Monday, December 30, 2013

Ottawa's Byward Market, Dec 1st, 2013 -- a perfect snowy day for Christmas caroling


The Stairwell Carollers caroling in the Byward Marke
       Dec 1st, my birthday -- of course I'm caroling in the Byward Market! 

Being married to the director carries no weight in scheduling our appearances -- in fact, his birthday is Nov. 27th -- he had two dress rehearsals that day.
Pete, Holly and She-Yang, singing our hearts out!

Green room for the day
The upside is, it's very cool being with our choir on your birthday -- you get Happy Birthday sung in 15-part improvised harmony -- always great -- always different.

David, long time Stairwell Carollers tenor, lives near the Market and provided us with the perfect warm up space and "green room".

singing inside the Byward Market 
We started our singing at noon inside the Market building for about 15 minutes, then progressed outside. For new members, this was their first experience actually singing with us in a stairwell!

It was just a short walk over to our assigned spot near the free wagon rides offered by the Byward Market business association.
Byward Market free wagon rides

O Tannenbaum for the Christmas tree vendor with the Peace Tower in the distance

We sang in half-hour sets outside until 2:00pm, taking a turn around the block to warm up our feet -- singing all the way.







Hope you had a wonderful Christmas! 
 The Stairwell Carollers wish you all a festive and healthy New Year!
  Here is a playlist of The Stairwell Carollers concert videos of some of our favourite all time carols including ones sung in the Byward Market :)


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Concert Recap 2013 -- Almonte United -- a cozy start to our Christmas caroling season

Rehearsing just before the concert at Almonte United church
       Saturday, Nov 30th at 5:30 PM, Pete and I strolled into the empty Almonte United Church and waited for our tech crew to arrive for setup. Because Pete is director, and because that's just the way he is, we always have to be at the venue FIRST. Thanks to Rene, we never wait long -- in fact, he is often early and arrives just as we do.
Pete and Andrew sort cords while Rene and John adjust lights
Hey, it's a GOOD habit...

For some reason, we always need more time than we think and Pete makes sure we never run out by planning well ahead. We follow his direction with care -- he's usually right!
Tree all a twinkle thanks to Google


By 6:00 pm everyone has arrived and we file up to the Sanctuary (where the altar is located).
Pete decides where everyone will stand and whether to use risers or not. This can be tricky, especially if singers are absent (due to colds, laryngitis or flu -- 'tis the season). 
Pete and Diana address the group about last minute concerns

Pete spends up to twenty minutes arranging us, then running through some pieces to check the sound.

Then he checks that everyone can see him directing (yes, he does direct -- from the tenor section -- with subtlety).
Just the boys -- practicing Suo Gan -- a carol for Basses and Tenors
Then, Pete walks down the aisle and makes sure that every singer can be seen from the audience.

While all this is going on, we run through all the songs in the first half to practice beginnings and endings.

At 7:00 pm we return to our "green room" to relax for a few minutes . At the last moment we don our ``cloaking devices`` (thanks David for that) and at 7:30 we climb the stairs to the stage.

Bill and David discuss a point while John and Denyse
do some last minute fine-tuning
Oh yes, somewhere in all that we have to practice the entrance and exit (different for every church). Chickens with heads cut off in green cloaks comes to mind. And I always forget who I'm supposed to follow -- practically a tradition at this point.

Thanks to Michelle for heading up the CD sales tables again this year!
Anyway, the concert was so much fun -- our first of the season is always a special one. And for some new to the group it was their first Christmas concert with the Stairwell Carollers! I`m glad their first concert was at Almonte -- it is always warm, inviting and one of the friendliest audiences anywhere!

Special Thanks to the organizers who were there to greet us and help us find electrical outlets and bathrooms etc :)

A great start to a great season!
 

Merry Christmas and Happy new Year! Two cute videos for the season...

Twinkling lights, Parliament Hill, Ottawa. Photo -- Holly Massie, all rights reserved

First up, the famous high school `Hallelujah` Silent Monks...  And from our favourite animal channel, A cute Christmas greeting (from your pets) Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our FINAL 2013 Christmas Concert -- this Wednesday, Dec 18th at St. Columba Church, Ottawa

Our gorgeous 2013 poster designed by Tom Barnes
  Tickets for our final concert of the 2013 Christmas singing season are available online here, and at a number of local retailers, $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door. No reserved seating, children 12 and under free.

If you are new to our concert style, it isn't a caroling sing-along (except for the encore) but is family-friendly and appropriate for all ages able to enjoy a full length concert. Each set is about 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission. We sing a cappella, multi-part and in many languages. Songs range from the Renaissance to Modern carol compositions. 
Concert at Knox Presbyterian last Saturday
Many of the carols in this year's programme are original arrangements by the director of the Stairwell Carollers, Pierre Massie.

NOTE: We don't sing Christmas songs about Santa or other similar winter themes. Pierre has chosen to focus on true Carols centered on the birth of Christ and celebration of the the spirit of Christmas.

THE PROGRAMME


1. Up good Christen folk and listen           Traditional Arr: G.R. Woodward
2. O Tannenbaum                                                        Traditional German
3. All my Heart This Night Rejoices                          Johann Georg Ebeling (1637-76)
4. I Saw A Maiden                                                      Old Basque Noël
5. A Virgin Most Pure                                             Arr: Charles Wood
6. Balulalow                                                Arr: Peter Warlock
7. Je sais Vierge Marie                                          Traditional French
8. Cherry Tree Carol                                          Arr: Sir David Willcocks
9. Cradle Song                         Traditional French, Arr:John Rutter
10. Angelus ad Virginem                    Arr: A. Carter/Sir David Willcocks/Pierre Massie
11. Gabriel’s Message                      Traditional Basque, Arr: Sir David Willcocks
12.Venez divin Messie                      Traditional French, Arr: Pierre Massie
13. Still Still Still                                                  Traditional German, Arr: John Rutter
14.Wassail Song                                   Traditional   Arr: Pierre Massie

 INTERMISSION

15.In dulci jubilo             Old German carol, Arr:R.L. Pearsall
16. Suo Gân                              Traditional Welsh, Arr: Lawrence Wiliford
17. The First Nowell                                       Traditional, Arr: Pierre Massie
18. Alleluya, A New Work is Come                        Peter Wishart
19. Iesous Ahatonnia                 Jean de Bréboeuf, Arr: Pierre Massie
20. A Maiden Most Gentle             Arr: A Carter, adapted by Pierre Massie
21. What Child is This                    Traditional, Arr: Pierre Massie
22. Nous allons, ma mie                             Traditional French
23. Village Wedding                                                            John Taverner
24. Good King Wenceslaus   Traditional Arr: Sir David Willcocks, adapted by Pierre Massie
25. Nouvelle agréable                                      Traditional French, Arr: Pierre Massie
26. The Truth from Above       Arr: R. V. Williams, adapted by Pierre Massie
27. Puer Natus                  Traditional 14th century, Arr: Pierre Massie
28. I Saw Three Ships                     Traditional, Arr: William Llewellyn

Version en Francais

Monday, December 16, 2013

Personal Christmas Memories -- two Youtube videos of Christmas music from my childhood

Blooming Crown Of Thorns -- photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved
         A long-time dear friend, comic book artist, Mike Grell, just sent me this Youtube Video. A wonderfully old-fashioned rendition of "O Holy Night" sung by Ernie Ford and Gordon MacRae -- names familiar to those of us 55 and older :)

Mike had no idea his little email would stir recollections of  my own childhood Christmases. I was only three years old when this aired -- but it is so familiar to me -- and lovely to see and hear again. Hope it brings back memories for you too.


So I decided to search You Tube for my all time favourite Christmas album -- The Sound Of Christmas by Julie Andrews. This is the title song from that album.



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Co-Hosting God's Growing Garden and Crafty Angel's Chain Linky "Climb"

 
Red tailed squirrel -- photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved
I was wandering the Internet the other week and happened on this cool idea -- a twist on a Linky Party -- with a wonderful collaborative spirit -- and prizes :)  Join in!

God’s Growing Garden
 
It's the month long Networking Blog Hop 
With our second CLIMB GIVEAWAY!
Here's how it works - the co-hosts from the previous month's CLIMB will have the opportunity to participate in a Giveaway during the next CLIMB (this is totally optional) - that gives co-hosts 2 months in a row of blog growing fun!! 
 
 
Please enter below -one person will win:
(you must have a PayPal account to enter & be 18 years or older) - 
- $70 PayPal Cash
 - Christmas Printables from http://domesstique.blogspot.de/
- 300x300 Ad Space on http://apeekintomyparadise.blogspot.com/
- 1 Month Medium Ad Space on http://www.cuddlebugcuties.blogspot.com/
- Super Fabulous Ad Space on http://sewcraftyangel.blogspot.com/
- 1 Medium Ad Space on http://creativepinkbutterfly.com/
- 1 Sidebar Ad Space on http://www.godsgrowinggarden.com/
- "My Cookie Creation Countdown" ebook by Angie Ouellette-Tower
- "Make Your Own Cedar Roping or Pine Garland" ebook by Angie Ouellette-Tower
THERE ARE MANY WAYS TO ENTER!
CLIMB Giveaway Rules & Conditions: 
- This is a worldwide Giveaway
- You MUST have a PayPal account to enter
- This Giveaway is open from November 30th, 2013 until December 20th, 2013
- Winner must respond within 24 hours or a different winner will be chosen
- Giveaway Hosts & Co-hosts can NOT enter this Giveaway!, however - December CLIMB blog hop co-hosts MAY enter this Giveaway (provided they are not also part of the Giveaway)
- correspondence is done through email and the winner's email addresses will only be used to deliver or set-up e-prizes.  Email addresses will NEVER be sold or shared.
- if you have any questions or concerns about this Giveaway please email one of the hosts:
 
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Now onto the CLIMB (blog hop):

 photo ClimbIntro_zpse33b3737.jpg



 photo ClimbFollow_zps7d1a2ebf.jpg


 photo ClimbRules_zps84f341fc.jpg
By participating in this blog hop your email address will be added to our CLIMB list & you will be sent an email reminder next month. 

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ClimbLink_zpsf527c076.jpg


Remember - Now if you co-host you will receive a free Weekly Sidebar Ad and your blog button will appear on both Angie's blog & Angel's blog!!


(The Ad will run live a few weeks after you have co-hosted)

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ClimbCo-host_zpseca2ac09.jpg




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Please note that all prizes and giveaways listed in this blog post are the responsibility of the respective links and not affiliated with The Stairwell Carollers Choir Blog. The Stairwell Carollers Choir Blog has entered into this in good faith of the honesty and family friendly content of the links provided, but can take no responsibility for the actual content or honesty of the links.

Friday, December 13, 2013

CTV's Regional Contact interviews Pierre Massie, new fave Carillon composer

Peter, cameraman, films while Joel directs
It was great seeing Joel Haslam again -- as some of you know, Joel was a member of the Stairwell Carollers for almost three years, following our first appearance on his local show many many moons ago.


When Joel heard about Pierre's compositions receiving attention from our Dominion Carillonneur, Dr. Andrea McCrady, he was eager to follow up on the story.
Pierre and Andrea in her Parliament office

Waiting for the bells to chime the hour
Joel interviews Pierre from off- camera
Here is his little jewel of a piece,  positive and uplifting, as always. Thanks, Joel:)



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Two Xmas Concerts this Saturday and next Wednesday! What we are singing at Knox and Columba...

Our gorgeous 2013 poster designed by Tom Barnes
  Tickets for our two final concerts of the 2013 Christmas singing season are available online here, and at a number of local retailers, $15.00 in advance, $20.00 at the door. No reserved seating, children 12 and under free.

If you are new to our concert style, it isn't a caroling sing-along (except for the encore) but is family-friendly and appropriate for all ages able to enjoy a full length concert. Each set is about 45 minutes with a 15 minute intermission. We sing a cappella, multi-part and in many languages. Songs range from the Renaissance to Modern carol compositions. 

Many of the carols in this year's programme are original arrangements by the director of the Stairwell Carollers, Pierre Massie.

We don't sing Christmas songs about Santa or other similar winter themes. Pierre has chosen to focus on true Carols centered on the birth of Christ and celebration of the the spirit of Christmas.
THE PROGRAMME


1. Up good Christen folk and listen           Traditional Arr: G.R. Woodward
2. O Tannenbaum                                                        Traditional German
3. All my Heart This Night Rejoices                          Johann Georg Ebeling (1637-76)
4. I Saw A Maiden                                                      Old Basque Noël
5. A Virgin Most Pure                                             Arr: Charles Wood
6. Balulalow                                                Arr: Peter Warlock
7. Je sais Vierge Marie                                          Traditional French
8. Cherry Tree Carol                                          Arr: Sir David Willcocks
9. Cradle Song                         Traditional French, Arr:John Rutter
10. Angelus ad Virginem                    Arr: A. Carter/Sir David Willcocks/Pierre Massie
11. Gabriel’s Message                      Traditional Basque, Arr: Sir David Willcocks
12.Venez divin Messie                      Traditional French, Arr: Pierre Massie
13. Still Still Still                                                  Traditional German, Arr: John Rutter
14.Wassail Song                                   Traditional   Arr: Pierre Massie

 INTERMISSION

15.In dulci jubilo             Old German carol, Arr:R.L. Pearsall
16. Suo Gân                              Traditional Welsh, Arr: Lawrence Wiliford
17. The First Nowell                                       Traditional, Arr: Pierre Massie
18. Alleluya, A New Work is Come                        Peter Wishart
19. Iesous Ahatonnia                 Jean de Bréboeuf, Arr: Pierre Massie
20. A Maiden Most Gentle             Arr: A Carter, adapted by Pierre Massie
21. What Child is This                    Traditional, Arr: Pierre Massie
22. Nous allons, ma mie                             Traditional French
23. Village Wedding                                                            John Taverner
24. Good King Wenceslaus   Traditional Arr: Sir David Willcocks, adapted by Pierre Massie
25. Nouvelle agréable                                      Traditional French, Arr: Pierre Massie
26. The Truth from Above       Arr: R. V. Williams, adapted by Pierre Massie
27. Puer Natus                  Traditional 14th century, Arr: Pierre Massie
28. I Saw Three Ships                     Traditional, Arr: William Llewellyn

Version en Francais

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