Monday, February 26, 2018

CC Podcast S. 2 #7 - One Note Wonder

Denyse, soprano, practices at home between rehearsals
As a singer, in a chorus especially, we have to shape our vowels correctly (and the way the director prefers!) But, how do we do that?

Like most skill development, it takes practice and guidance. Practice making the sound, shaping the mouth, and - where does that darn pesky tongue go?

Hint - The tongue should lay in the mouth, as if ready for a yawn, touching the back of the teeth.

If you are lucky, you have a master music teacher on a mission leading your chorus.

This weeks Choral Cacophony Podcast presents a vocal warm-up that's also great for ear training.

Pierre uses Movable Do in many warmups
Chapter 1 - Vowels Ma May Mee Mo Moo on one note. Pierre discusses consistent and straight group sound.
Chapter 2 - Spool of Thread visualization exercise for straight sound. Continue with that in mind.
Chapter 3 - Continue up a semitone and then switch to Do, Re, Mi, Fa, Sol. Pierre leads the choir in two groups with Movable Do hand signals.
Movable Do


About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir way back in 1977 while studying music 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 also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook salesNet proceeds benefit charity.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year workshops! 


Thursday, February 22, 2018

SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel Now - Un jour vis un foulon - Madrigal

Pete and Holly

Here's a fun madrigal to make you smile. Un jour vis un foulon is a late Renaissance Madrigal by Orlando di Lasso a Netherlandish or Franco-Flemish composer.

Un jour vis un foulon is on our “Audite nova” CD.
Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 4th, 2016.
Videographers: Luc Nugent. Kolin Casagrande
Editing: Pierre Massie

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir way back in 1977 while studying music 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 also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook salesNet proceeds benefit charity.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year workshops! 

Monday, February 19, 2018

CC Podcast S. 2 #6 - We Got Rhythm

Pierre leads the choir in clapping the beat.
This weeks Choral Cacophony Podcast episode is an extra long one - about 10 minutes. With two whole body exercises, the Stairwell Carollers work on rhythm.

Pierre created special practice sheets for teaching rhythm to his students and uses a whole body approach to teaching it. For all rhythm exercises he stresses coordination between the mind and the body; a musician always has to keep count of the beats in a bar while singing, playing an instrument, etc.

This is challenging to say the least.

Using Rhythm Sheet 1a - shown below - Pierre leads the choir in alternate forms of clapping and saying the beat/note number position in the bar.
Rhythms 1a - all rights reserved, Pierre Massie
About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir way back in 1977 while studying music 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 also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook salesNet proceeds benefit charity.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year workshops! 

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Kristina's Perspective, Part TWO

Rehearsals in churches give us the opportunity to practice Roman numerals - photo Kristina Roudiy
PART ONE HERE
Nos répétitions dans les églises nous donnent l'opportunité de pratiquer les chiffres romains...

We also get to see some cool doors... par exemple, cette jolie porte à Ottawa..
Knox Presbyterian church door, downtown Ottawa, - photo Kristina Roudiy
Un moment de sérénité avant un de nos concerts. Blue like...peaceful :)
Blue votives - photo Kristina Roudiy
Colourful stained glass at the St. Joseph d'Orleans church (made by Dutch artist Gerry Mesterom)
Stained glass window, St. Joseph church in Orleans - photo Kristina Roudiy
Neat mural painting in the basement of the St Columba church, in Manor Park.
Saviez-vous que cette église a été construite par un ancien officier de l'armée de l'air, John Devris?
St Columba church constructed by John Devris (depicted here in the mural)  - photo Kristina Roudiy
Busy preparing for the concert receptions...ici, notre chanteur ténor Andrew, en charge du café.
Andrew, tenor, fixes coffee for the Knox reception  - photo Kristina Roudiy
The Stairwell Carollers also enjoy pub nights -de belles discussions autour d'un verre de bière!
Helen, Susan and Kristina at pub night - photo Kristina Roudiy
Cool clocks from around the world, in the Clocktower Brew Pub...
Clocktower Brew Pub Clocks - photo Kristina Roudiy
Finishing with a fun quote by Paulo Coelho :
"Rien n'est complètement faux dans le monde. Même une horloge arrêtée réussit à être à l'heure deux fois par jour!"

PART ONE HERE
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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, February 15, 2018

Please SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel :) In Remembrance - Youtube live concert video

Angel Sculpture, Église St.Joseph, Orleans, On

Here is a personal favourite from our St. Barnabas Spring 2016 concert.

"In Remembrance" is a beautiful contemporary composition by Eleanor Daley, a Canadian composer of choral music.

The words, from the poem,  "Do not stand at my grave and weep" by Elizabeth Frye.
My sweet Mom, in her favourite spot where she could watch the birds
This was a poignant song for both myself and Pete. It was the poem we chose for my Mother's funeral service back in 2010. It takes a lot of focus to sing it, but reminds me of her kindness and her gentle personality.

Mom was our biggest fan, attending concerts until she could no longer go out. I hope you love listening to this song as much as I love singing it.

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 4th, 2016.

Videographers: Luc Nugent. Kolin Casagrande
Editing: Pierre Massie

About the Stairwell Carollers,

We are an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie. The Stairwell Carollers have been ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions.

A non-profit organization, the Stairwell Carollers chorus raises funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Dans les Coulisses des Chanteurs Stairwell Behind the Scenes - Part One

Ottawa sign - photo Kristina Roudiy
From Kristina's perspective PART ONE - PART TWO HERE
Are you curious about what our choir is up to between concerts?

Come on in and see!
Wreaths - photo Kristina Roudiy
Here are photos of some special moments from the past few months :)
Mark Sirett and Kristina - photo Kristina Roudiy
October 2017 : a choral workshop with Mark Sirett -compositeur et chef de choeur canadien.
Rajaton - photo Kristina Roudiy
A few of us also got to hear Rajaton sing...un super ensemble a capella finlandais.
Kristina with Dominion Carilloneur and fellow Stairwellers
December 2017 -getting to meet Dominion Carillonneur, Andrea McCrady.
Carillon closeup  - photo Kristina Roudiy
...and seeing / hearing the bells from up close. Saviez-vous qu'il y a 53 cloches au parlement?
Holly  - photo Kristina Roudiy
Our official photographer and PR representative, Holly, is always capturing new scenes ;)
Carillon pedals  - photo Kristina Roudiy
During our Christmas concert season, we come across various musical instruments...
Reconnaissez-vous cet instrument de musique? Savez-vous à quoi servent les trois pédales? :)

À Bientot!

PART TWO HERE
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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.

Monday, February 12, 2018

CC Podcast S. 2 #5a - Working out Laud

Typical rehearsal with our director leading from the centre of our circle.
In this weeks Choral Cacophony Podcast episode (Second of two parts) the Stairwell Carollers work on a piece called Resonet in laudibus.  It's a latin Sacred composition from the 14th century for SATB choir, transcribed by our director, Pierre Massie.
Chapter 1 - Pierre continues rehearsing the song with the choir, working on timing, singing the soprano and alto parts himself.

Chapter 2 - Some reminders of latin pronunciation and then we practice!

Chapter 3 - Pierre snaps his fingers as signal for timing. Silliness ensues sometimes - it is rehearsal after all! And a final try.

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir way back in 1977 while studying music 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 also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook salesNet proceeds benefit charity.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year workshops! 

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Esto les Digo, performed by the Stairwell Carollers, Youtube concert video

Stained glass window
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, sing Esto les Digo, a Sacred contemporary piece, written by Kinley Lange.
Composer Kinley Lange
Here is a link to the sheet music.

You tube live concert video of this beautiful Spanish language song
Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 4th, 2016.
Videographers: Luc Nugent. Kolin Casagrande
Editing: Pierre Massie
Photos: Holly Massie

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir way back in 1977 while studying music 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 also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook salesNet proceeds benefit charity.

Please DONATE to support our 40th year workshops! 

Monday, February 5, 2018

CC Podcast S. 2 #5 - Our Director sings soprano

Graham (bass) risks life and limb to focus lights for a spring concert
In this weeks Choral Cacophony Podcast episode (the first of two parts) we rehearse a piece called Resonet in laudibus.  It's a latin sacred composition from the 14th century, transcribed by our director, Pierre Massie.

Chapter 1 - Pierre rehearses the choir and demonstrates the rhythm by singing the soprano and alto parts himself. Yeah, that's right - only 1 chapter in this episode.

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. 





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Thursday, February 1, 2018

John Rutter Youtube Playlist of Stairwell Caroller performances PLUS HOW TO EMBED YOUTUBE VIDS

Looking forward to Spring 2018 concerts! St. Barnabas, Ottawa
A thrilling event coming up in the spring besides Stairwell Caroller concerts is John Rutter's visit to Ottawa. Our director, Pierre, has always had a soft spot for Rutter's work - thus, we have been singing Rutter's compositions and arrangements for many years now.

Here is a Youtube playlist I made of some of the pieces the Stairwell Carollers have sung by the British master composer, John Rutter.
Enjoy!

YouTube - like everything has changed. There used to be an option on the playlist page to embed a playlist, but that seems to have disappeared in the change-up. If you found it please tell me in a comment below. They now have a tiny tutorial HERE to embed videos and playlists. I couldn't make it work, so I went to my old embeds to find a simpler path.

Check out the code below, which is sized exactly like our playlist embedded above.
Simply replace OUR ID (in RED) with the ID of YOUR playlist. Copy and paste into your blog or website HTML. You can adjust the size simply by changing the height and width values (another option no longer available on YouTube)

<iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="422" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLrLOtu8KN9cVBbcvJRJOuIwr08vOBYaDp
" width="750"></iframe>

Please comment below - I would love to hear of your success with my work-around.

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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