Tuesday, October 31, 2017

50 Years Later, a Musical Seed Sprouts - special audio included!

Red rose
(Post by tenor, David Rain)

Why would a novice composer choose such a treacherous path?

Why create a new arrangement of one of the most popular and beloved German Christmas carols dating back to the 1600s?

Here’s why.

It began in the 1960s, when I was a boy chorister with the Christ Church Cathedral choir in Vancouver. Each Christmas we would sing the English version of “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”  – “Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming” – and I instantly fell in love with the piece.

This classic, timeless arrangement by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621) is perfection personified. He took some of the most beautiful religious poetry ever written (Mary’s birth to Jesus symbolized through the blooming of a floweret on a rose), and he presented it in the simplest of ways, with a melody that repeats itself three times each verse.

But with a small twist.

In the middle of each verse, there is a line where the altos sing a little 3-note rising figure that takes them (for a magical moment) above the sopranos! It is without doubt one of the most brilliant strokes of genius in all of music, and a passage that every year brings smiles to the faces of altos around the world at Christmas time.

I’ve had a longing to sing this piece for many moons now. And so, when Pierre Massie, the director of our Stairwell Carollers, announced that our 40th anniversary Christmas season was going to be an all Canadian program, I knew what I had to do.

If I was going to sing “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” come Xmas 2017, I’d have to compose my own arrangement!

Here is a taste of that arrangement from a recent rehearsal...

I also knew that there was no point in updating the Praetorius version – it remains a classic and I believe it should be left untouched. I would have to create my own vision of this piece and see where it took me.

It then came to me in a flash that somehow, at the very beginning of the piece, I needed to create a musical image of a rose slowly coming into bloom. And from that one thought came the idea of an opening “mantra” like incantation on the words “Ein Ros” ; a combination of both longing and awe in the singers’ voices at the emerging of this beautiful creation. It seemed appropriate to have the mantra grow into an ever more complex chord built up by a rising major 2nd figure in all the parts – “doh” to “re” – as these are the first two notes of the famous melody itself.

From there, I wanted to have the singers start the first verse altogether in unison, with the purest of sounds, and then suddenly break out into simple harmonies, attempting to hearken back to an era even further back in time than Praetorius. Back to the 15th century, when the anonymous melody that he had used was likely composed. Thus, the use of open 5th cadences, and the fauxbourdon effects for the women in the 2nd verse, and for the men in the 3rd verse.

Then, I played a small trick on the altos: I delayed their famous 3 note pattern rising above the sopranos until the final verse, when it would have the most effect.

Speaking of the altos, it was with them in mind that I lowered the key signature of this piece, to bring out the richer tones that they have when singing at a lower pitch. This explains the E major tonality that I had chosen for this arrangement, to give it a deeper, richer sonority than the F major that Praetorius had used and that everyone is used to.

Lastly, the difficult puzzle of how to end such a piece. I felt it best to return to the “Ein Ros” mantra of the opening, a kind of cyclical effect. Only this time, the choir finds it hard to just stop on the B major chord as they did in the intro. Instead, the sopranos are carried away and keep on singing their rising pattern until they reach a high F#, which in solfege is not the “do” but rather the “re” of the E major tonality.

With this somewhat unusual, unresolved ending note in the sopranos, I needed then to find just the right combination of notes in the other parts to bring the final chord to a harmonious close – and that could also reflect both the simplicity and the complexity inherent in a rose, and in the nativity story itself.

And as a final touch, not planned initially, I decided to pay special homage to Praetorius, by both beginning and ending the piece with his famous rising 3 note figure on the words “Ein Ros”: first, as a brief intro for the women, preceding the mantra; and then at the very end (with a special nod to my first tenor buddies), as a rising 3 note figure that they get to sing up high as a solo, thereby completing the harmonies to our final chord.

Pierre, as usual, was a huge help in mentoring me on this compositional journey. And I’d also like to acknowledge my three German speaking friends – Siegurd Weber, Friederike Knabe and Christoph Hoeller – all of whom provided valuable feedback to me along the way.

And it was Christoph, a Stairwell Caroller bass who is also our choir’s vice president, who let us know, at our first rehearsal of “Es ist ein Ros”, that in fact there are several different versions of the text that are used by choirs in Germany. And there exists a healthy debate around whether the “Ros” in the text refers to Jesus (a Protestant interpretation) or to Mary (a Catholic interpretation).

Fortunately, as Christoph pointed out, the version we are singing is both Catholic (verse 2) and Protestant (verse 3), so we’ve covered all our bases, or should I say basses.

As it was with the Rideau Carol last year, I can’t describe the beautiful feeling of seeing and hearing for the first time how Pierre and my fellow choir members are bringing this “musical child” to life. I am really forward to singing this in November and December, and I hope the risk I took was worth it, and that Michael Praetorius might be smiling down on us just a bit from wherever his spirit resides.

On a sad ending note, while I was in the midst of composing “Es ist ein Ros entsprungen”, I learned that an old high school friend of mine from Vancouver, Robert Linsley, had died tragically when hit by a car while cycling in Kitchener-Waterloo. I have thus dedicated this piece to Robert’s memory.

David Rain

Monday, October 30, 2017

Choral Cacophony Podcast #11 Warmup Tongue-Twister Time

A rushing river - near Facette, Quebec
This week's warm-up seems a lot like whitewater rafting - an out of control ride, moving forward. In reality, singing - like rafting - is about letting go and having control (so you don't lose it, tip or fall in.)

So, to our warm up.

Chapter 1 -  Pierre starts with a simple scale warm up on O,  A,  E, o and A - yes, it's High!
Chapter 2 - Now a fast scale - listen to Pete! He gives us a break and we don't have to do the "words".
Chapter 3 - Pierre says "no Jaw" - he means to keep the jaw relaxed and still. The vowel changes happen inside the mouth.
Chapter 4 - We start "Patapan" -  see photo of the sheet music.  The warm up had purpose re our speed and accuracy.

I've included the start of the first song of rehearsal, Patapan - a popular french carol about the little drummer boy, to show how the warmup is related to the performance of the song.
Patapan - new arrangement by Pierre Massie

This is a new arrangement by Pierre, performed for the first time last Christmas season. Watch for it on our YouTube channel!

If you are a choir director and want Pierre to publish this arrangement so you can do it with your choir, please tell us in an email at info (at) stairwellcarollers.com

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events ! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.
About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Choral Cacophony Podcast finds a Home! UPDATE

Yes, this chickadee is having a bath in my garden fountain
https://anchor.fm/choral-cacophony-podcast
(UPDATE - Nov 2019 - due to cancellation of the free Podiant Community, we have had to now move the podcast to Anchor - thx to PODIANT for supporting us for the past two years. 

We are proud and happy to announce that the terrific Podcast host PODIANT has welcomed The Stairwell Carollers Choral Cacophony Podcast as a part of their community. 

From live rehearsal audio with The Stairwell Carollers, each Podcast is 6 minutes or less. 
Our wee recorder does the job!
For singers who want to improve performance - solo or in chorus. 
Warmups, ear training, rehearsal and challenging vocal gymnastics with Director Pierre Massie are fun and challenging. 

Live and fresh, the Choral Cacophony Podcast will help any vocalist develop their range, enunciation, breath control and vocal quality. 
Sound advice for singers who want to improve their listening, rhythm and pronunciation for songs in multiple languages. 

Practice along with the choir to improve your ear training and vocal technique, phrasing and tempo.

A new episode every Monday.

This means that our little podcast is recognized by PODIANT as a valued community resource with fees waived indefinitely!

For the choir this is  a wonderful thing, since most podcasting hosts charge yearly, if not monthly, fees that we have no budget for.

For me, since the podcast is kind of my baby, it is so gratifying to have this kind of validation and thank you from such a wonderful professional hosting company.

Anyone who wants to start a podcast would be hard pressed to find a better host than PODIANT.

Their interface is attractive, modern and easy to use and the analytics are very cool. It's neat to know how many subscribers, streams and downloads we have had and the interactive world map shows us what countries they are from too.

Every email I have sent while  learning how to use the platform has always been promptly answered by a caring person. And when I put in our application to become a member of the community, they jumped to answer us with a resounding YES in a matter of days.

Thank you PODIANT, from the bottom of our hearts for this gift.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

The Rideau Carol, new for Canada 150 and our 40th - Youtube video

David Rain, composer and his muse, The Rideau Falls, Ottawa (photo, David Rain)
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers sing The Rideau Carol, a brand new contemporary piece composed by one of our tenors, David Rain.

The carol was inspired by the magnificent Rideau Falls here in our Nation's Capitol.  David encounters the Falls each day on his practice runs training for marathon runs - usually for charity.

The song starts with the sounds of the Falls -- Chut, chut, chut, chut, chut... and goes on to celebrate various seasonal aspects of the beautiful and historic city of Ottawa, Canada.

All our CDs are available  for purchase on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

Visit our blog or our website for updates.

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 16th, 2016.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Andrew Mason
Editing: Pierre Massie

If you adore our music as much as we love singing it, you can DONATE to our 40th fundraising goal of $15,000 to celebrate this milestone! http://www.stairwellcarollers.com/Donate.html.  All Donations receive a charitable tax receipt !

Visit our website

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Please DONATE to for our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Choral Cacophony Podcast #10 - Do you Hear What I Hear? I think you do...

The Child
For everyone who is enjoying our podcasts, please be patient as our provider goes through some housecleaning. This may mean some delays in downloads but I am sure it will settle out soon.

I have for you an early Christmas treat !

We all love the Xmas favourite "Do you Hear What I Hear?" so our director Pierre decided to do an arrangement for the choir.

I thinks it's fantastic and really conveys the feeling and sweetness of the original song.

What do you think?

Chapter 1 - Pierre gives notes and the choir starts the run-through of his exclusive arrangement of "Do You Hear What I Hear?"

Chapter 2 - Second time through a chorus - Pierre works on dynamics and enunciation.

Chapter 3 - Working on the ritardando for the ending - and saying consonants together.

PS Last year's concert Premiere of this song is almost ready for Youtube -- watch for it1

Also, if you are a choir director and want Pierre to publish this arrangement so you can do it with your choir, please tell us in an email at info (at) stairwellcarollers.com

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events ! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.
About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

PART 3 - Why I sing! - Singing with the Stairwell Carollers

Canadian Maple Leaves - photo, Holly Massie
(Kristina's perspective) PART 3 - Why I sing!    Read PART 1 and PART 2 first! - all photos below by Kristina Roudiy

Why do I love singing in a choir? And particularly the Stairwell Carollers? / Quelles sont les raisons qui font que j'aime chanter dans une chorale, et plus précisément celle-ci?
Why do I love singing in a choir?
Because the music we sing together takes me on a beautiful journey -avec le répertoire de cette chorale, on est embarqué dans un voyage musical et poétique...
on est embarqué dans un voyage musical et poétique...
We get to travel back in time, as we sing musical pieces from different eras - avec par exemple des chants du Moyen-âge et de la Renaissance.
we sing musical pieces from different eras
We sing in solemn, sacred, places -and get to admire cool architecture too – la musique sacrée dans des lieux solennels et/ou historiques.
la musique sacrée
La musique est riche en couleurs et en histoires... Last Spring, I particularly liked "Earth Song" and this is the landscape it evoked when we sang : "through darkness, pain and strife, music shall be my light".
"through darkness, pain and strife, music shall be my light".
This Season is extra special, because all our music is Canada-themed... en raison des 150 ans du Canada et des 40 ans de la chorale, tout notre répertoire cet automne est sur le thème du Canada.
tout notre répertoire cet automne est sur le thème du Canada
There is something special about singing music which was arranged or composed by local Ottawa composers. En plus, on chante des morceaux composés par notre chef de choeur, qui a déjà vu sa musique jouée dans la tour de la paix du Parlement d'Ottawa! :)
sa musique jouée dans la tour de la paix du Parlement d'Ottawa!
If the Stairwell Carollers had the opportunity to go overseas, here are the 3 places where I dream that we could perform together! Si la chorale pouvait voyager en Europe, voici les trois places où j'aimerais qu'on chante ensemble : sur la Dent de Vaulion (Swiss Mountain), dans la grande cathédrale d'Orléans (Orleans, France) et au pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct in Southern France).
sur la Dent de Vaulion (Swiss Mountain),
dans la grande cathédrale d'Orléans (Orleans, France)
au pont du Gard (Roman Aqueduct in Southern France)
But in the meantime, we do have some pretty great Christmas concerts scheduled here in Ottawa! En attendant de pouvoir voyager au-dessus de l'océan Atlantique...on va se contenter de la capitale Canadienne ^^.
We sing Christmas concerts here in Ottawa
Check the Stairwell Caroller's website to see the whole list of November-December 2017 concert dates -there is necessarily one that will work with your schedule?! Souhaitant à tous un très bel automne et de joyeuses fêtes de fin d'année!

Musically yours,
Kristina
Christmas wreath, Canada

 Read PART 1 and PART 2

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Ottawa Morning Interview with Pierre - CBC, Radio One - Part 2 - YouTube video

CBC radio interview outside their location on Sparks Street, Ottawa
From our 30th anniversary year, 2007 - 10 years ago. 2017 is our 40th!

Here is Part 2 of the interview with Stairwell Carollers Director, Pierre Massie, for Ottawa Morning. On CBC, Radio One with CBC radio personalities, Kathleen Petty and Jill Laforty!

PART 1 HERE 

Jill Laforty interviews Pierre Massie for CBC radio at Ottawa U
Pete took photos from the Stairwell Carollers 30th anniversary committee meetings, celebration, appearances and concerts and combined them with the radio interview and split the lengthy interview into two parts.

This part starts with the excited voices of  University of Ottawa students hearing our impromptu caroling in their residence stairwells one evening.

Enjoy!
Editing: Pierre Massie,
Photos, Holly Massie.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concerts and CDs !

The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 





Visit our website

Monday, October 16, 2017

Choral Cacophony #9 - It's all Latin to me...

Stained Glass window, St. Bartholomew's - "The Governor General's church" -  Ottawa
Working on our most popular piece of Sacred music, Missa Brevis, by Antonio Lotti, Pierre gets into the Nitty Gritty of a Latin Ditty.

Choral Cacophony podcast #9  focuses on a few vocal peccadilloes from sections of this lovely Mass.

Chapter 1 - Pierre reminds us of some latin pronunciation - the choir gives it a try.
Chapter 2 - Working on an internal sound for the first vowel in Sanctus - listen for the S sound together.
Chapter 3 - listen for Pierre's voice modelling the proper dynamics and vowel sounds. He sings different parts - even the sopranos!
Chapter 4 - Pierre reminds us often of the proper sound quality by demonstrating. Hosanna section.
Chapter 5 - Pierre corrects the O sound and tells a teacher's anecdote.
Chapter 6 - Improving the sound of Sanctus - a bit of voice theory -  BTW, Pierre is a tenor.


Sanctus from Missa Brevis - Antonio Lotti
If you've ever wondered about Latin pronunciation for singing - yes, it is different! More on those differences in a later Podcast :)

Below, is our most recent live concert version of Missa Brevis. Enjoy!


Please DONATE to support our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concerts and CDs !

The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 





Visit our website

Sponsor a Song for Shepherds of Good Hope!

Stained glass window
 Do you love choral music and are looking forward to this year's Stairwell Caroller concerts?

To celebrate our 40th anniversary, and as part of the Canada 150 celebrations, The Stairwell Carollers’ director Pierre Massie, has crafted a unique, all-Canadian program of Christmas carols this season.

With your small donation of only $200, Sponsor a Stairwell Carollers Song and all funds raised will go to the Shepherds of Good Hope!

Your name will appear in the souvenir concert program as Song Sponsor.

Why should I do this?

The Christmas carol list is below. Choose a song that has special meaning for you or someone dear to you.

Your name (or your loved one’s name) will be acknowledged as song sponsor in the choir’s printed program, distributed to the hundreds of people who will attend our five Xmas 2017 concerts.
Knox Presbyterian 2016 - full house!

St. Columba Xmas concert - packed to the rafters!

Where will my donation go?
All donations to the “Sponsor a Song” campaign will be given to the Shepherds of Good Hope, at The Stairwell Carollers 40th anniversary “gala” concert on December 15 at Knox Presbyterian Church.

Shepherds of Good Hope is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the needs of the homeless and vulnerably-housed in the city of Ottawa. Founded in 1983 as a soup kitchen and emergency shelter, today Shepherds of Good Hope operates eight facilities across the city, including a soup kitchen, transitional shelter, five supportive housing locations and a social enterprise day-program. Shepherds of Good Hope provides innovative programming and services to meet the needs of Ottawa's most vulnerable adult men and women.

Which songs can I sponsor?

Three brand new carols:

“A baby is born/L’Enfant est né” – a bilingual, Canada 150 carol by Pierre Massie.

“Es ist ein Ros entsprungen” – a new arrangement of this German carol by choir tenor, David Rain.

“Carol of the Bells” – a brand new arrangement of this popular carol by Pierre Massie.

Songs by noted Canadian composers:

“Thou Shalt Know Him When He Comes” – by Kingston’s Mark Sirett.

“En el Portal el Belen” – Puerto Rican Carol by Vancouver’s Ed Henderson.

“D’où viens-tu bergère?” – by Québec composer André Bellefeuille.

“Tout le ciel reluit” – by Ontario’s William McCauley (1917-1999).

“Mon beau sapin” – by Québec composer Maurice Dela (1919-1978).

“The Bird Carol” – by noted Ontario music educator G. Roy Fenwick (1889-1970).

“Bell Carol” – by Alfred E. Whitehead (1887-1974) from Nova Scotia/ Québec.

“Lo, He Comes” – by Manitoba composer Rev. John Black (1818-1882).

Songs with a Stairwell Caroller connection:

“The Gower Wassail” – by Robert Frederick Jones (1947-2012), father of choir tenor Andrew Jones.
“A Christmas Lullaby” – by Martin Fairbank, former choir tenor.
“Rideau Carol” – by choir tenor David Rain.
“Mourning Dove” –  by Pierre Massie - title track to the Stairwell Caroller’s 3rd CD.

“Eya, eya gaudeamus” - by Pierre Massie - First place, Amadeus Choir Carol Competition, 2007.

Favourite carols arranged by Pierre Massie :

“Joy to the World”
“Do you hear what I hear”
“We Three Kings of Orient”
“Stille Nacht/Silent Night”
“Nouvelle agréable”
“Dans le silence de la nuit”
“Un flambeau Jeannette, Isabelle”
“Ca, bergers assemblons nous”
“What child is this” – (Greensleeves version)
“Iesous Ahatonnia” – with original Wyandot text.

To sponsor a song with your minimum $200 donation, be sure to mention which song when you fill out the donation form HERE.

Thank you for showing your appreciation of great a cappella singing, and for supporting the important work of the Shepherds of Good Hope!

The Carollers sing in a humanitarian key, and have donated over $130,000 to local charities and high school students in the national capital region going on to study music at Canadian universities.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concerts and CDs !

The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 
Visit our website






Saturday, October 14, 2017

PART 2 - I'm in! Rehearsal! - Singing with the Stairwell Carollers : toute une aventure!

That's me, Kristina, on the right.
(Kristina's perspective PART 2 - Read PART 1 first!- all photos by Kristina Roudiy

Don't expect this kind of rehearsal (below)with hundreds of singers around you and the choir director so far ahead that you can't tell if (s)he's frowning or smiling! On est plutôt assis en cercle et le chef de choeur est au centre du groupe.
don't expect this kind of rehearsal
It helps if you can read the music sheets, of course...si tu peux lire les notes de musique, cela va t'être avantageux.
It helps if you can read
Also really important, your posture! Si tu peux avoir les deux pieds bien ancrés au sol pendant que tu chantes, cela te donnera plus de stabilité (donc ne croises pas les jambes...)
les deux pieds bien ancrés...
The rehearsals will always start with some warm-up vocal exercises. Peux-tu chanter "aaah oooh ouuh iiiih uuuh"?
 warm-up vocal exercises
The choir director might sometimes say : "you're not all singing it the same way - try again". It's all about the proper technique! Il faut s'exercer pour produire le même son tous ensemble.
singing it the same way...
Sometimes, we encounter pronunciation challenges when we sing in other languages. - Ah mais non, voyons, çà n'est pas comme çà qu'on le prononce en... (italien, allemand ou vieux français!)
pronunciation challenges
Sometimes, you start singing your part at the wrong time. Mais pas de souci! Cela arrive à tout le monde d'être parfois distrait, fatigué, et de ne pas commencer de chanter au bon moment... ;)
singing your part at the wrong time
Occasionally, the choir director may turn to your section and ask you to sing with more focus and more intensity. But you still feel somewhat intimidated... - Par moments, cela peut être intimidant de devoir davantage projeter sa voix, quand le chef de choeur le demande!
Par moments, cela peut être intimidant...
"Allright, let's go to page 96 and work on bar 89!" (or was it page 89 and bar 96?) On s'embrouille parfois, entre les numéros de pages et de mesures...surtout on n'a pas tous les mêmes partitions ;)
or was it page 89 and bar 96?
At other times, you'll hear the choir director say : "STOP! Let's go back and practice this. Again. And again. And again...." / Quand tu entendras : "STOP!" il s'agira de retourner chanter la page d'avant, encore et encore et encore... jusqu'à la perfection.
Again. And again. And again...."
All this being said... choir singing is also, and most importantly, about having F-U-N! C'est bien beau, la technique, la pratique, la posture... mais faut aussi que le chant en chorale soit pour toi une activité plaisante! ;)
choir singing is also, and most importantly, about having F-U-N!
Musically yours,
Kristina (soprano)

 Read PART 1  PART 3 NEXT SATURDAY     Stay tuned!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Stairwell Director interviewed on Ottawa Morning - CBC, Radio One - Part 1 - YouTube video

Another take of our new 2017 group photo - this one is a personal fave because I like everyone's expressions and the effects filter picks up colours in everyone's hair. Even Pete's :)

It's an oldie but a goodie video this week from our 30th anniversary year, 2007 - 10 years ago!

Enjoy an interview with our Director on Ottawa Morning CBC, Radio One headed up by CBC radio stars, Kathleen Petty and Jill Laforty!

Pete combined photos from the Stairwell Carollers 30th anniversary committee meetings, celebration, appearances and concerts with the audio interview to make the video. he then split the lengthy interview into two parts.

PART 1 this week and PART 2 next Thursday.

Editing: Pierre Massie,
Photos, Holly Massie.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concerts and CDs !

The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 





Visit our website

Monday, October 9, 2017

Choral Cacophony Podcast #8 - Minor... is there anything Finer?

Inuit themed giant Topiary at Mosaiculture, Hull, Quebec.
Nothing could be finer, than to sing Harmonic Minor in the mo-o-orning...
Well, maybe not the MORNING (cough)

Harmonic Minor Scales are tricky to say the least. They sound spooky too -- just in time for Hallowe'en.
Yummy pumpkin cake from the Manotick farmers market

Oooooooooo
Ahhhhhhh

I could go on, but now I'm just being silly. This short and sweet warmup will test your ear -- don't be scared to do it over and over until you've got it right!

Guaranteed to improve your feel for Minor scales and give you confidence in recognizing intervals :)

Chapter 1 - Warm up with scales - on Ah and O in thirds
Chapter 2 - Starting lower with a Minor Scale - Pierre explains Minor and avoiding the term "natural"
Chapter 3 - Harmonic Minor scale on La and the Arpeggio
Chapter 4 - Minor Scale in thirds - Pierre demonstrates, then the choir
Chapter 5 - A new note, another Minor scale, and then in thirds again

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa U. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Please DONATE to for our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.


You May also Like...

Popular Posts

Real Time Web Analytics Google
Google