Thursday, May 31, 2018

Last Spring 2018 Concert this Saturday for the Stairwell! Youtube video

Proud to be a Stairweller tenor, David Rain shows off his new SC T-shirt
Your last chance to catch us in CONCERT for 2018

Eya, eya gaudeamus 

This Saturday - June 2nd, 7:30 pm 

Stairwell Carollers at St. Barnabas, Ottawa

TICKETS 
$15 in Advance

 Online HERE 
and at these retailers:

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

$20 at the door 

Eya, Eya Gaudeamus Poster


TEASER PLAYLIST 

The Concert Programme

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. 




Monday, May 28, 2018

Choral Concert this Saturday June 2, 2018

 The final Stairwell Caroller  SPRING CONCERT for 2018

Eya, eya gaudeamus 

This Saturday - June 2nd, 7:30 pm at St. Barnabas, Ottawa

TICKETS 
$15 in Advance

 Online HERE 
and at these retailers:

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

$20 at the door 

Eya, Eya Gaudeamus Poster


TEASER PLAYLIST - Enjoy :)
The Programme



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. 


Saturday, May 26, 2018

Stairwell Caroller Spring Concerts this week ONLY

Sunday May 27th afternoon concert at beautiful St. Martin's Church, Ottawa
Don't miss us!!
 The Stairwell Caroller  SPRING CONCERTS 

TOMORROW
Sunday May 27th 2:30 pm afternoon concert at beautiful St. Martin's Church, Ottawa - CONTACT ST. MARTIN'S FOR TICKETS

Signs of the Stairwell Carollers to come

AND ONE WEEK FROM TODAY
Saturday June 2nd, 7:30 pm at St. Barnabas, Ottawa
ST. BARNABAS TICKETS HERE

Sunday May 27th and Sat. June 2nd

Saturday June 2nd, 7:30 pm at St. Barnabas, Ottawa

TEASER PLAYLIST - Enjoy :)

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. 

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Youtube Playlist Embed Hack and Concerts next week!!

Glorious potholes
However beautiful, these are still potholes and driving on them was... basically bumper cars.

Sometimes I feel that way navigating Youtube, wondering what black hole my favourite option fell through. There was a button to embed a playlist, but alas, it is gone. If you found it, please tell me in a comment below. They have a tutorial HERE .

I couldn't make it work, so I use my old embeds to find a smoother path.

My code is below our embedded Concert Teaser playlist :)

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 by changing the height and width values (another option disappeared)

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

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. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

CCPodcast S.2 #14 - Singing in a Humanitarian Key

Not Pic Island - just the glorious Ottawa River - inspiring!
Pierre Massie and his award-winning choir The Stairwell Carollers will be celebrating the finale of their 40th anniversary season June 2nd at St. Barnabas church, Ottawa.

Choral music fans are in for a treat with a diverse programme of six centuries of music sung in six languages.

The concert will feature Renaissance gems from England, Spain, France and Germany, 19th century pieces like Abendlied by Josef Rheinberger, and modern masterpieces by Lauridsen, Stroope and Gjeilo.

 2018 Spring concert Programme - Eya Eya

Stairwell Caroller 2018 Spring concert Programme - Eya Eya
June 2 2018 Choral Concert St. Barnabas church, Ottawa
Pierre's award-winning “Eya eya gaudeamus” – the title track for the concert – is on the programme, as well as a brand-new arrangement of a medieval song – “In natali Domini” – by fellow Caroller David Rain.

Choral Cacophony Podcast this week is a Sneak Peek of "I am not Yours" - one of the songs you will hear June 2nd.

Pierre rehearses the end of  "I am not Yours" with the choir - makes some correction with the tenors to highlight the melody.

Throughout their 40 years, the Stairwell Carollers have been singing in a humanitarian key. Net proceeds from concerts and CD sales have allowed the Carollers to present donations to dozens of local charities and music scholarships to local high school students totaling over $140,000.

The Carollers are delighted to announce that this year’s $1000 music scholarship will be presented at their June 2 concert to Rayna Crandlemire, a talented singer, who also plays violin, clarinet and piano. Rayna attended De La Salle High School and will be continuing her music education at the University of Toronto this fall, where she has also been awarded a music scholarship. Congratulations Rayna!

A donation of $2000 will also be presented at the June 2nd concert to the Galilee Centre. The Stairwell Carollers have a soft spot in their hearts for Arnrprior’s Galilee Centre. Their special 40th anniversary Retreat was held there in May, with workshops led by the inspiring Gabriel Lewis-O'Connor - a former member of the renowned male chorus Chanticleer.

Hope to see you there!
Tickets ONLY for the June 2nd concert at St. Barnabas:
$15 in advance:
 The Leading Note, 370 Elgin St.
Compact Music, 190 & 785 1/2 Bank St.
Books on Beechwood, 35 Beechwood Ave, 
OR ONLINE

$20 at the door.
The Carollers will make an official presentation of the donation and scholarship grants at their spring concert “Eya eya gaudeamus” at Saint Barnabas Church (corner of James St & Kent St) on June 2nd, 7:30pm.

David Rain, who sings tenor with the Carollers, has been taking his musical cues from the back of Pierre Massie’s head for 25 years.

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

A registered Canadian charity, Net proceeds of our concert, CD and cookbook sales are gifted to local charities.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Un Week-end en Dehors - Part 2 - Vue du choeur - Denyse

 Gabe nous guide à travers les exercices de chorale lors du premier atelier.
C'était le début de notre atelier.

Debout. Les yeux fermée. Respirations profondes.

Pendant deux minutes.

Gabe, comme nous l'avons affectueusement nommé dès notre rencontre, nous lançait dans l'univers du chant choral. Un ancien Chanticleer, Gabriel Lewis O'Connor arrivait de Seattle pour un «workshop » avec les Stairwell Carollers. Pendant deux jours, nous deviendrions son instrument. Il ferait ce qu'il veut avec nos voix. Crescendo. Decrescendo. Sotto voce. Fortissimo. Sans être un Stradivarius, nous lui offrions une chorale bien préparée par notre maestro. Pierre Massie avait bien aiguisé nos attentes. Les chants préparés pour le concert n'offraient plus de secret au niveau des notes. Gabe pouvait peaufiner le rendement et suggérer de nouvelles interprétations, ce qu'il fit avec humour et respect.

Nous étions charmés comme des enfants et répondions sans restrictions à ses idées nouvelles. Pour El Grillo, il suggéra une voix nasillarde commune à l'époque de sa  création. Pour le chant Ach, wei des Leiden, il insista sur l'importance de savoir ce qu'on chante. Schmerzen. « Douleur » doit être accompagnée par une interprétation qui exprime une peine d'amour. « Si tu me quittes, je meurs » Ça revient à cela. C'est un des chants que nous allions chanter au concert, alors que les deux meilleures chorales du Glebe Collegiate, dirigées par Rachel Handley partageraient le programme de la soirée.
 L'ambiance était légère pour l'atelier de l'après-midi avec les jeunes élèves du Glebe.
En après-midi du samedi, ces jeunes nous ont donc joints et nous avons poursuivi l'atelier avec eux. Au concert, mon ensemble vocal a interprété cinq chants. Ensuite, ce fut le tour des élèves et finalement, les deux groupes jumelés ont interprété la grande finale. Le clou de la soirée : un solo de Gabriel. O Hostias suivi de O Domine du Requiem de Fauré. Quand tous furent à leur place, on aurait entendu le tic tac d'une horloge tant l'auditoire ne voulait rien manquer. Aucun choriste n'était au bout du rouleau malgré les longues répétitions. Ni jeune, Ni vieux.
 Église St. John Chrysostom, Arnprior
Une petite explication s'impose. Le Requiem de Fauré exige la contribution d'un orchestre. Pas de problème. Pierre avait préparé un accompagnement , une harmonisation apprise avec beaucoup d'efforts, mais quelle motivation de chanter avec un ancien Chanticleer. Ce groupe de douze chanteurs américains de réputation internationale charmera Ottawa en juillet lors du festival Musique et autres mondes.
 Rachel Handley dirige le chœur "Man" de Glebe Collegiate.
Gabe en a fait partie pendant quatre ans et a participé à cinq cents concerts à travers le monde.

Bref, cette dernière fin de semaine m'a transportée au 7ième ciel. Un ciel bleu sans nuages aucun et ceci fut vrai littéralement. L'endroit où nous étions, Galilee à Arnprior, un ancien couvent des Oblats, est situé au milieu d'une nature luxuriante jouxtant la rivière Ottawa et nous avons joui d'une température magnifique.
Le Centre Galilée repose sur les rives de la rivière des Outaouais à Arnprior
Personnelement, j'ai cliqué avec Gabriel Lewis O'Connor. C'est réciproque. Il a perçu ma passion pour le chant. « I love your smile » m'a-t-il lancé pendant la première répétition. J'étais tellement estomachée que j'ai vérifié avec lui s'il s'était bien adressé à moi et non à Maggie juste derrière moi. Elle chante toujours avec beaucoup d'expression. Et non! C'est moi qu'il visait. Ça m'a fait un petit velours, je l'avoue.
Gabe sourit à son chœur éclectique.
Tous et toutes, nous gardons un excellent souvenir de ces heures passées ensemble.
 Pierre, Denyse et René se relaxent dans la véranda du Centre Galilée.
Gabriel a tellement apprécié son expérience qu'il veut revenir dans la région avec sa famille et peut- être même y vivre quand il aura fini son doctorat. Et si c'était vrai?

Denyse Mageau

( English version is HERE)

Part 1 is HERE
Part 3 is HERE

À propos des Chanteurs Stairwell:

Pierre Massie a fondé notre chœur a cappella en 1977 alors qu'il était étudiant en musique à l'Université d'Ottawa.

Les Chanteurs Stairwell sont fiers d'avoir remporté les concours de l'Ontario Music Festival Association de 2010 et 2013. Un organisme de bienfaisance canadien enregistré, nous aidons également les organismes de bienfaisance locaux avec nos ventes de concerts, CD et livres de recettes.

Tous les dons reçoivent un reçu de charité.

Learn more about the Galilee Centre
History of the Galilee Centre
Who are the Oblates?
Galilee Centre Mission and Vision

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Spaséniye sodélal - Pavel Chesnokov - the Men of the Stairwell Carollers - Youtube

Just listening....
As an alto, it's a special treat to sometimes just sit back and listen. Such is the case with Spaséniye sodélal by Pavel Chesnokov. The Men of The Stairwell Carollers get to sing this Sacred piece from the Romantic period all by themselves :)

Chesnokov was an extremely prolific Imperial Russian and Soviet composer with over 500 choral pieces to his credit. He was also a conductor and teacher and lived from 1877 - 1944.

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 5th, 2015.
Videographer: Richard Auger.
Editing: Pierre Massie
Photos: Holly Massie


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 proud to have won 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.
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

Monday, May 14, 2018

In natali Domini - To My Mother - David Rain, arranger


In Natali Domini - photo, David Rain


We’re coming up to the final two concerts of our Stairwell Carollers 40th anniversary season, and I’m over the moon excited that we’ll be premiering my third piece with the Carollers, “In natali Domini.”

I have dedicated this piece to my late mother, Lois Rain, as it was on her CD of medieval three-part songs that I first came across this little gem.
Spring Forget-Me-Nots
My arrangement of this rhythmically exciting piece is for four parts, and includes an introduction, a mini-fugue verse, and a rousing coda to finish the piece.

As a singer myself, I wanted to ensure that everyone had some sections that they could really dig into. I shone a special spotlight on my alto buddies, who open the piece low in their register, but with great power, accompanied by the tenors. Then the basses come in with a strong rhythmic accent and the first verse comes to an end.
Stairwell tenors in rehearsal - David Rain, top left
The sopranos then get the spotlight in verse two as they soar upwards angelically (singing literally about the Angel Gabriel) with the altos and tenors accompanying them. Verse three features the men, initially in a low monkish register, but again soaring upwards towards the end of their section.
A mix of our sopranos and altos at rehearsal
Verse four is the fugue, with the initial spotlight on the basses, who get to sing the full melody from beginning to end. To date, this has been the most difficult section of music that I have written, amongst my 30+ compositions. A tiny passage of music, yet with all four parts exploring the basic “In natali” theme, how challenging to get it just right.
Stairwell basses attentive to Pierre's direction in rehearsal
After many attempts, I realized there was the possibility of having the two women’s parts play off each other. And so, the altos again get to shine, as they leapfrog over the sopranos, but then the sopranos respond and move above the altos, then it’s the altos, then the sopranos, and so on.

The effect I was aiming for was to create a feeling of reaching upwards, a longing to climb that elusive stairway to heaven, so to speak.
Heaven waits
It’s a challenging section, this fugue, and our director Pierre Massie has worked us really hard to pull it all together. I’m so thankful that he’s bringing this new musical creation to life and acknowledge his many compositional suggestions during the gestation period too.

It’s just one small piece in the midst of a very exciting, diverse concert program for our 40th anniversary finale. To our loyal blog readers, I do hope you can make it, you won’t be disappointed.

David Rain

Saturday, May 12, 2018

The Galilee Centre - a weekend away - Part 1 - First Impressions...

Not the ocean, but the Ottawa river! Awesome!
A glorious tapestry of nature greeted us at Arnprior's Galilee Centre. The weekend promised Choral workshops with Gabriel Lewis-O'Connor,  a huge Saturday evening concert with the Glebe choirs; and oodles of time off to bond with choir members, have fun, walk the trails and gaze at the ocean-like Ottawa River till Sunday morning!

Which came much too soon!
Gabe and Pierre at a local Arnprior pub - great food!!
Pete picked up Gabe from the airport and he stayed over at ours Thursday night. After a visit to the Peace Tower Carillon (blog post to come), we arrived in Arnprior in time for an early dinner. Then, on to the Galilee Centre to check in.

I am going to say little else in this blog post. Feelings about the success of the weekend are best expressed in thank you emails from choir members.
Rooms at Galilee Centre are quaint and cozy
David:
We had a good chance to publicly thank Gabe for all that he did, but there wasn't the same opportunity to thank Pierre.

So I'd like to take this opportunity to throw a huge collective hug to Pierre for everything he did to bring this workshop retreat into being! It was certainly one of the highlights of my short life to date.
The trees, oh, the trees!!
And a shout out to Susan, EC members and all the others who worked behind the scenes on this, and to all those donors (choir members and others) who contributed so generously to our 40th anniversary fundraising campaign, without whose support this couldn't have happened.
Pierre and Gabe begin by exploring the forest paths
Thanks to you all, and I hope you all got a chance to visit or revisit the eastern white pine forest called Gillies Grove, where Ontario's tallest tree is located.

NB: the beauty of forest walks and runs is that, besides the trees, you never know what or who might be lurking therein, even the odd Stairwell Caroller fan could be walking their dog just waiting for a chance to be invited to come to one of our concerts, you never know. (David invited a person on his run through the forest and he actually showed up!)
Choir members arriving for the big weekend
Annika:
Just wanted to say a BIG HUGE thank you to everyone for a really fun weekend when I learned even more about singing and more about my new found friends in the carollers. I am so happy to have become a part of this family, and I hope I will stay in it for a long time.
Relaxing before the evening workshop
We should do this again!
The Galilee Centre and the Royal Oak
Yola:
I would like to join with David and Annika by saying how amazing and how much fun it was to get to know so many of you better and what a privilege it is to be a part of carollers.
The trees, oh, the trees...
Maggie:
"I can only echo what has already been expressed -- it was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I got to know so many people better this weekend, and the master classes were so helpful (and exhausting!)
A mysterious structure beckons...
Thanks to everyone who participated this weekend, and huge thanks to those who did all the work to let the magic happen, especially the Steering Committee and the 40th Anniversary Committee.
A relaxing gaming session in the evening in one of the many cozy salons
This is not the sort of thing that happens overnight, but through months and months of effort and planning, and I truly appreciate it.
Sing alongs, of course!
I miss those who weren't able to make it, and look forward to this kind of choir dynamic in the future -- not to this extent, obviously, but certainly a continuation of the 'family vibe'. I *love* our collective mind, and how well we work together."

Part 2 - Denyse (en Français) (in English)
Part 3 is HERE


Learn more about the Galilee Centre
History of the Galilee Centre
Who are the Oblates?
Galilee Centre Mission and Vision



About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa U. 
The Stairwell Carollers are proud to have won 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.
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

The Stairwell Carollers sing O vos omnes - Pablo Casals -- YouTube video

Stained Glass windows, Stittsville United church, Stittsville, On
From the Stairwell Carollers Youtube vaults comes the sacred composition, O vos omnes, by Pablo Casals. A composer and conductor from Catalonia, he was also a cellist and lived from 1876 –1973.

This video includes behind the scene photos from our recording sessions for our many CDs.

A glorious contemporary piece, this music truly reaches for the heavens with the range of melody and minor strains.

Enjoy!

Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 5th, 2015.
Videographer: Richard Auger
Editing: Pierre Massie
Photos: Holly Massie



About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie started our a cappella choir in 1977 while a music student at Ottawa U. 
The Stairwell Carollers are proud to have won 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.
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Arnprior Choral Concert TONIGHT! Glebe choirs, Stairwell Carollers, Gabriel Lewis-O'Connor - soloist

Concentration! Stairwellers Erin and Denyse flanked by young Glebe choristers
"United in Song"
TONIGHT, May 5th 8:00pm 
Rachel and Pierre have remained best buds since his retirement in 2014
For the choir's 40th Anniversary, The Stairwell Carollers are hosting workshops and singing with guest choirs from Glebe Collegiate Institute at our FIRST Spring 2018 Concert TONIGHT - May 5th 2018.
Sopranos and altos from Glebe collegiate choirs sing with The Stairwell Saturday!
Taught by Glebe master teacher and choral music expert, Rachel Handley, these singers are easily some of the best voices in the city. Over the past years, the Senior, Chamber and Concert choirs won 1st place, and Junior Band earned both silver and gold certificates. In Boston, they won the "Festival's Spirit Award" for outstanding team work and positive attitude. In April 2009, the choir, band and Offbeat performed in Italy - raising over $1,000 for Aquilla earthquake victims! They’ve also performed in Austria, Calgary, England, Boston, Chicago and Germany.
Pierre Massie,  Stairwell Carollers Director, retired as Glebe Arts head in 2014 but keeps up with the music program. He coaches Offbeat, the percussion group he created when teaching at Osgoode Township High School . Offbeat has received national and international recognition, taking gold 5 consecutive years in Calgary, Toronto, Montreal, Halifax and New York.
Pierre uses a quadratic seating arrangement for this mini workshop and rehearsal
The students dropped by for a mini-workshop/rehearsal with us in preparation for tonight's concert.
Stairwell Carollers, former Stairweller bass, Keith, and the Glebe choir kids rehearse for the finale, “Hostias”, from Fauré’s Requiem - specially arranged for voices by Stairwell director, Pierre.
This premiere performance will feature Gabriel Lewis-O'Connor as baritone soloist accompanied by the combined choirs. You  may recognize his name - he sang with the world renowned a cappella group Chanticleer.
Brand new faces in the alto section
Glebe choirs will also sing:

"When it was yet dark", by Canadian composer Stephen Hatfield,  known both for his exciting arrangements of world music and his original works. He has received the Governor General's Gold Medal among other awards. A contemporary Easter anthem, this piece gives Mary Magdalene's perspective on a well-known gospel story and mentions three of the women who were close to Jesus, thus turning it into a moving feminist hymn for Christian women.

"Non Nobis Domine", composed by Rosephany Powell - arranged by William Powell will be performed by the Glebe Man Choir (boys only). Rosephanye Powell is an American composer, singer, teacher and researcher, who has been hailed as one of America's premier composers of choral music. Her compositions are characterized by beautiful melodies and rich harmonies - with diverse inspiration from African-American popular styles as well as music by Bach or Mozart.

Indodana , by Michael Barrett and Ralf Schmitt  is a traditional South African sacred song about the Crucifixion. Barrett is a composer from Pretoria, South Africa, and his compositions and arrangements have been performed throughout South Africa and abroad. He is the founding director and conductor of The Chamber Singers, one of South Africa's most sought after Chamber Choirs. Schmitt specializes in African choral music and his compositions have often aired on television and radio.

Wade in the Water first published by the Work brothers - arranged by Robert Dietz is a traditional African-American Spiritual. Dietz studied music in Australia and in New York. This Spiritual has references from the Old as well as the New Testament, and is associated with the songs of the Underground Railroad. They say Harriet Tubman used to sing it to tell slaves how to avoid the dogs by taking the path of the river.

Daemon, by composer Gyorgy Orban - a latin sacred piece. Romanian-born Hungarian, Orban taught at the Romanian Academy of Music before becoming professor of composition in Budapest in 1982.
He mixes his choral music with traditional liturgical renaissance hymns and jazz.
  • Tickets at the door are $20.
    Hope to see you at the concert tonight!

    also...
    Please DONATE to help out our 40th year events ! 

    All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

    About Our A cappella Choir:
    Pierre Massie started The Stairwell Carollers in 1977 while studying music at Ottawa University. We are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

    A registered Canadian charity, Net proceeds of our concert, CD and cookbook sales are gifted to local charities.

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