Thursday, August 31, 2017

Introducing our Choral Cacophony Podcast - and a brand new video!

A Chickadee enjoys a bath in our fountain

Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, sing an ode to birdsong with "Le chant des oyseaux" - written by Clément Janequin.

I love singing this one! So much fun -- and so challenging too!
Scroll down to see sample music sheets.

Our new venture, Choral Cacophony Podcast, begins with Pierre working this very song!
Have a listen!



If you love our music, a Donation would be appreciated. Please DONATE to our 40th fundraising goal of $15,000 to celebrate this milestone.
All Donations receive a charitable tax receipt.


Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 4th, 2016.
Videographers: Luc Nugent. Kolin Casagrande
Editing: Pierre Massie
Le Chant des oyseaux - page 1Le Chant des oyseaux - page 10
Photos: Holly Massie

Visit our website
Net proceeds benefit charity.

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, August 26, 2017

Fundraising Update - Thank You - with your help, we will get there!

The Stairwell Carollers 40th fundraising page
UPDATE!! 
With generous donors, our 40th fundraising total is now at $8,077!

We have our easy on-line Donation page where every donation receives  a charitable tax receipt. There's a way cool thermometer to track the progress of the donations too!

We have to reach $15,000 to be able to do everything we want to celebrate our 40th year of song in the Ottawa/Outaouais region, so please consider helping us reach our goal!

Another easy and fun way to help us raise funds is to listen to our music on our YouTube channel.
Pierre has been working overtime to get new videos up and I assembled some 40th Fundraiser Playlists. (Thanks for the great idea, Rae!)

When you listen to our 40th Fundraiser Playlists ,YouTube pays us forward!

All the videos in the 40th fundraiser playlists are monetized, so the choir gets reimbursed from YouTube when you watch and listen!

 Here's our 40th Fundraiser Madrigal Playlist to start.

If you love our music, please consider supporting us, by watching our YouTube Fundraiser Playlists and by making a donation.


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

Thursday, August 24, 2017

"Ave Maria" - anonymous - sung by the Stairwell Carollers

Bleeding Heart flower with wild bee
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "Ave Maria" - 16th century Anonymous.
This version of "Ave Maria" is available on our sacred Renaissance CD, "Cantate Domino”
Cantate Domino CD back with song list
Why buy our CDs ?
Our professional recordings sound amazing and have excellent reviews. 
Please DONATE to support our 40th year events ! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31st, 2014.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kevin Millington.
Editing: Pierre Massie

Visit our website
Net proceeds benefit charity.

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, August 19, 2017

Tenor and bass auditions continue this Wed - Aug. 23rd, 2017

Stairwell Carollers draw a packed house at St. Columba, Xmas 2016

Searching for just the right choir?
Do you sing bass or tenor?
Do you live within driving distance of the Ottawa, Canada's Capital region?
Join us!
Tenor and bass auditions 
continue this Wed - Aug. 23rd 2017.
Email us now -  infoATstairwellcarollers.com to set up your audition!

Please take a moment to email us to book your time, no walk-ins.

Sopranos and altos need not apply.

Stairwell Carollers audition flyer Fall 2017
What should I expect??
Our audition process is relaxed and lasts ten to fifteen minutes. If you have a song that you think shows off your voice, we would love to hear it.
We sing a cappella
Don't bother about accompaniment. Your voice is all we need to hear.
Our group is bilingual
We sing in many languages as well as in English and French. We work in both official languages, but bilingualism - or even reading music -  are not necessities.
A certain kind of voice
Your voice quality, singing style and ability to learn a short song will be assessed at your audition. 
Email us ASAP

You want more? Here are TEN reasons why you should Audition for The Stairwell Carollers!


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 help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Please DONATE to for our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Katrina's song

I wanted an excuse to wear a tuxedo

Wow 40 years! Where did the time go?

I've always been one of the oldest members of the Stairwell Carollers - if not the OLDEST - at our choir's 20th anniversary in 1997 I was 41, but still didn't look a day over 30. Pierre had HAIR - and I shampooed out my grey at home in 20 minutes.

Pete, our director
This was our 4th appearance on CTV's Regional Contact with Joel Haslam as host.
Joel hosts from a stairwell - at CJOH
Joel actually joined our group soon after our first appearance on his show back in 1993. He sang with our choir for 3 years but never did a Regional segment with us during that time, concerned about how it may look.
Stairwell Carollers at Cumberland museum in the early 90's

This was also the CD launch for Qui creavit celum, and a final song for Katrina. One of our finest sopranos, Katrina lost her battle with breast cancer soon after recording her tracks for our CD. We dedicated Qui creavit celum to her memory and net proceeds enabled us to give a donation to the Breast Cancer society.

We all grieved the loss of a dear friend and an angelic voice.
Katrina - all smiles despite singing outside in the rain
Joel used clips from our previous appearances on Regional to do a beautiful tribute to her 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. 



Visit our website

Monday, August 14, 2017

Fall 2017 Stairwell Carollers auditions begin this Wednesday

Stairwell tenors rehearse "One Last Song" by Michael McGlynn

You are searching for just the right choir.
You sing bass or tenor.
You live within driving distance of the Ottawa, Canada's Capital region.
Well, then...
Stairwell Caroller tenor and bass auditions 
start this Wed - Aug. 16th 2017.
Still some spots left! Email us now -  infoATstairwellcarollers.com to set up your audition!

No walk-ins, please take a moment to email us to book your time.

Sorry, sopranos and altos need not apply.

Stairwell Carollers audition flyer Fall 2017
What should I expect??
Our audition process is relaxed and lasts ten to fifteen minutes. If you have a song that you think shows off your voice, we would love to hear it.
We sing a cappella
Don't bother about accompaniment. Your voice is all we need to hear.
Our group is bilingual
We sing in many languages as well as in English and French. We work in both official languages, but bilingualism - or even reading music -  are not necessities.
A certain kind of voice
Your voice quality, singing style and ability to learn a short song will be assessed at your audition. 
Email us ASAP

You want more? Here are TEN reasons why you should Audition for The Stairwell Carollers!

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 help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Please DONATE to for our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.


Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ottawa's Stairwell Carollers sing Lirum bililirum - Youtube live concert video


Irises
The Stairwell Carollers sing a Renaissance tongue twister titled "Lirum bililirum ".
By Rossino Mantovano of Mantua, an Italian composer of madrigals.

  Enjoy!
Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31st, 2014.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kevin Millington.
Editing: Pierre Massie

Visit our website

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 help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Please DONATE to for our 40th year events! 
All Donations receive a charitable receipt.


Saturday, August 5, 2017

Ten Tips to Ace your Audition


Some choirs are open to all, some audition
Relax, research and ready yourself.

A good audition can get be your ticket to sing in your fave group.

Whether you are booking an audition for the Stairwell Carollers, or Googling "how to audition for a choir", I  want to help you do your best at any choir tryout.

Our choir holds auditions twice a year; mid to late August for the Christmas season and January for the Spring season. Other choirs have their own timelines and requirements for their audition process.

The Stairwell Carollers sing a cappella, so we prefer your sample song is sung live at your audition and is unaccompanied. Other choirs may hold "open" auditions, but we ask that you book by email a time (only 15 minutes) to audition. We don't care what song you decide to sing (O Canada is great), other choirs may ask you to prepare a specific song they have chosen.
Singing outside can be tough on the voice, but fantastic fun!
Every choir is different, but some guidelines will work for all:

1. Know what you Want
Renaissance or Rap, Madrigals or Madonna - there's a choir for every kind of music.
What's your kind?
An auditioned choir can be quite small in size
2. Know what You can Commit To
One night a week or one night a month; complex parts to learn, or well-known songs sung in unison - you are the only one who can decide how much spare time and energy you have. No worries, there is a group out there to fit your needs.
You may be asked to wear costume - and pay for it too
3. Do your Research
Ask others. Google - not just choir, but Complaints choir or Gospel choir. Don't forget to add your location.

Unless you don't mind hopping on a plane to get to each rehearsal.
Ottawa, Ontario, CANADA - or Ottawa, ILLINOIS USA - oops
 4. Know Thyself
Can't read music? Have a doctorate in Operatic Vocalization? Only play the banjo and hum along at the same time? You should know what you can do and what you can't. Not all choirs are the same and your likes and talents will fit somewhere.
Pierre gazes at listeners on the balcony in the Atrium, National Gallery of Canada
5. Aim High
Don't let fear hold you back. Just because the choir you LOVE is super amazing and you think you aren't good enough, GO FOR IT! You have nothing to lose but fear itself.

Every audition you do makes you better at your next audition.
Choir is a group effort
6. Choose some Choirs
Only audition for one at a time so you can focus on what they want from you. Contact the group and ask what is required. Ask about fees, time, place and frequency of rehearsals, number of concerts in a season and if they travel out of town to sing.

If you don't agree with or like what you hear (rehearsals four times a week, $1000 fee and your first born child), go on to the the next group on your list.
7. Choose your Song
Unless the choir says "just sing anything" (like us, The Stairwell Carollers) try to choose a piece that meshes with that choir's style. Your song sample should also showcase your range and vocal abilities.
Do you know what your vocal range is?
8. Practice
Obvious but often overlooked, practicing your audition song is key. You may be nervous on the day of the audition or be hoarse from cheering your team at the game the day before. Whatever, it will be easier if you are able to sing the song in your sleep.

If you need accompaniment, nail that down now. Never assume that they have a CD player or a pianist on hand. Good questions to ask, BTW.
Focus and breathe
9. Relax and Ready Yourself
Think of the audition as a job interview. Dress appropriately and double check that you have your music before heading out the door. Have a breath mint and bring a water bottle.

Leave home early enough to arrive 5 or 10 minutes before your audition time. Being a little early makes a good first impression and gives you time to calm your mind and get focused.
Choir loft entrance
10. Don't Give Up
If you didn't make it, don't be discouraged. It may have simply been that your voice was not the type they were looking for. It is not an indication that you can't sing well.
Their loss.
Next.

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir in 1977 while he was a music student at the University of Ottawa. The Stairwell Carollers are now ranked alongside the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook sales. Our professional recordings sound beautiful and have excellent reviews. 

Our recordings are available on our website in both CD and MP3 formats. Net proceeds benefit charity
Visit our website

Thursday, August 3, 2017

La tricotea - Franco Alonso, The Stairwell Carollers, Ottawa


A Renaissance vocal troupe  - kidding
 The Stairwell Carollers choir sings "La tricotea" by Franco Alonso, a Renaissance composer. Performed and recorded live in concert June 1st 2013 at St. Barnabas church, Ottawa, Canada.

Don't be shocked by the interesting twang to this piece. We are reproducing the nasal sound that is believed to be the popular style of vocalization of this period.

Not a madrigal fan
"La tricotea" is available on our Madrigals from the Renaissance CD, "Audite nova”.

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

 

Audio: Tom Barnes.  Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, June 1st, 2013.
Videographers: Valérie Auger-Voyer, Kevin Millington.
Editing: Pierre Massie
 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. Our professional recordings sound beautiful and have excellent reviews. 

They are all available on our website in both CD and MP3 formats. Net proceeds benefit charity
Visit our website

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