Friday, December 23, 2016

The premiere of The Stairwell Carol by Pierre Massie - YouTube

poinsettia

Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform Pierre Massie's original Christmas Carol, "The Stairwell Carol". This premiere version of “The Stairwell Carol” is on our “Laudemus cum armonia” CD.
All our CDs are available on our website in both CD and MP3 formats. Buy our CDs and help other Ottawa/Gatineau charities reach their goals!
The carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition. They are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Visit our blog
or our website for updates.

Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 11th, 2015.
Videographers: Sébastien Lemay, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan
Editing: Pierre Massie


Wednesday, December 21, 2016

"O Come All Ye Faithful" - The Stairwell Carollers - YouTube

Knox Presbyterian church, Ottawa 
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform the old favourite Christmas Carol "O Come All Ye Faithful" - arr: Dela Willcocks Llewellyn.
Verse 1 is a traditional arrangement.  The Adeste fideles is by Mauric Dela and the final verse is a combination of arrangements by Sir David Willcocks and William Llewellyn.

This version of “O Come All Ye Faithful” is included in our “I Saw a Swete Semly Syght” CD now on sale.  http://www.stairwellcarollers.com/Purchases/Purchases2.html

All our CDs are available on our website in both CD and MP3 formats. Buy our CDs and help other Ottawa/Gatineau charities reach their goals!



The carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition. They are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Visit our blog http://www.stairwellcarollers.blogspot.com/
or our website http://www.stairwellcarollers.com/ for updates.

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 11th, 2015.
Videographers: Sébastien Lemay, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan
Editing: Pierre Massie




Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Our first Blooper Vid!

Stairwell Carollers never know what may happen at a live concert

So at last years big Christmas concert at Knox Presbyterian church, Ottawa, this happened...



Soo... this year's concert... hope to see you there!

The Carollers are thrilled to announce that the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County is the recipient of this year’s charitable gift of $2,000.

The Stairwell Carollers will make the official presentation at their annual Christmas Fundraising Concert, “Adeste fideles”, at Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Lisgar Street at Elgin) on Friday December 16th, 7:30pm.

Tickets available at the door for $20, or in advance for $15 from:



Looking for that perfect Xmas gift? Our choir’s CDs will be on sale too! You’ll be giving twice, as your CD purchases will help the Carollers make their next donation to a local charity in 2017!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Local Alzheimer’s Society thrilled to receive Ottawa choir’s surprise Christmas gift


    
15 Minds in Song - Alzheimer's Society of Ottawa photo credit
       
On December 16th, the Stairwell Carollers will honour their humanitarian tradition with another Christmas gift to a local charity.

The Carollers are pleased to announce that the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County has been named the recipient of this year’s cheque of $2,000.

The Stairwell Carollers will make the official presentation at their annual Christmas Fundraising Concert, “Adeste fideles”, at Knox Presbyterian Church (120 Lisgar Street at Elgin) on Friday December 16th, 7:30pm.

Tickets available at the door for $20, or in advance for $15 from:

And... if you are looking for that perfect Xmas gift, the choir’s CDs will be on sale too! You’ll be giving twice, as your CD purchases will help the Carollers make their next donation to a local charity in 2017!

The Carollers are happy to recognize the great service the local Alzheimer Society offers to the community, providing support to loved ones caring for those who have dementia. Whether it’s one-on-one counselling, support groups or education sessions – they’re there to help. They also offer social, arts and music appreciation programs (like the Minds in Song program pictured here) for people living with dementia and their caregivers.  

“We were thrilled to learn that our local Alzheimer Society would be the recipient of $2,000 raised by the Stairwell Carollers”, says CEO Paddy Bowen. “It’s inspiring when members of the community come together to help people living with dementia and their caregivers here in Ottawa and Renfrew County. Right now, 4,000 people use our services. In 2017, we hope to increase our service levels by 20% so that 1,000 more people can access the resources they need. The donation from the Stairwell Carollers will help us to meet our goal.”

To learn more about the work of the Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County, or to support their Walk for Alzheimer’s fundraiser in May, visit www.alzheimer.ca/ottawa or call 613-523-4004.

The Stairwell Carollers, founded in 1977 by Pierre Massie, has grown to become one of Ottawa’s top a cappella choirs. Pierre is an award-winning composer and this year, in a creative burst, he composed eight brand-new arrangements for the choir, refreshing some of our best loved Christmas carols like “Silent night”, “Mon beau sapin” (“O Christmas tree”) and “Adeste fideles” (“O come, all ye faithful”). 

Over the years, proceeds from their CD and ticket sales have allowed the group to give over $130,000 in music scholarships and donations to dozens of local charities.

David Rain, whose new “Rideau Carol” will be presented at the concert, has sung with the Carollers for 24 years. 

Photo credits: Alzheimer Society of Ottawa and Renfrew County.
For more information, visit www.stairwellcarollers.com.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Pierre Massie selections to be played on the Peace Tower Bells Monday

Peace Tower, Ottawa, Photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved


We are proud to announce that Stairwell Caroller Director Pierre's compositions and arrangements will be featured in a special noon hour Carillon Concert, Monday Dec 12, 2016! If you are in Ottawa, take a stroll to the Peace Tower, Centre Block, Parliament hill and have a listen! Andrea McCrady, our Dominion Carillonneur, has created exclusive Carillon adaptations of Pierre's work because she finds many of his pieces well suited to the sound of the Tower Bells.

Festive red bows on a Parliamentary Christmas Tree

(Copied with permission from Pierre's composition website )
"Now,
if you were not aware that the music that rings out from Ottawa's Peace Tower is played live by a human being, you are not alone! In Ottawa, with technology at every turn, many take the ubiquitous Tower Bell sounds for granted -- and assume that they are somehow a digital or machine powered creation.

Not so.

Pierre Massie and Dominion Carillonneur, Andrea McCrady pose with his Composition, Mourning Dove

A diminutive artist "dances" on the keys of the Carillon -- playing almost every day -- to her unseen audience of Ottawa listeners. If you are within earshot of Ottawa's Parliament Peace Tower bells you will hear them strike the traditional clock chimes ( the only mechanised sounds the 53 bells play ).

Then, if you are very fortunate, you will hear Andrea McCrady  play -- and it is glorious! 

Here is a playlist of some of her work -- check out her recent spot with Rick Mercer!"


Holly

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

The Stairwell Carollers on Facebook

The Stairwell Carollers Facebook Page

If you are on Facebook, why not check out our official Stairwell Carollers Page -- all our news, photos, concerts, and CDs are there. Constantly updated by the entire choir!

Make sure to visit and LIKE us.
Thanks,

Stairwell Caroller 2016 Christmas Concert Program

Musical decorations on the Christmas tree


Here is the program for our Stairwell Caroller Christmas Carol Concerts this season!  Without a doubt, one of our best seasonal lineup ever! With songs from all eras, old and new, there is something for everyone!
Stairwell Caroller 2016 Christmas concert Program
And here is a handy link to tickets and concert dates and locations http://www.stairwellcarollers.com/Concerts.html


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Stairwell Caroller 2016 Christmas concert season starts Nov 26th

The Stairwell Carollers present a charitable gift to Immigrant services, 2015 concert
Here is our 2016 Concert schedule! Also on our website HERE

CONCERT SCHEDULE
CHRISTMAS SEASON 2016
The Stairwell Carollers present
"Adeste fideles"


Friday, December 16th 
Knox Presbyterian Church, 120 Lisgar St, Ottawa, (ON) , 7:30pm.


Saturday, December 17th
St Columba Anglican Church 24 Sandridge Rd, , Ottawa, (ON), 7:30pm.


$15 advance tickets are available...


  • ONLINE, CLICK OUR LOGO-----

  • OR AT THESE LOCATIONS
    Leading Note, 370 Elgin St., Suite No. 2
    Compact Music, 206 & 785 1/2 Bank Street locations OR
    Books on Beechwood, 35 Beechwood Ave.

    Tickets may also be purchased at the door for $20.
  • Other concert listings
    Saturday, November 26th
    St. Stephen's, 212 Chemin Old Chelsea, Chelsea, QC, 7:30pm..
    Friday, December 2nd
    Trinity United, 1099 Maitland Ave, Ottawa, ON, 7:30pm.
    Saturday, December 3rd
    St. Thomas Anglican Church, 1619 Stittsville Main St, Stittsville, (ON), 7:30pm.
    Friday, December 9th
    St. Mark's the Evangelist, 1606 Fisher Ave, Ottawa, ON,7:30pm.
    Email us for more info

    Our upcoming Chelsea concert - behind the song!


    Harmonious Voices - upcoming Nov 26th Stairwell Caroller concert  -- newspaper article by Ben Bulmer


    Thanks for a lovely article promoting our upcoming concert in Chelsea, Quebec Nov. 26th at 7:30pm.

    As all of our concerts, doors open at 7:00pm and there is no reserved seating so be early to get a good seat! Tickets at the door for $20 or in advance for $15 by contacting the church at ststephens1879@gmail.com .

    The Stairwell Carollers perform at St Stephens church in Chelsea, Quebec


    Thanks to Suzanne G. for scanning this article, as I don't think its online yet. Thanks to Ben Bulmer for writing it and thanks too Rene for forwarding it to us.

    Friday, November 18, 2016

    The “Rideau Carol” – a love song to the Stairwell Carollers

    David Rain, tenor, stands in front of the Rideau Falls, Ottawa

    Mea culpa. 

    My name is David Rain. I run marathons, and I sing a cappella.



    And yes, there is a connection! I’ve been singing tenor in the Stairwell Carollers since 1993, and running marathons since 1995. A long time. But the connection “runs” deeper, of course

    When I run, ideas pop into my head. And thus, while on a long training run in the fall of 2015my throat got dry and I stopped for a drink in Vincent Massey ParkAs I looked up from the fountain, I saw sign pointing north that said "Chutes Rideau Falls." 

    Suddenly, without warning, a whole Christmas carol flashed before my very eyes. And the rest, as they say, is history.
    A great view of the Rideau Falls, David's Muse
     In an instant, three ideas popped into my head:

    (1)  That the carol would be bilingual, in keeping with the glorious linguistic mix of this amazing choir.

    (2)  That the Rideau Falls would play an important part; hence, the first verse opens with "As the icy curtain descends"  the word "rideau" in French meaning "curtain" in English.

    (3)  That a key musical theme right from the outset would be a cascading melody of some kind that would also be a play on words – i.e. the word "chutes" in French means "falls" in English, while its homophone "chut" means "hush", and has spiritual connotations, inviting listeners to be quiet, since the baby (Jesus) is sleeping.

    Thus the carol, right from its conception, has both religious and secular foundations – just like our choir members – and the interplay between these two forces defines the whole character of the piece.

    The Stairwell Carollers race across the street to carol in Byward Market

    This carol was meant to pay homage to the Stairwell Carollers. And in a real sense, my “Rideau Carol” is a love song to the choir.

    And hence, key elements of the choir's experiences were meant to be brought out in the piece, including places we have sung at: e.g. Parliament Hill, the National Gallery, the Byward Market, and so on. And there is a fun verse bringing out the secular half of the equation, which starts, “We ski, we skate, we slip and we slide”, and so on.

    And I couldn't resist writing some special text, and music, in honour of the choir's name, and thus there is an extended section of joyful bursts of sound on the word "carolling", and a special climax on the word "stairwells."

    David, left, Carolling with the Stairwell Carollers in Ottawa's Byward Market

    As the “Rideau Carol” developed, and I worked more closely on the opening "chutes" melody, I realized that it worked best starting with high women's voices, and in a kind of trio. It didn't take long for me to figure out that, in terms of orchestral instruments, this cascading melody perhaps most closely evoked the sound of three flutes, and hence the sub-title of the piece, "Chanson des trois flûtes."

    The fact that there are three flutes also helps underscore the spiritual half of the carol's foundation, i.e. the Holy Trinity. Spirituality is also implicit in the reference to the Rideau Canal and especially the Rideau River flowing into “the wise old Outaouais (Ottawa River), as these are sacred sites for the Algonquin peoples on whose land most of us are dwelling.

    Lastly, as someone who has struggled to adapt to the sometimes harsh winters of our nation's capital (I grew up on the milder west coast and spent 10 years in Tanzania in East Africa), I added some text and music that were meant to evoke a west coaster's mindset
    Typical winter weather in Canada's Capital

    By this, I mean those frustrating feelings fomenting inside, reacting to our excessively long winter; the ever-present dreams of spring coming soon, soon, soon… mixed, unfortunately, with the stark reality that sometimes spring takes a very long time, and hence, musically, the overall major tonality does slip into a minor key here and there, struggling to find that major resolution!

    I can't describe my joy and pride while listening to my fellow choir members rehearse the Rideau Carol, with Pierre Massie our brilliant director pushing and prodding us in tough spots that I never suspected would be tough, bringing those notes on the printed page to life. Tbe a witness to this miracle is one of the great joys of my life so far.

    Director Pierre Massie leads the Stairwell Carollers in rehearsal


    Pierre deserves special mention for patiently mentoring me for over a year to make this the very best Rideau Carol that I was capable of writing.

    And last but not least, I’d like to acknowledge first, my daughter Salima, who is coming up from Toronto to hear the premiere performance of the “Rideau Carol” in Chelsea QC on November 26 – she has been with me on this project right from the get go, and was part of a small family team that did the first semi-public performance of an early version of the piece a year ago at my aunt’s Christmas lunch in Vancouver as well as my two former choir buddies, Nikki and She-Yang, who gave brave and inspiring duet version of the “Rideau Carol” at Josée’s choir party in January.

    David plays accompaniment to the Rideau Carol

    Chutes, chutes, chutes, chutes, chutes, chutes, chutes, chutes, chutes
    “Il est, il est, il est né, l’enfant est né“, chantent nos trois flûtes. 

    As the icy curtain descends,  
    Et “la Veille de Noël” daylight ends,   
    To the wise old Outaouais River, flow
    Both frozen canal and rivière Rideau.

    David Rain

    Friday, September 30, 2016

    Canadian Compositions and arrangements by Pierre Massie now available for SATB choirs

    Stairwell Caroller director, Pierre Massie challenges our new members during movable Do warmup

    You may not be aware that our Director, Pierre Massie, is also an award-winning choral composer and arranger! On his newly launched site to showcase his emerging Song Catalogue, he had this to say:

    "I am pleased to announce that my original Canadian Choral Compositions and Arrangements are now available for digital download from SMP Press, partner to Sheet Music Plus.

    For many years now Sheet Music Plus has been one of my favourite sources for sheet music for my choir, The Stairwell Carollers.

    I will keep you posted as I upload new pieces for your perusal.

    Ciao,
    Pierre"

    I am so proud of his accomplishments! Please take a moment to check out his work. Most pieces are suitable for SATB mixed choirs.

    BONUS!
    Here is a Youtube Playlist of some of his arrangements and original Compositions sung by the Stairwell Carollers.



    Friday, September 2, 2016

    Thanks to all who Auditioned! The Stairwell Carollers are now set for a spectacular Christmas season of song for 2016!

    Martha notes changes in the music with a pencil

    Ringing the changes!

    11 new Stairwellers bring our choir to its largest at 34 ! All bursting with song, all super motivated for our coming 39th singing season.

    Farewell to well-loved members going on to family, travel new jobs and new homes -- we will miss you.

    It was quite a job to replace those voices, but our blitz of flyers and posters at Music and Beyond and local community centres and libraries and notices on social media and in our newsletter drew out an awesome choice of  individuals trying out for a spot in the Stairwell. Thanks to Pierre and all the Stairwellers who worked to get the word out.

    As some of you know, being chosen for the Stairwell Carollers has less to do with musical knowledge and more to do with what kind of voice you have. Pierre has strived through the years to maintain the group sound that ensures no matter who comes and goes, we still sound like The Stairwell Carollers have always sounded. Listen to our CDs, and you will see how amazing that is -- you would swear it was the very same group that recorded every one!

    So, if you tried out and didn't make it, be assured it wasn't because you don't have a great voice or attitude. We are just one of SO many great Ottawa area choirs and there is one out there that needs your special voice!

    Friday, July 1, 2016

    Audition Audition Audition! Sopranos, Tenors, Basses!

    Stairwell Carollers Auditions 2016 Christmas season
    Stairwell Carollers Auditions 2016 Christmas season
    Happy Birthday Canada!
    Happy Birthday Canada!
    There has never been a better time to join one of Canada's finest choirs, The Stairwell Carollers! Next year we will be celebrating our choir's 40th Anniversary along with Canada's 150th! Don't miss your chance to share the experience as a Stairweller!
    I've never blogged so many exclation marks in one paragraph!!

    We are seeking sopranos, tenors and basses for our Fall 2016 Season
    Some of our Stairwellers are off to school, new jobs and new homes. We will miss them, but need YOU to refresh the singing ranks and continue our important charitable work.
    Stairwell Carollers present $2000 to Ottawa Immigrant Services
    Stairwell Carollers present $2000 to Ottawa Immigrant Services
    Auditions start August 17th!
    You must contact us to set up your audition time.
    If you live within driving distance of the Ottawa (Canada's Capital) region, then the Stairwell Carollers may be the choir you're looking for.

    Altos need not apply, however, we can place you on a waiting list for the future.

    To qualify, all you need is a solid voice, a good ear and a great attitude. Many of us are bilingual ( we are proud of being an officially bilingual choir) but you need not be fluently bilingual to be part of the group.

    (Reading music is an asset but not a necessity.)
    For more info, send us an email -- info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com
    Don't delay! Contact us NOW to book your audition time.
    Les Chanteurs Stairwell font des auditions régulièrement. Nous recherchons des sopranos, basses et des tenors pour août 2016.
    (Lire la musique est un atout mais n'est pas essentiel.)
    Pour plus de renseignements, envoyez-nous un courriel.
    cute scroll

    If you live in the Ottawa/Hull area and love to sing, set up your audition with us now!


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