Sunday, September 28, 2014

De la musique à la motocyclette

Article first published en Francais in Horizons 27, pg 12   read the English version
par Denyse Mageau, soprano

​J'ai toujours voulu faire de la moto.

La réalisation de ce rêve arriva par le truchement du chant choral. Faisant partie des Chanteurs Stairwell depuis 1978, j'ai eu l'occasion de rencontrer des personnalités variées au cours de ces années. Là, je chante à côté d'une basse, René Voyer, qui nous impressionne non seulement par sa voix profonde, mais aussi par son costume de motard à son arrivée pour la répétition.

​ À la réception de notre concert de printemps (chants sacrés et profanes de la Renaissance) , nous discutions notre dernier mercredi ensemble : une soirée au pub New Edinburgh sur la rue Beechwood. Ça ne me tentait pas. « Je vais venir te chercher en Kawasaki » suggéra René. Comment refuser? J'y rêvais depuis l'âge de 15 ans. Sa femme Michèle me prêta le nécessaire et en route pour le pub.

​Vroum vroum vroum. Mon coeur a sautillé légèrement dans ma poitrine.

Le bruit a résonné jusque dans mes entrailles, mais j'avais reçu de bons conseils :
Sois comme un sac de sable, suis le mouvement, surtout dans les courbes, faut pas te raidir, tu peux me parler mais pas aux arrêts, je dois alors concentrer sur mon équilibre... Je n'avais qu'à suivre. J'étais confiante. J'ai adoré l'expérience. La promenade de Rockliff ne permettait pas une vitesse affolante, mais ce n'est que partie remise. René m'a promis : « La prochaine fois, ce sera le niveau 2 : plus vite et plus loin. J'ai bien hâte. Il n'est jamais trop tard.

J'aurai 77 ans en août.

Pour nous voir et nous entendre, cliquez ou allez à You tube.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Music is not for sissies

Denyse, ecstatic after her first tour on a motorcycle

Article first published in Horizons 27, pg 12   L'article en francais ici
by Denyse Mageau, soprano

 "Music is not for Sissies" -- what does that title have to do with a motorcycle?

2014 group photo of the Stairwell Carollers, Denyse at right
I have sung in an a cappella choir, the Stairwell Carollers, since 1978 and have come to know quite a few eccentric singers during all those years. Since 2004, I have sung next to a bass, René Voyer, who often comes to the rehearsal on his bike, a flamboyant Kawasaki. In 2009, I missed singing the Christmas season because of sciatica. I boasted. "A friend came to see me on his Harley Davidson" (I knew nothing about motocycles) and brought me a book, Healing Back Pain Naturally. I am still grateful for this help.
Denyse sitting pretty with Rene on his Kawasaki

New Edinburgh Pub, Ottawa
​This year, at our concert, Ave Maria, (a program of madrigals and sacred music from the Renaissance), the singers at the reception afterwards were discussing celebrating the end of the season at the New Edinburgh pub on Beechwood. I was reluctant. "I'll come and get you on my Kawasaki", offered René. How could I refuse? This was a long time dream. His wife, Michèle, lent me everything that was needed and away we went on the Rockliff parkway at 6:45 a.m. June 4, 2014. It was an exhilarating experience.

I have always said that as we grow older, we have to find new passions.

I don't intend to buy a motorcycle, but René offered me a second ride, " Faster and longer ". Vroom vroom vroom. It is never too late.

I'll be 77 in August.

​To see and hear us, check our web site at or You tube.

Monday, September 15, 2014

First look at our 2014 Stairwell Carollers Group Photo

The Stairwell Carollers 2014 Group Photo -- Holly Massie, All rights reserved
The sexy version of our 2014 group shot

It starts with making sure everyone can show up, in black, at a very specific time (this one just before rehearsal)

We were blessed with a cloudy day, but no rain! Yay! FYI When you want to take a great portrait and have no camera equipment except for the CAMERA, remote and a tripod -- choose a cloudy day -- always. Why? you ask (or don't -- I'm still going to tell you)

Soft, soft shadows.

So, never take a picture of anyone over 30 in harsh sunlight -- unless you are going for that craggy look -- in a woman. Nice.

But, I digress...

All but one important Stairweller made it to the photoshoot. We missed you Kelly!

Kelly, still singing

I set up the tripod and this happened

My best side

then this

Josee is so popular

and this...

Us being silly

There was no controlling them. Finally got the shot

2014 Stairwell Carollers group photo


Carollers Composer and Director featured -- Ottawa New Music Creators

Pierre Massie composing
Pete composing in his sun porch
Our director, Pierre Massie, was recently interviewed for a feature on The Ottawa New Music Creators website. The feature reveals Pierre's musical versatility and wide range of contributions to the Ottawa Valley musical and educational communities.

The website page is embedded below. 
Use the scroll bar on the right to navigate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tweeting from the Stairwell

Collage of Stairwell Caroller choir rehearsal
Ah, social Media, what creatures Tweet at thee!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September 2014 Choral Linky Party on! Musical Posts wanted! Link with us now :)

Choral Music Link up Banner showing choristers with music binders

LINK up your Music - related  articles, compositions, videos, vines, Pinterest discoveries, photos, and blog posts here :) 

Top 3

Cor Flammae - Vancouver's Queer Classical Chorus

photo credit: belle ancell photography
photo credit: belle ancell photography

Tonal Tuesday - It's All About the Phrase?

Look Not in my Eyes -- David Pike, Baritone 

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We want to connect with other bloggers who love choral music.
Use our easy Linky tool to post your composition tips, singing techniques, ideas for the best recording venues and your fave choral videos.

Music related crafts, decor and recipes are also welcome.

Please visit these musical bloggers and leave a comment. 
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La, la, la je ne l’ose dire, a Madrigal of love and revenge, sung by the Stairwell Carollers

A flicker admires herself photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved
A flicker admires herself photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "La, la, la je ne l’ose dire" by Pierre Certon (ca. 1520 – 1572) , a French composer of the Renaissance.
Performed and recorded in concert June 1st 2013, St. Barnabas church, Ottawa, Canada
Buy our CDs ! All proceeds benefit local charities. This version of "La, la, la je ne l’ose dire" is available on our madrigals from the Renaissance CD, "Audite nova”, released October 2006.
Visit our blog or our website for updates.
Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 1st, 2013.
Videographers: Valérie Auger-Voyer, Kevin Millington.
Editing: Pierre Massie

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