Monday, January 29, 2018

CC Podcast S. 2 #4a - A Heavenly Pair

Stairwell Carollers in Renaissance garb circa 1987
Here is the conclusion of a Two Part Choral Cacophony Podcast for lovers of English madrigals from the Renaissance.
A heavenly Pair - Holly and Pete - Stairwell Carollers photo at the NAC
Part 2 continues with Fine Knacks for Ladies, by John Dowland. This episode highlights Pierre's sense of humour in rehearsal, a question from Holly, pronunciation of key words and an answer from Maggie.
Fine Knacks For Ladies - John Dowland

Fine knacks for ladies, cheap, choice, brave and new,
Good pennyworths but money cannot move,
I keep a fair but for the fair to view,
A beggar may be liberal of love.
Though all my wares be trash, the heart is true (repeat). 

Great gifts are guiles and look for gifts again,
My trifles come as treasures from my mind,
It is a precious jewel to be plain,
Sometimes in shell the Orient's pearls we find.
Of others take a sheaf, of me a grain (repeat). 

Within this pack pins, points, laces and gloves,
And divers toys fitting a country fair,
But in my heart, where duty serves and loves,
Turtles and twins, Court's brood, a heav'nly pair.
Happy the man that thinks of no removes (repeat). 
Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB

Email us NOW to set up YOUR Audition for Ottawa's a cappella choir, The Stairwell Carollers. LAST CHANCE THIS WEDNESDAY!

Whether you audition to sing with the group or show up to help as a volunteer, you will enjoy every minute with this great group of people. We rehearse and perform in the Ottawa/Outaouais region.

To set up your audition 
for this Wednesday, Jan 31, 2018 
email 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, January 27, 2018

Earth Song by Frank Ticheli, sung by Ottawa's Stairwell Carollers - Youtube

Mother Earth, Gaea - from MosaiCanada150, Hull, Quebec, Canada
The Stairwell Carollers sing Earth Song, a beautiful contemporary piece written by American composer, Frank Ticheli in 2007.

Another favourite of mine to sing, Earth Song holds a message of peace and environmental awareness for our modern age.
Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 4th, 2016.
Videographers: Luc Nugent. Kolin Casagrande
Editing: Pierre Massie
Visit our website

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

About 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 alongside the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

NEWS! John Rutter coming to Ottawa's Music and Beyond!

Snow everywhere
Don't let the snow stop you from getting out and singing!! Email us NOW to set up YOUR Audition for Ottawa's a cappella choir, The Stairwell Carollers.

Whether you audition to sing with the group or show up to help as a volunteer, you will enjoy every minute with this great group of people. We rehearse and perform in the Ottawa/Outaouais region.

Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB
Exciting news for fans of my Ottawa Choir, The Stairwell Carollers - one of our favourite composers, John Rutter is coming to town, as part of Music & Beyond!

Did you know that our Director, Pierre, has corresponded personally many times with John Rutter about his music?

We have recorded and sung in concert many of his beautiful pieces and loved every minute.

Have a listen to the Carollers singing John Rutter's rousing Somerset Wassail:
To set up your audition for the last week of January, 
email: info(at)stairwellcarollers.com

Please DONATE to support our 40th year events ! 

All Donations receive a charitable receipt.



Get to Know The Stairwell Carollers:

Supporting the Capital Region community now for 40 years, this SATB chorus is committed to excellence in choral music and charitable work. A registered Canadian charity, we help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook salesPierre Massie began 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

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #1 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - Pub Night!

Alto, Jo, and tenor, David, relax at season's end pub night.
Looking for voices! Email us NOW to set up YOUR Audition for Ottawa's a cappella choir, The Stairwell Carollers.
Pub night draws a fun mix of singers once a month - and we sing there too!
Whether you audition to sing with the group or come help as a volunteer, you won't be sorry you joined this amazing tour de force in the Ottawa/Outaouais region.

Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB
We are a very social group, and you never know what ancient drinking song we might start singing at one of New Edinburgh’s fine public houses after our Wed night rehearsals.

Tourdion (Quand je bois):

Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.


To set up your audition for the end of January, email:
 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 competitionsSupporting the Capital Region community now for 40 years, this SATB chorus is committed to excellence in choral music and charitable work. A registered Canadian charity, we help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Monday, January 22, 2018

C.C. Podcast Season 2 #4 - Fine Knacks indeed!

Denyse, soprano, poses between songs at Rideau Hall

If you love Renaissance madrigals, we have a Two Part CC Podcast for you. 

Starting this week with Part 1, Fine Knacks for Ladies, by John Dowland - an English madrigal from the Renaissance - will be dissected and refined. This week, specific pronunciation (to overcome singer's individual accents)  is reinforced through our favourite method - practise, practise, practise.

Our director decided long ago to be true to each song's roots. That's why we work with experts on language pronunciation for all our songs - even down to regional differences in dialects.

Of course any group can work to overcome their own regional sound if they emulate a British Boy's choir sound, an authentic Spanish cadence or French language finesse.

Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB

Email us NOW to set up YOUR Audition for Ottawa's a cappella choir, The Stairwell Carollers.

Whether you audition to sing with the group or show up to help as a volunteer, you will enjoy every minute with this great group of people. We rehearse and perform in the Ottawa/Outaouais region.

To set up your audition for the end of January 2018,
 email 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, January 20, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #2 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - Tenors & basses get great lines to sing!

Stairwell Carollers sing in Byward Market
Email us NOW to set up YOUR Audition for Ottawa's a cappella choir, The Stairwell Carollers.

Whether you audition to sing with the group or come help as a volunteer, you won't be sorry you joined this amazing tour de force in the Ottawa/Outaouais region.

Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB

“We gaze at window scenes, of stables and crèches.
The Market’s alive, ‘All aboard’ les calèches!”
All aboard’ les calèches! n Ottawa's Byward Market

Check out my Rideau Carol below. Story behind the song HERE.


Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.


To set up your audition for the end of January, email:
 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 competitionsSupporting the Capital Region community now for 40 years, this SATB chorus is committed to excellence in choral music and charitable work. A registered Canadian charity, we help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Friday, January 19, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #3 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - Wake up from your slumbers!

Finches at a feeder
Top 10 reasons to audition for my Ottawa Choir, The Stairwell Carollers:

Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB
 The god of love is calling you, to sing with us!


"Réveillez-vous, coeurs endormis! Le dieu d'amour vous sonne."
Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.
To set up your audition in the last week of 
January, email 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.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

The Stairwell Carollers perform "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" - Youtube concert video

Rose
In this video upload, Ottawa's Stairwell Carollers chorus perform "Now Sleeps the Crimson Petal" by Paul Mealor, a Welsh composer. 

This contemporary a cappella song is so much fun to sing and uses the full range of the choir's voices. Challenging and very satisfying.

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 4th, 2016.
Videographers: Luc Nugent. Kolin Casagrande
Editing: Pierre Massie

It's not too late to audition for the Stairwell Carollers!
To set up your audition for the end of January, email 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.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #4 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - You'll sing in a beautiful, humanitarian key!

The Stairwell Carollers make music to give help to our community
Top 10 reasons to audition for my Ottawa Choir, The Stairwell Carollers:

Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB

The Stairwell Carollers have donated more than $137,000 to local charities like the Ottawa Community Immigrant Services Organization, the Shepherds of Good Hope, music scholarship winners, and many others.
Way back in the 80's - The Stairwell Carollers help out the Christmas Exchange broadcast
And for a special bonus, check out this wild Renaissance tongue-twister, La Tricotea - where the altos get to sing the melody!
Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.
To set up your audition in the last week of January, email 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.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Choral Cacophony Podcast Season 2 #3 - Contre Qui Rose

This perfect zucchini rose was a hit on our concert reception table.
If you live in the Ottawa region and love our choir -- and would love to sing in our choir - email us to set up your audition NOW. This podcast episode shows a typical rehearsal and illustrates how deftly Pierre our director leads us to perform such a subtle and wondrous piece as Contre Qui Rose.

Chapter 1 - Rehearsing a gorgeous French piece, Contre Qui Rose.
Chapter 2 - Pierre discusses the consideration of the fine beauty of this song. He gives notes to each section by singing each beginning.
Chapter 3 - The French "e" sound is sometimes a difficult vowel for non french speakers. Pierre and Josée discuss some details. The choir continues.
Chapter 4 - One last run through to fine tune an "s" sound.
  To set up your audition time in the last week of January 2018,
 email 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.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #5 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - You like singing in French, English, or both - at the same time!

The Stairwell Carollers sing in many languages - OCISO concert 2017 - photo, Iryna Zamchevska
Top 10 reasons to audition for my Ottawa Choir, The Stairwell Carollers:
Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB
We are a proudly bilingual choir and thus many of director Pierre Massie's compositions feature both official languages, sometimes sung simultaneously, like in the Stairwell Carol:

And for a special bonus, check out the Stairwell Carol played by Dr Andrea McCrady on the Peace Tower carillon!
Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.


To set up your audition for the end of January, email 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, January 13, 2018

Music is Easy - Height and Length are Hard...

Pierre Massie directs and sings with The Stairwell Carollers from The tenor section.- photo, Iryna Zamchevska
Pierre, our director discusses his theory about music.

From an email conversation with David Rain, tenor and fellow composer.

"Here's a basic fact I've learned over my lifetime of doing music.

There are two technical elements to the language of music: height and length.

That's it, that's all.

It's why a computer can do it.  It's math.

What's missing is the human element - and of course, that's the biggest part of it.  Many musicians can do the technical part very well and give flawless performances that lack the human aspect.

Those performances are cold and boring.

If a musician has a handle on both - and also feels the music, those are always the best performances of all.
The Stairwell Carollers LOVE to sing - - photo, Iryna Zamchevska
The Stairwell Carollers are at the point now where we do height very well.  Height is
intervals and sustaining pitch.  The choir is pretty good at learning a melody line.  As for pitch, sure we lose some height on occasion but this last iteration of the choir is pretty amazing when it comes to keeping pitch.
Stairwell Carollers lost in song. - photo, Iryna Zamchevska
So music height is ok with us, but length is not and it inhibits our advancement substantially.  You've had first hand experience with this.  You see it every time we do rhythm work.  Some totally gave up on the stick routine when I had that workshop. It's coordination and coordination is rhythm.  Those few in the choir who have it tend to pick things up faster than most.  Others in their sections often rely on them for entries.

You often tell me that you don't know how I can sing, conduct, hear everyone and make corrections and comments all at the same time.

The key is coordination and any problem with that translates directly to a musician who has difficulty with the length aspect of music."

Pierre Massie
Pierre was just out of hospital in this photo, but totally dedicated to improving the choir's performance.
And now for a message from the altos - well not really, but I wanted to put in this cute photo of me and Manon :)
Manon and I are alto sisters - so much fun to sing with her!

Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB

To set up your audition for the end of January, email 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.

Friday, January 12, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #6 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - Auditions can be fun!

Sur la Dent de Vaulion (Swiss mountain) - photo credit, Kristina Roudiy

Top 10 reasons to audition for my Ottawa Choir, The Stairwell Carollers:
Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB
Soprano Kristina R. auditioned a year ago and has written a series of lively blog posts about the experience.
And have a listen to a favourite song of Kristina’s (and many others in the choir), Earth Song: 
Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.
To set up your audition for the end of January, email 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.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #7 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - Let's hear it from the Men!

The men of the Stairwell Carollers get a tune for themselves - photo, Iryna Zamchevska
Top 10 reasons to audition for my Ottawa Choir, The Stairwell Carollers:
Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers SATB

#7 - You're a tenor or a bass, you love singing in foreign languages, and you just adore songs or parts of songs that feature that special, rich sound that can only be heard when the men are singing together by themselves.

Hint: the ladies in the choir have been known to appreciate these songs too.  :)
Here is a recent Russian piece, Spaséniye sodélal
Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.
To set up your audition for the end of January, email 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.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

COUNTDOWN: #8 Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - Sing award-winning songs

Audition for the Stairwell Carollers, winner of many choir awards
Top 10 reasons to audition for my Ottawa Choir, The Stairwell Carollers:

#8 - You get to sing award-winning songs, like Pierre Massie's "Eya, eya gaudeamus", the title track of our spring 2018 program.


Auditions Spring 2018 Ottawa Stairwell Carollers
Thanks to David Rain for his awesome series : Top 10 reasons to audition for The Stairwell Carollers - posted on FaceBook and reproduced here with his permission.
To set up your audition in the last week of January 2018, 
email: 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.

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