Sue, $20 or sliding scale Saturday March 31st, rehearsal cancelled, as you’ll be too busy making, eating, or traveling to,  Easter weekend feasts Saturday April 7th, 10:00 a.m.,  Annual General Meeting followed by our usual rehearsal until 12:30 pm Friday April 20th, evening, we’ve been invited to participate in a ticketed event called Cinquefoil at Church of St. John the Evangelist, Locke and Charlton, more details to follow however check out the following link for more info http://www.rockonlocke.ca/cinquefoil1 Saturday April 28th, 9:00 a.m., our dress rehearsal is at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James Street North, so no sleeping in for you buddy. Sunday April 29th, 3:00 p.m., our term-end concert entitled “Fierce Light”, at Christ’s Church Cathedral on James Street North.  3:00 p.m. is the start time for the actual concert; however we will probably need to assemble earlier – more on that in the coming weeks. Please don’t hesitate to come forward with your brilliant ideas regarding a gift basket theme for your section. Additionally, let your shiftless relatives know that they have a commitment to volunteer for concert duty on April 29th. Not only will they be making a valuable contribution to a grassroots musical community – they’ll enjoy the timeless gift of your performance, you songster you. Best Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Practice at Delta United on March 10

Hey Gang: We will raise our voices (in a good way) together at Delta United Church 9:45 a.m., 47 Ottawa Street South, this Saturday March 10th NOT at our usual HARRRP haunt. Give yourself extra time if you are unfamiliar with the area, building, and street-only parking opportunities. Voice 101 – what’s that instrument called you all about? led by our tireless choir leader Sue, will be held at Delta United Church, Tuesday March 20th, at 7pm. $20 or sliding scale. Spots are limited but availability still exists – sign up at the front desk or send hamiltonsings.ca an email. This is a great opportunity to learn more about what’s actually going on inside that black box called you. I mean, why does it sometime feel that me, an alto, can only manage a bass pitch and other times I can sing like a sweet soprano? Why can I sometimes hit notes easily in a certain key and other times it feels like I’ve got a ligature around my neck? it can’t just be the weather… I’m keen to find out more on that, um, score. Speaking of sweet sopranos, have you visited Hanna’s recent YouTube playlist? That lad from the Drakensberg Boy’s Choir doing the soprano part of Shosholoza made my heart ache – you gotta check it out. Here’s the link once more… https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLumYyrDbeZb5XyeY7EZnblIht-YNylQkc Saturday March 31st rehearsal is cancelled, go on an Easter egg hunt instead… Saturday April 7th, annual General Meeting at 10 a.m. with rehearsal to follow. More details as the date draws near . . . . . . Sunday April 29th is our end-of-term concert at Christ’s Church Cathedral. Attendance at the last 2 rehearsals prior to the concert date is mandatory for concert participation. Concert details and ticket information will be made available in the coming weeks. Make sure you let your extended family, neighbours, co-workers, and local shopkeepers know to set that date aside – da place will be jumpin’ and dee people too! See y’all at Delta tomorrow. Salut Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Brenda’s First Limerick

Salutations Fellow Singers:  At the risk of sounding like my grade 7 mathematics teacher – have you been doing your homework?  Log on to hamiltonsings.ca and become familiar with the Active Members Page voice files. I find if I listen with headphones and sing along while cupping my hands in front of my face, the sound I make travels back into my eardrums and when I get resonance – I’ve got it! Additionally, cupping hands in front of one’s face spares the neighbours, the house pets, and one’s beloved from this educational adventure. Repetition leads to learning they say – can’t repeat that enough, though I may be risking annoying at least one person by saying so. Repeat after me – Ssfooir may ol-us air muh ggawn. Now sing this phrase in key whilst tapping your belly button and jumping up and down. Wah-hoo, you’ve got it now!  You can still sign up for Voice 101: what’s that instrument called You?, led by our choir leader Sue – a one session investigation into what takes place when singing, that will be held at Delta United Church this coming Tuesday March 6th at 7pm. $20 or sliding scale  This Saturday’s rehearsal will be a continuance of our efforts this term to practice, refine, and prepare ourselves for our April 29th concert at Christ’s Church Cathedral. I’ve noticed that concert volunteers continue to check in – thank you! You’re an elite group of community-minded individuals and I’m tickled pink to know you. Feel free to add your name to the concert volunteer list if you have not yet done so. All welcome.  I don’t really have much else to say at this point but will close with my first attempt at a limerick:  There once was an alto from Hamilton Who annoyed a bass with her shamble-ing The bass raised his head And the alto said instead “Who are you to judge my dancing?” Thanks for listening… Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer P.S. Just got word from Sue that she has suffered a viral relapse and will not be well enough to conduct the workshop this coming Tuesday. Therefore: Voice 101 – that instrument called you, will be postponed until Tuesday March 20th, 7pm, Delta United Church. Sorry for any inconvenience this causes, but viruses can be so thoughtless. Additionally, Hanna would like you all to follow this link to a YouTube playlist that merits your attention: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLumYyrDbeZb5XyeY7EZnblIht-YNylQkc

Eight More Rehearsals

Dearest Choristers Been dilly-dallying with the voice files on the hamiltonsings.ca Active Members Page yet? We have a total of 8 more rehearsals until our April 29th end of term concert. A mere 8. Gulp. Learning new languages can be a big challenge for most of us. However, it’s amazing what happens when you put in a mere 5 minutes a day into your practice rather than waiting for that one free hour on one particular day. As a budding ukelele player, I find myself continually amazed at how I can seem hopelessly incompetent at some particular maneuver over a series of weeks only to wake up one morning and find myself successfully doing it. Synapse formed at last. It’s a very gratifying feeling. Once you find yourself trilling like an Irish maiden, toasting each other in French, and welcoming summer like a Middle English peasant, you’ll notice how comfortable you’ve become with these formerly strange syllables and marvel at how far you’ve travelled. As reading a good story can open a door into an otherwise unreachable world, singing songs of other times and cultures serves to enrich our contemporary selves and add contour to our daily lives. So, don’t despair if you’re still chewing on your own tongue – you’ll get there! Calendar Considerations: Monday February 26th, FUNDRAISERS MEETING, 7pm at HARRRP or nearby, all welcome Tuesday February 27th – EMBODY MUSIC – music and movement, 3rd of 3 sessions, 7pm at Delta United Church, $20 or sliding scale Tuesday March 6th – VOICE 101 – what’s that instrument called you all about anyway?, 1 session only, 7pm at Delta United Church, $20 or sliding scale Saturday March 10th – we have rehearsal at Delta United Church NOT HARRRP Saturday March 31st – no rehearsal, Easter bunny hops . . . . . . Sunday April 29th – final afternoon concert at Christ’s Church Cathedral Did you know volunteering cures acne, incontinence, broken bones, and stuttering? Well, it doesn’t, but I know I have your attention now. We will need someone to lead the charge for our final concert organization and marshall the troops (your fellow volunteers). Keep in mind as well that indolent children (with or without acne) in need of volunteer hours can do their duty for us as well. Stand up, stand up today! Exhortingly yours. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Let’s Get Organized!

Greetings All With a mere 11 weeks to go before our surely stellar April 29th concert at Christ’s Church cathedral, we have some details to consider. As Oprah exhorts – let’s get organized! Hamilton Sings is your community organization and as such, relies entirely on the material largesse of your contributions in funds and/or fundraising activities to support its activities. The April concert is a source of considerable support and we need warm bodies to attend to the tasks involved: poster making, ticket sales, raffle basket production, hospitality table, etc. And as always – many hands make light work. So, if you want to step up to the plate, reveal yourself ( or the friends/family you’ve conscripted) at the front desk soon. In the meantime, Tom the Treasurer is always willing to accept your donations and the weekly 50/50 draw awaits you. Embody Music, Hanna’s 3-Tuesdays workshop, integrating movement & rhythms to develop musical confidence, commences this Tuesday February 13th, 7pm – 8:30pm at Delta United Church. $60 or sliding scale. Sign up sheets at the front desk or drop hamiltonsings.ca a line. Don’t hesitate as spaces are limited. Voice 101, lead by Sue, follows on Tuesday March 6th, giving you a practical overview of how that instrument called you actually works. $20 or sliding scale. Thought I would share this little tidbit I discovered on the University of Oxford web site: “In an age where many of our social interactions are conducted remotely via Twitter and Facebook, singing is effective for bonding large groups, making it an ideal behaviour to improve our broader social networks… Singing is particularly beneficial for improving breathing, posture and muscle tension.” So if you’re tempted to skip rehearsal this Saturday to line up for that deal at the mall – for the sake of your mental and physical health – don’t do it! Hummingly yours, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Music Workshops

We’re pleased to be offering the following workshops on upcoming Tuesdays, all starting at 7:00 p.m., at Delta United Church, 47 Ottawa St., South. Embody Music – Feb. 13, 20 & 27 – a three week workshop lead by Hanna Bech Mathieson on playing with and integrating music, movement, rhythms – develops musical confidence! Cost is $60 (i.e. $20 per day) and is sliding scale – slides up, as well as down 😉 Due to requirements for movement the number of spaces is limited, so sign up ASAP. Voice 101 – March 5 – a one week workshop lead by Sue Crowe Connolly giving you a practical overview of how our voices actually work – dispelling myths and providing healthy, functional ideas for singing. Cost is $20, also sliding scale. To register, send an Email to: hamiltonsings@gmail.com Specify which workshop, or both. Thanks, Sue & Hanna

Sumer is Cumen In

Hi There: As I write this missive By The Glow of The Kerosene Light, how many shades of brown and grey are there in Southern Ontario during the dreaded month of February? The landscape is bleak enough, so why does everyone have to wear black, brown, and grey overcoats? You’d think we’d all dress up like peacocks to make up for it. I guess colorful plumage does not absorb scant heat as well as homespun dark wool. Sumer is Cumen In not soon enough. Sigh. . . . Thank heavens for Saturday mornings! Nothing like a community sing-a-long to put the wind in your sails, the color in your cheeks, and warm your chilly February blood like a stalking Panther’s. Though sleeping in is my second favourite Saturday morning activity, I gladly welcome the sight of those Bright Morning Stars in order to join you all in song. Update your calendars with this info: Yes. We rehearse Saturday February 19th (Family Day Weekend) Yes. We rehearse Saturday March 10th but make your way to the Delta United Church at 47 Ottawa Street South instead. No. We don’t rehearse Saturday March 31st (Easter) Yes. End of Term Concert Date is Sunday April 29th at Christ’s Church Cathedral (It will be spring then, with Tourdion in the streets!) Do you know where the voice files are? At hamiltonsings.ca, Active Members page. You can also view the choir’s most recent financial statements in anticipation of the upcoming Annual General Meeting. If you’re a techno-peasant like me and are forever forgetting or losing passwords, feel no shame and just ask at the front desk on Saturday. Another great resource is that fetching co-chorister sitting near you. A choir buddy can help you catch up on what you missed when the outside world drags you away from our musical embrace. As always, may your feet be dry, your beverage containers not a future addition to the Pacific gyre, and your voices ready to rise. See y’all Saturday. Cheers, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Whipped Cream

Hello Fellow Crooners Have you visited the Active Members Page at hamiltonsings.ca yet? Just took a peek myself this week and was delighted to see that both the music and the pronunciation of Sumer Is Icumen In have been added. I’m a fairly bright light when it comes to some things, but absorbing unfamiliar phonetics is not one of my strengths – now I can take remedial action – thanks Sue and Bob! And speaking about active membership – were you aware that you’re in kahoots with a not-for-profit registered Ontario charity called Hamilton Sings? And will be called upon sometime soon to vote for your board of directors? The Annual General Meeting date will be announced soon and it is dearly hoped that all of you will participate. No electoral college at work here folks – one participant equals one vote. If only it was this simple elsewhere… Can whoever was given a folder of music a couple of weeks back that was deemed lost and not to be found, back to the front desk this Saturday? It’s rightful owner has surfaced and would deeply appreciate its return. It might be a wise practice for everyone to label their own music folder with their name, like you might have done long ago in kindergarten. You could even have fun with an alias. Why be plain old Jane Doe when you could be Janis Tremolo or The Divine Jane? I’ll be at the front desk this Saturday morning with a label maker for those requiring assistance. We’ve got some music folders for sale too, and the mere $5 it will cost you goes straight to the choir. May your shoes be dry, your beverages in non-spill refillable containers, and your voices as lightly rich as whipped cream. Cheers Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer —

DOs and DON’Ts

Welcome Fellow Choristers Saturday January 20th will be our second rehearsal of the winter term and yet another beginning of our musical adventure together. Choir leaders Sue and Hanna, the Hamilton Sings board, as well as alumni, would like to extend an especially warm welcome to those new to this endeavour. Fresh faces cannot help but add new energy and ideas to our musical community called Hamilton Sings. Feel free to reach out to any one of your fellow singers for assistance – that’s what a community does. ‘Nuff said. Hamilton Sings keeps afloat due to member generosity by way of donations and/or fundraising. I’ll be more than happy to introduce you and your checkbook to our hard-working Treasurer Tom. Additionally, if you’re wondering what to do with your unwanted Christmas gifts – save them for our final concert gift basket fundraiser. Re-gifting never felt so good. Please take note of the following list of dos and don’ts . . . . . DO arrive by 9:45 to allow time for check in and a chin wag before 10 a.m, rehearsal start. DON’T bring wet boots past the entry mats but DO bring along some spare dry foot ware. DON’T come bearing a flu virus – if you’re sick, stay away! We love you but . . . DO bring a non-spill refillable container of your morning coffee and/or water. DO make use of the private members page vocal files at hamiltonsings.ca for home practice, password is private, but DON’T share this information with anyone. DON’T make your fellow singers’ eyes water with scented personal care products – you’re as fresh as a rose without that stuff. And lastly, you MUST remember to have fun and enjoy yourself. Is the sky going to fall if you’re off-key? Will a hydro-electric dam fail if you’re a rhythm laggard? Surely not. But a butterfly’s wings will gain just a little more lift due to your music making Saturday mornings – I’m certain of it. Best to all. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Details on December 2nd Concert

Hi folks, Your team of Susan Noakes, Shirley Nigh, Kate Oxley and me are pleased to be helping to co-ordinate events on Saturday, Dec. 2nd The layout of the day is: to arrive and set up at 9:30, choir warm up at 10:00, open our doors at 10:30, shop & visit Concert & Sing-a-long at 11:00 shop & visit some more after that 1:30 – done and out   (we have extended time!) Bake Table – Shirley Nigh is taking the lead on this – please sign up to let us know you’re bringing baked goods – there will be one cashier for this table. Craft Table(s) – Susan Noakes has as sign up sheet at the back of the church on Saturday.  Please sign up if you are planning on bringing crafts – and please be prepared to staff your table (or find a partner), and manage your own float/cashier.  There is no charge for a table, and we ask that you be willing to contribute 50% of your profits…..thanks! We won’t be having a 50/50. Kate and I will be organising someone for the door to receive donations, give out song books, and other miscellaneous stuff.  Also, a few volunteers to clean up afterwards are needed, so please plan to stay to help……many hands…… Please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have questions, thoughts. Thanks!  Happy baking & stitching, painting, knitting, crocheting……and so on 🙂 Sue

Blueberry Deliveries Next Saturday

Good Morning Fellow Songsters Ordered your blueberries yet? Jill will be more than happy to take your money tomorrow – last chance! A mere $20 bucks for a 2.2K bag of Nova Scotian deliciousness – don’t hesitate or you’ll heave a sigh and wish you hadn’t.  Delivery takes place next Saturday November 18th at noon, so bring along some sort of insulated wrapping to keep those blue jewels in good condition. November 18th and November 25th are the last 2 rehearsals before our end of term concert, bake, and craft sale on December 2nd. These same rehearsals are mandatory if you wish to participate in the concert itself. Have you committed your husbands/wives/offspring to a volunteer role yet? Do it now I say! You also still have time to crochet something . . . . I’ve just recently learned that a flock of starlings is called a “murmuration”. You know, like a flock of crows is called a “murder” or chickadees a “banditry”. So what would be a good word for our flock? We people, who gather together Saturday mornings to let fly our voices in collective pitch, melody, and harmony? The question has been running around my poor little head all week and I think I’ve finally found it – the word is “undulation”. Whatcha think? Here’s to you guys. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Blueberry News

Good Morning Fellow Choristers Do you have any idea how tasty your morning oatmeal will be, now that you have the opportunity to garnish it with succulent, wild Nova Scotia-grown blueberries? You must pre-pay with cash or cheque when you sign up for your bag(s) tomorrow and Nov 11th. Delivery will be Nov 18th at noon so you may want to bring an insulated container – newspapers work too it you’re a peasant like me. If you place an order and can’t attend on the 18th – you MUST make arrangements with someone for pickup. $20 for a 4.2 pound frozen bag with a whopping $9 of this going straight into the grateful coffers of your favorite community endeavor – Hamilton Sings. It’s a great way to make a contribution while ensuring a quality breakfast oatmeal (or muffin, cake, smoothie, blueberry balsamic glazed chicken, blueberry Brie & lemon curd grilled cheese – seriously, blueberries are a foodie essential. Check out this link for further culinary inspiration. The Christmas season looms and so does our end of term concert/bake and craft sale on Saturday Dec 2nd. Are you practicing at home, utilizing those handy voice files found on our hamiltonsings.ca private members page? At the risk of repeating myself – those files are a darn useful learning tool. Check ‘em out! Last week’s Halloween social was a big hit. Please see the attached photos for irrefutable proof of a good time had by all. See ya. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Spooky Time & Other Dates

Hey Gang Remember to bring a snack to share and your spookiest alter-ego to practice tomorrow. We’ll be rehearsing without a break until approximately 11:20 to allow time for our Halloween social in the back end of our rehearsal space before the string quartet shows up at 12:30. Your fellow chorister Lori has some party games up her sleeve, best costume prizes are to be had, and our choir leaders will rev up the fun with some popular Halloween tunes. Scary, very scary. Friday November 10th. The now infamous James Street Art Crawl now includes you. We’ve been invited to perform at Christ’s Church Cathedral. Time and details to follow. Sign up sheets at the front desk tomorrow. Saturday Dec 2nd. End of Term/Christmas Concert and Bake Sale. Bring yourself, your handmade stuff (edible or otherwise), your extended family – heck, your entire social circle is welcome! Your contributions of time and/or legal tender are what allows us to carry on. It takes resources to make something as special as Hamilton Sings happen – and believe me, these resources are not funding a Malibu beach house. Music, rehearsal space, professional choir direction, must all be paid for – so sign up to help out, and/or shell out.. Our Treasurer Tom Ciancone would be most happy to meet you. Did somebody mention blueberries? Canadian grown, antioxidant-laden, purple orbs of deliciousness? Rumor has it that we members of the choir may have an in on some 5lb bags of frozen berries at a very attractive price but I’ll let Jill expand on this delightful possibility tomorrow . A non-affiliated group of singers who just can’t seem to get enough, The Sunshine Singers, meet a couple of times a month for practice at noon in HARRP’s downstairs lounge and invite you to join in. The Sunshine Singers lead a singalong on the last Wednesday of every month (excluding December, July, and August) from 6:30pm to 7:30pm at the Baywoods long term care facility, located at the corner of Victoria and Main. We were there this past Wednesday and the big hit was Witch Doctor – who knew such gyrating could be done in a mobility device? Awesome.. Hoping to be petrified by you all tomorrow. Cheers, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Halloween Costume Ready?

Hi Folks  So, have you got a Halloween costume pulled together yet? If you’re like me, with the imagination of a stinging army ant, you can lean on your creative friends for ideas. I’m relying on a work mate who is particularly gifted at that sort of thing. We’ve wavered between a paper bag princess, forest nymph, and Bette Miller, but I just can’t decide! I’m immovable on one detail – my costume must be made from stuff I already have around the house. I’m so looking forward to seeing what you all come up with for our social next Saturday Oct 28th after practice. Don’t forget to bring some snacks to share. Reminder that a Tuesday evening iteration of our Saturday singing fun is about to launch October 28th, for a six week run at Delta United Church. Sign up via our membership page on hamiltonsings.ca. Cost is $120. We’ve been invited to sing at Christ’s Church Cathedral for the art crawl evening of November 10th. More details to follow and a sign-up sheet will be available at the front desk for those interested. Our end of term concert and bake sale is Saturday December 2nd (it’s going to be Christmas before you next blink folks). We really need you all to volunteer your unsuspecting family/neighbours/associates/yourself for the number of tasks required to help us make it a great success. Sign up today!  I mean tomorrow actually. Hugs to all Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Volunteerism

Hi there Hope this missive finds you all happy, healthy, and chock full of song. Tomorrow we gather together to raise our collective voices yet again. Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? I like to think of what we do as the “swan effect” – somewhere else in the universe becomes more graceful and light due to the sounds we emanate Saturday mornings. Please consider donating your time (or your children’s – friends’ – neighbour’s) towards making our term end concert a smash success. Read up on the virtues of volunteerism as stated on the United Nations web site: “Volunteerism generates well-being for people and their communities. Volunteers are motivated by values such as justice, equality, and freedom, as expressed in the United Nations charter. A society that supports volunteering is likely to be a society which also supports the well-being of it’s citizens.” “Nuff said. Make your commitment at the front desk when you check in tomorrow! Dates to remember: Saturday October 28th – Halloween Social after practice in the downstairs lounge. Prizes for best costume, trivia games, and bring hand-held munchies to share.  Saturday December 2nd – End Of Term Concert, Bake and Craft sale. Take note that your attendance at the two prior rehearsals is mandatory for participation in this concert. For those of you who just can’t get enough and/or are languishing on our waiting list – Hanna and Sue are offering a 6 week Tuesday night workshop, largely duplicating what we do Saturdays, 7 to 9 pm, from October 24 to December 5th. Location to be Delta Church, 47 Ottawa Street South. Cost of participation is $120. Interested individuals can contact info@hamiltonsings.com to register by October 20th. A minimum of 10 participants is required to cover the cost of venue rental and music. Lamentably, board member and fellow voice Darlene Simpson, has had to depart us suddenly to return to Brantford. Best of luck on your future endeavors Darlene! See you guys tomorrow. Cheers Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

What? Hallowe’en?

Hi Everyone. . . . . Welcome members! We are a forward thinking, optimistic, community-based entity, determined to promote these same values through song. I’m tickled pink to have the opportunity to meet with you Saturday mornings and look forward to a successful and enjoyable term. You guys are the best. I sent you all the password to the active members page last week – did you note it? Our web master, Bob Edmonds, has made it really easy for you to find the voice files needed for at-home practice. Take advantage of this super resource so you can wow your voice mates with your prowess. Speaking for myself, I find it easier to practice my alto part a few times at home during the week so I don’t have to think about it Saturday mornings. Thinking is hard. Fall is here and with that – a bigger day comes for some than Christmas. Yes my friends – I’m talking HALLOWEEN! Join your fellow singers for a Halloween social after practice on Saturday October 28th, noon till 1pm. Bring in a treat to share and compete for best costume prizes. That minx Hanna won last year, so don’t let it happen twice. Just a reminder about a few social details: If you are sick, stay home. Share the love, not a virus. Choose to wear unscented personal hygiene products please – seeing you is enough, nobody needs to smell you approaching. Bring spare dry shoes and leave your wet ones at the church door. A non-spill refillable water container is vastly preferable to a single-use plastic one – you don’t want to know about plastics and the Pacific gyre garbage patch. Consider investing in a music presentation folder – the sound of 80 loose leaf paper pages turning is deafening. We’ll be selling them at the front desk tomorrow for a mere $5, with all proceeds supporting the choir. Remember to have fun, fun, fun. Repeat after me, fun. Lastly, many of you will now be familiar with guest song leader Brendan Taaffe. Brendan will be collaborating on an event this coming January 27th – February 3rd, 2018, in the blissfully warm Caribbean setting of Cahuita, Costa Rica. Further information can be found here: http://www.turtledoveharmony.org/programs.html#paradise Best to all. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Precious Little & Sunshine Singers

Greeting Folks I’ve got precious little to tell you this week. Which is probably fine, as everyone is generally far too busy these days. Between family and work obligations, alongside the ever present noise of the internet and social media, we’ve all now got the attention span of a barnyard pullet. But I digress. You have one very important detail to absorb here. There is a new password for the hamiltonsings.ca active members page. Check out the page frequently for very, very handy voice files that allow for practice at home. “Repetitio mater studiorum est” Repetition is the mother of all learning. Wise words carved into a statue somewhere . . . This private members page is for YOUR EXCLUSIVE USE ONLY and is not to be shared with anyone. If Sue hears a copyright lawyer knocking at her door, it won’t be to chat about the weather. You get my drift? Additionally, please read below for a message from fellow member Lori Borsellino regarding the Sunshine Singers group. See y’all tomorrow Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer Hello From Lori Borsellino ( fellow singer, huggie bear, and Sunshine Singer administrator) We have some members who do a monthly sing-along at a Hamilton Long Term Care Home on the Last Wednesday of each month. Though the Sunshine Singers are from Hamilton Sings! they are not an affiliated group. However, Hamilton Sings! is always excited to collaborate when they can. The Sunshine Singers meet Saturdays noon to one at HARRRP, and sing at Baywoods Place Long Term Care Home, located at 330 Main St. E. (just east of Victoria Avenue South) on the last Wednesday of each month, October, through June. (excluding the last Wednesday of December) arriving at 6:15 ready to sing from 6:30 to 7:15. The Sunshine Singers are meeting new members Saturdays at 12:00 noon in the downstairs lounge at St. Peter’s HARRRP for about an hour to discuss songs and practice a few. The song list is fluid, fun, with oldies, popular hits, and campfire songs. The focus is on entertaining and encouraging the residents to participate. All degrees of talent and experience are most welcome. If you have any further questions about the Sunshine Singers, please contact me at lori@dudziclaw.com rather than using the Hamilton Sings address. Looking forward to seeing you after practice on Saturday. Hugs to all, Lori Borsellino  

Singing cures…

Salutations Fellow Singers Just a reminder that tomorrow’s gathering at HARRRP commences at 10 am so please arrive no later than 9:45 to allow for front desk attendance and seating. We’re a full house these days, so it takes more time for settling in Tomorrow is also the last day for those on the waiting list to check us out and determine if they truly would like to remain on the list. Additionally, members who are on the active list but due to circumstances, cannot in fact attend – please let us know so you can make way for waiting list people. HARRRP (Hamilton Association for Residential and Recreational Redevelopment Programs) kindly donates us the space for our rehearsals however Hamilton Sings (that means you, buddy) donates back to the association and also must pay for other operational costs such as printing, copyright charges, choir direction, etc, etc. Please consider making a donation and/or contributing some volunteer hours towards our various fundraisers. If anyone needs an introduction to our numbers guru, Tom Ciancone (Treasuer), I’ll be happy to oblige. Take note that your donation also helps those among us that are less materially fortunate. I found myself this morning doing a google search for some witty tidbit regarding the health benefits of singing. I commenced with this: Singing cures . . . . . And my browser auto-filled several answers: Singing cures depression/stuttering/snoring(really?) . . . Well, not sure about all that but I’m certain of this – singing makes me darn happy. See y’all tomorrow. Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Greet the Fall Season with Song

Time to put away your water wings, lock up the cottage, and greet the fall season with song. This Saturday September 16th we commence our fall term at HARRRP, 705 Main Street East. Please try to arrive no later than 9:45 am to allow time for registration and to settle into your seats for rehearsal start time of 10:00 am sharp. September 16th and the 23rd are our two “orientation” sessions, designed to give participants time to decide if they truly want to commit to the entire term. After the 23rd, term membership is closed while we devote ourselves to practicing for our end of term concert. Please take note that as of today, we are at capacity with returning members. However those on the waiting list are invited to join us for the first two sessions for an opportunity to decide if they wish to remain on the list. A few reminders regarding our community: If you’re sick, stay home – we want your voice, not your cold! Please bring dry shoes if the weather is wet, or the custodians will give you the evil eye. If you’re hoarding past sheet music, please bring it along. Hamilton Sings subsists on fundraising and participant contributions – your check book is always welcome. Especially by Tom, our hard-working Treasurer. And this is mandatory – you must have fun. Our choir leaders Sue Crowe Connelly and Hanna Mathieson bring a wealth of professional musical experience to our Saturday sessions. While Hamilton Sings is dear to their hearts, they both maintain full-time musical careers as well. Hanna has just been named as Hamilton’s Emerging Artist of 2017 by the Hamilton Arts Council. She was nominated by Kirk Stanley, who won established artist, and they are having a concert at the Pearl Company on September 23rd. Full concert details can be found here. All for now. See you Saturday. Cheers, Brenda Atkinson Hamilton Sings Volunteer

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee has asked that the budget be increased to $5600 per term.