Thursday, July 9, 2020

Stairwell Carollers 1st Virtual Choir Video! Take that Covid-19!


Old-fashioned pink peonies still arrived for Spring 2020
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform Laudemus cum armonia, an original composition by their director,  Pierre Massie. It's the first of what we expect to be a series of virtual choir video creations.

The chorale asks at this difficult time, if you can, to please make a donation to The Ottawa Food Bank. Thanks so much!

You can order this original sacred choral piece by Pierre Massie.
It is also on our Laudemus cum armonia Christmas carol CD 



Our CDs benefit charity, and are available in both CD and MP3 formats.

Video and Audio: individual choristers, Stairwell Carollers - both past and present members.

Video and Audio Editing: Pierre Massie


Saturday, March 14, 2020

Audite Nova - Renaissance madrigals - CD or MP3





About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie created our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. With wins in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions, we are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs. 
A registered Canadian charity, The Carollers also help local charities with net proceeds from concert tickets, CD and cookbook sales.  Since 1997 we have donated over $143,800 to local charities and scholarships.

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Nicol Matt coming to Ottawa - Register for the Masterclass NOW!

Choral Masterclass with Nicol Matt May 2nd 2020 - register NOW!

Calling all singers: choral masterclasses with Nicol Matt in Canada’s Capitol

“In music you will find all unanswered questions of life to be answered. It is the universal language of the soul to heal and the key to open your consciousness.” – Nicol Matt

I am thrilled to share that my choir, The Stairwell Carollers, has invited one of the world’s top choral conductors, Nicol Matt, to come to Ottawa in May, 2020 to lead a week-long series of choral masterclasses!

Singers from Ottawa and beyond are warmly invited to participate in the May 2nd workshop – and the closing concert on May 3rd.

Joining the Carollers in both workshop and concert are high school music students from Glebe Collegiate Institute.

Register Now for May 2nd Masterclass 

Nicol Matt leading a choral masterclass

The Carollers’ director, Pierre Massie, is a strong advocate for choral professional development. In previous years, he has invited superb clinicians such as Canadian conductor Mark Sirett and former Chanticleer bass Gabriel Lewis-O’Connor.

The connection with Nicol is a very personal one. For twenty-seven years, I’ve been taking my cues from the back of Pierre’s head as he leads The Stairwell Carollers while also singing in the tenor section. A few years ago, I first caught the “composing bug” and I am truly blessed that Pierre has programmed several of my pieces with the Carollers.

In January 2019, I had just finished Ave Maria – my choral adaptation of a favourite Brahms piano piece. I posted this on Facebook and, to my great surprise, Nicol Matt contacted me to say he would be premiering it in Germany, with his professional Chamber Choir of Europe!

I was stunned - even more so as John Rutter would be at the same concert receiving the European Sacred Music Award. On July 18, I sat transfixed listening to Nicol masterfully guide his choir on a musical journey that included several Rutter gems, as well as my Ave Maria.

It was only later that I came to know that Nicol had also led his choir in a superb Deutsche Grammophon CD of Morten Lauridsen’s music, Light Eternal, with Lauridsen as pianist. I also learned Nicol was the founder of the World Choir for Peace, whose first concert involved 2,000 singers from over 30 countries, performing Karl Jenkins’ The Armed Man, with the composer conducting and Nicol as chorus master!

The upcoming masterclass/concert with Nicol Matt is a unique opportunity for singers to learn from one of the world’s top choral directors; I highly recommend it.

David Rain - a tenor with The Stairwell Carollers since 1993, started composing in his mid- 60s and has had four of his pieces publicly performed.

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Future Perfect Conditional Facts about auditioning - FareWell Dear Love - YouTube

If you audition, you might have been going to be in the choir ...
You May Have Been Going to be in The Stairwell Carollers If you were NOT to Have Been Going to Change your Mind about Auditioning!

If you don't understand that sentence, don't feel bad.

I have to admit I had to Google it.

So, despite this being hilarious to a word nerd like me, apparently English has no "Imperfect" thus, sadly, the grammar is flawed. Here is an exhaustive (and exhausting) post with an explanation.

In the meantime, You should email us to set up your audition! I'm sure you are either a man who is a bass or tenor, or a woman who is an alto.

(Sorry sopranos, maybe next audition round!)

Farewell, Dear Love, by Robert Jones, sung by the Stairwell Carollers...
Robert Jones was a Renaissance lutenist and composer.
Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 2nd, 2018.
Videographers: Matthieu Brennan, Andrew Mason
Video Editing: Pierre Massie

Surprise! We are an Ottawa choir, with members from all over the Ottawa Region and Outaouais.

Ottawa choir the Stairwell Carollers 2020 Spring Auditions for alto tenor and bass






About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie created our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. With wins in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions, we are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs. 

A registered Canadian charity, The Carollers also help local charities with net proceeds from concert tickets, CD and cookbook sales.  Since 1997 we have donated over $143,800 to local charities and scholarships.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Sing For The Stairwell Carollers - TV Auditions Promo - Thx Rogers TV!

Weirdly True
Ok, when I'm not being like baby Yoda or singing or trying to not eat, I'm on The Social Media.

And, for once, it was useful! 

Oddly accurate


I Facebooked and Tweeted out our Audition notice and Stan Newton, the producer of the show @daytimeottawa, emailed me back to set up an interview!
Thanks so much everyone at Rogers TV!
Daytime Ottawa immediately posted the Thursday, Jan 23rd interview with Holly And Pierre on their main page and Youtube channel.
Ottawa choir the Stairwell Carollers 2020 Spring Auditions for alto tenor and bass

#Ottawa Altos, tenors and basses email us ASAP at info@stairwellcarollers.com to set up your 15 minute #audition Wed Jan 29th.  





About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie created our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. With wins in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions, we are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs. 

A registered Canadian charity, The Carollers also help local charities with net proceeds from concert tickets, CD and cookbook sales.  Since 1997 we have donated over $143,800 to local charities and scholarships.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

A Typical Rehearsal, Stairwell Style

Director Pierre runs choir rehearsal from the middle of the circle of singers
Pierre Massie is in his 42nd year of directing the Stairwell Carollers. There have been changes over the years and the choir has evolved, but Pierre has always directed in performance from the tenor section, singing along with us. 
Pierre directs from the tenor section - Stairwell Caroller concert Southminster church 2019
Pete created the choir in 1977 while getting his B.Mus at Ottawa U. and he has developed a signature  method to his madness which results in award-winning choral excellence.  
#1 Punctual
#1 Show Up
#1 Great Attitude

Yeah, all #1, I know. To Pierre these three things are equally important - and evidence of a true Stairweller.
Pierre leads the Stairwell Carollers in a movable Do warmup
He runs choir rehearsal from the middle of the circle of singers, usually arranged in sections according to voice.  Everyone stands or sits as they like.
Pete is a blur -  singing along with the choir as he directs them
Often Pierre bounces around the room, whirling to face the different groups or individuals - rarely still, rarely seated.
Everyone is comfortable in their own way - ready to sing
We aren't allowed to cross our legs while seated, since it can inhibit breathing. This does not mean we are inhibited in our personal expression; clearly Alex has found a seating style that the Maestro approves of.
Keith asks Pete about a detail in the bass part - while Darren pays close attention
As he makes his way around the room, working the crowd, Pierre deals with questions as they come up.
Our little recording device gets all our choral mistakes for posterity
We record each rehearsal to review performance and for additional practice. Very useful for Podcast episodes too as a record of our warmups and attention to song specifics.





About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie created our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. With wins in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions, we are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs. 

A registered Canadian charity, The Carollers also help local charities with net proceeds from concert tickets, CD and cookbook sales.  Since 1997 we have donated over $143,800 to local charities and scholarships.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Sans day carol - for all you Christmas Addicts! NEW arrangement - Youtube

Gift of Pete and I as carolling faeries from Maggie - for the 40th ann of the choir
Sans day carol - Our last Xmas video for this year. Here is a wonderful NEW arrangement of a gorgeous classic by our own Terry Bryneart, bass.

The premiere performance of Terry's sparkling new arrangement - on The Stairwell Carollers own Youtube channel.




Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform Sans Day Carol, arranged by Terry Bryneart, bass.


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

Net proceeds support local charities.

Visit our website.

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at Southminster United Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 15th, 2018.
Videographers: Matthieu Brennan, Elisa Torlone

Video Editing: Pierre Massie




About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie created our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. With wins in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions, we are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs. 

A registered Canadian charity, The Carollers also help local charities with net proceeds from concert tickets, CD and cookbook sales.  Since 1997 we have donated over $143,800 to local charities and scholarships.

40 Years of Stairwell Carolling Revealed!

Stairwell Carollers sing on Sparks Street while students at Ottawa University
Pierre founded our group in 1977, where we sang Christmas carols in the stairwells of residences at the University of Ottawa during exam time.  The eight of us would start at the top of the residence stairwell and work our way to the bottom. Students came out from their rooms to listen to the carols and would follow us as we went down from floor to floor, our voices helped out by the echo of the stairwell.  We also sang all over Ottawa - in malls, for parking lot attendants, and even on buses. We had a great time caroling in the Byward Market and on Sparks street too - lots of amazing memories.
Circa1979 Recording Christmas carols at CFRA/CFMO radio for broadcast later
In the early 80's, we were carolling at Bayshore shopping center and Gord Atkinson - then the voice of CFMO radio - heard us. Right then he asked us to sing live on CFMO for their Christmas Exchange Telethon.  It was during this first appearance on radio with Gord that our group got its name. Right before the broadcast, he asked us "what should I call you folks - what's the group's name?" Up till then, we were only ten Christmas Carollers with no name.  Dawn, soprano, piped up with "The Stairwell Carollers" and the name stuck.  Personally, I love our moniker since it harks back to the choir's beginnings - singing in the residence stairwells for fellow U. of Ottawa students.  
By the mid 80's the Xmas Exchange Broadcast was a yearly event for us
In 1986, Gord - with CFMO - produced our first real recording, a fundraising vinyl album in aid of Ronald McDonald House. an initiative which raised over $53,000.





About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie created our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at Ottawa University. With wins in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions, we are ranked among the best of Ontario choirs. 

A registered Canadian charity, The Carollers also help local charities with net proceeds from concert tickets, CD and cookbook sales.  Since 1997 we have donated over $143,800 to local charities and scholarships.

Friday, January 17, 2020

Monday, January 13, 2020

Top Ten - Why Audition for The Stairwell Carollers? - Sing Original Pieces!

Composer and Director, Pierre Massie, leads the Stairwell Carollers in a warm-up

10 reasons You Should audition for my a cappella Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers:

Counting down...

Number 10 -

You get to sing original choral compositions by our director, Pierre Massie - like his award-winning song, "Eya, eya gaudeamus", which we'll be singing this spring!

Here is our YouTube live concert performance with guest celebrity bass, Gabriel Lewis-O'Connor.


Altos, tenors and basses, email info@stairwellcarollers.com and book your 15 minute audition today!

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. 

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with the net proceeds from our concert ticket and CD sales.


Thanks to David Rain and his Facebook "Top Ten to Join the Stairwell Carollers"
David Rain, tenor, by his muse - The Rideau Falls, Ottawa

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