Classical Music Buzz > Stairwell Carollers Choir Blog
Stairwell Carollers Choir Blog
Stairwell Carollers
Canada's bilingual, award-winning acappella chamber choir. En francais, Les Chanteurs Stairwell, Ottawa, Ontario
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Rosebud
Rosebud
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "Ave Maria" - 16th century Anonymous.
The Stairwell Carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition.
A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

Buy our CDs and help local charities! This version of "Ave Maria" is available on our sacred Renaissance CD, "Cantate Domino", released October 2012.
All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.
Visit our blog or our website for updates.
Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31st, 2014.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kevin Millington.
Editing: Pierre Massie

2 days ago | |
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Monarch on milkweed, photo -- Holly Massie, all rights reserved
 Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "Matona mia cara” by Orlando de Lassus (1530-1594), a Franco-Flemish composer of the late Renaissance.

The Stairwell Carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition.

A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.
 All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

Buy our CDs and help Ottawa/Gatineau charities reach their goals.

Visit our blog or our website for updates.

Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31st, 2014.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kevin Millington.
4 days ago | |
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Stained Glass church window -- Ottawa, Ontario
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "O Jesu Christe" by Jacquet de Mantua (1483-1559), a French composer of the Renaissance.

The Stairwell Carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition.

A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.
All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

Visit our blog or our website for updates.

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


7 days ago | |
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Two tenors, She-Yang and Graham, adjust lighting for a concert
Two tenors, She-Yang and Graham, adjust lighting for a concert

Here is a fun playlist of our TOP TEN VIDEOS ON YOUTUBE as of Tuesday, May 19th, 2015...

10 : The Wexford Carol, arrangement by John Rutter. Video taped live at our Christmas concert, Dec 8, 2000, St. Charles Church, Ottawa. This version was professionally recorded later for "Mourning Dove", our third Christmas Carol CD.

Manon, Josee, Nikki and Elise wrangle the coffee pot for the concert reception
Manon, Josee, Nikki and Elise wrangle the coffee pot for the concert reception

9 : "Missa secunda" by Hans Leo Hassler (1564 - 1612), a German composer and organist of the late Renaissance and early Baroque eras. This version of "Missa secunda" was professionally recorded for our Sacred songs from the Renaissance CD, "Cantate Domino", released October 2012.

8 : "Adoramus te" by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (1525 or 1526 -- 1594), an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music. This version of "Adoramus te" was professionally recorded for our Sacred songs from the Renaissance CD, "Cantate Domino".

7 : "Patapan" is a French Christmas Carol from the Renaissance era and, as all our videos, recorded live in concert. This was Dec 18, 2009 at our "Carols à la Carte" concert, where the audience got to choose their favorite 15 carols from a list of 25. "Patapan" was audience choice number 12 in the countdown. This song was professionally recorded for our first CD, "Qui creavit celum", a collection of Christmas Carols, old and new.

Stairwellers enjoying a well- deserved Pub night
Stairwellers enjoying a well- deserved Pub night

6 : "Past Three O'Clock", by Charles Wood and arranged by William Llewellyn. This version of "Past Three O'Clock" was professionally recorded for our "I Saw A Swete Semly Syght" Christmas Carol CD.

5 : "Carol of the Bells", composed by Mykola Leontovych with lyrics created by Peter J. Wilhousky -- from our "Carols à la Carte" concert at St. Charles Church, December 18, 2009, where the audience got to choose their favorite 15 carols from a list of 25. This popular song was audience choice number 4 in our countdown! This song was professionally recorded for our first CD, "Qui creavit celum", a collection of Christmas Carols, old and new.

4 : "Ay linda amiga" is a 16 century anonymous madrigal from Spain. This version of "Ay linda amiga" was professionally recorded for our Renaissance Madrigals CD, "Audite Nova".

3 : "Les Anges dans nos campagnes" performed by The Stairwell Carollers, joined by many Stairwell Caroller alumni on Dec 15, 2007 at our "30 Years of Song" celebration concert. This version of "Les Anges dans nos campagnes" was professionally recorded for our first CD, "Qui Creavit Celum".

Spectacular view of St. Columba -- where most of our CDs are recorded
Spectacular view of St. Columba -- where most of our CDs are recorded

2 : "Missa brevis", a 17th century sacred mass by Antonio Lotti (ca. 1667 -- 5 January 1740). This version of "Missa brevis" was professionally recorded for our Sacred songs from the Renaissance CD, "Cantate Domino".

1 : The top ten has changed a bit since I posted the videos individually last November. Surprisingly, and we cannot figure out why, "Come Again" still tops the list at Number One. YouTube analytics ( where you can see all sorts of viewer engagement statistics for your uploaded videos ) show that they all watched the song to the end -- so thanks for the love, people!

NOTE: I update this playlist when the top ten songs change, so if you read this post in the future, you may notice the videos I have named here could be different than the embedded playlist. It will be neat (oops, showing my age) to see the changes.

Current TopTen Stairwell Caroller Videos: Playlist

A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.


All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

Buy our CDs and help Ottawa/Gatineau charities reach their goals.

Visit our blog or our website for updates.

 

 

 

 

8 days ago | |
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Spring Lilacs -- photo, Holly Massie, all rights reserved
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "Alla Cazza” by the most famous of  Renaissance composers, Anonymous.

The Stairwell Carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition.

A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

 All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

Buy our CDs and help Ottawa/Gatineau charities reach their goals.

Visit our blog or our website for updates.

Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31st, 2014.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kevin Millington.
9 days ago | |
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Spring concert Programme
Spring concert Programme
Don't miss our big Spring Concert June 5th 7:30 pm at St. Barnabas Church, 70 James St. Ottawa!

If you got our newsletter, you may be aware of some exciting changes to our repertoire this spring! 

Pierre, our director, has decided to open up our musical selections to the contemporary scene and we are all super excited about it!
 
Previously, we were self limiting to the Renaissance period for our spring programme, but with some pressure from the choir (me included) and suggestions from our good friend and Dominion Carilloneur, Andrea McCrady, Pete has chosen some spectacular pieces for us to perform this year. 

My personal favourite, and OMGoodness, the hardest piece I have ever had to learn, is the modern Ave Maria by Franz Biebl. This will be our first performance of this piece, and we found an incredible version of it on YouTube performed by one incredible guy, Matthew Curtis.



Isn't that the most gorgeous thing you've ever heard? Don't miss this concert!


$15 in advance, $20 at the door.

ADVANCE TICKETS are available from all choir members in person, ONLINE HERE, and at selected local businesses.

For those who can't see the JPG, here is a text list of the concert repertoire:1. Jubilate Deo? Orlando di Lasso2. Miserere? ?Antonio Lotti3. Pater Noster? Igor Stravinsky4. Vexilla regis????? Juan Francés de Iribarren5. Regina Coeli??? ?Gregor Aichinger6. O Domine (from the Requiem). ?Gabriel Fauré7. Tu es Petrus???? ?Hans Leo Hassler8. Christe redemptor omnium? ?Pierre Massie9. O vos omnes???? ?Pablo Cassals10. Alleluia????? ?Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina11. Missa brevis????? Antonio Lotti12. Suscepit Israel (from the Magnificat)? Johann Sebastian Bach13. Kyrie (from the Notre Dame Mass)? Guillaume de Machaut14. O Jesu Christe???? ?Jacquet de Berchem15. Salve Regina???? ?Francis Poulenc16. Gloria in exclesis Deo?? ? Claude Goudimel17. Laudemus cum armonia?? ?Pierre Massie18. Deo gratias???? ?William Byrd19. Ave Maria???? ?Franz Biebl20. Resonet in laudibusAnon. 14th century?transcribed by P. Massie21. O magnum mysterium??? Morten Lauridsen22. Ave verum corpus (K.618)?? ?Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart23. Ubi caritas???? ? Maurice Duruflé24. Cantate Domino??? ?Hans Leo Hassler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
And, for your listening pleasure, a TEASER PLAYLIST for the concert....


11 days ago | |
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Gothic style doors at Knox church, Ottawa
Gothic style doors at Knox church, Ottawa
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "Regina coeli" by Gregor Aichinger (1565-1628), a German composer of the Renaissance.

The Stairwell Carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition.
A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.
Buy our CDs!!! This version of "Regina coeli" is available on our sacred Renaissance CD, "Cantate Domino", released October 2012.

All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

Visit our blog or our website for updates.

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



14 days ago | |
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In the green room at the National Gallery, photo -- Andrew Jones
In the green room at the National Gallery, photo -- Andrew Jones

By: Rae Payette, the newest Stairwell Caroller


I've begun living Wednesday to Wednesday. That's the night the Stairwell Carollers practice. A church gym, spare metal stacking chairs, 30-odd people, and a tuning fork.


And suddenly, the ceiling is ringing.


It doesn't get any purer than this - voices, only voices, tuning in to the harmonics that we feel resonating on our skin, to create a single, many-throated sound.

Everyone switches seats for another of Petes challenging singing exercises
Everyone switches seats for another of Petes challenging singing exercises

These are my people.


Several (alright, many) years ago, I was fortunate enough to attend Canterbury High School, in the triple-credit vocal program. Along with science, math, history and English classes, I also sang two hours (and often more) each day. Not since then have I felt the passion, the sweat, the purity of concentration that that level of musical commitment demands.


Rae, soprano, stands in the second row third to the right
Rae, soprano, stands in the second row third to the right

And then I joined the Stairwell Carollers.


Three grueling auditions later, (sight-reading in Latin -- on the spot -- along with a rotating series of strangers standing next to me -- listening to my every note -- was a wee bit intimidating,) I was in.
It was worth it.


Rae's first concert with us -- at the National Gallery
Rae's first concert with us -- at the National Gallery

I've had a rough year in my personal life, and being at choir, floating in the exquisite sounds at once within and all around me, has been such a blessing. It is helping me heal, and find my way back to peace.
I feel nothing but gratitude and awe at this music we make together. The Stairwell Carollers have welcomed me, and I am home.


--------------------------------------------------------------
Thanks for such a lovely "review", Rae.
Sorry about the Latin -- believe me, most of us struggle with the pronunciation too! We all are so glad you found us -- and you are very welcome!

15 days ago | |
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WhiskyJack
WhiskyJack
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "Of all the Birds that I do know" by John Bartlett, (fl. 1606-1610), an English Renaissance composer.
The Stairwell Carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition.
A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.
All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.
This version of "Of All The Birds That I do Know" is on our madrigal Renaissance CD, "Audite nova", released October 2006.
Buy our CDs and help Ottawa/Gatineau charities reach their goals.
Visit our blog or our website for updates.
Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31st, 2014.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kevin Millington.
22 days ago | |
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American goldfinch looking for a mate
American goldfinch looking for a mate
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers, perform "Hark! All Ye Lovely Saints Above” by Thomas Weelkes (1576-1623), an English composer and organist from the Renaissance.
The Stairwell Carollers, an a cappella group, formed in 1977 by director Pierre Massie, has earned the distinction of being ranked amongst the best of Ontario choirs in both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competition.
A non-profit organization, we raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.
All our CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.
Buy our CDs and help Ottawa/Gatineau charities reach their goals.
Visit our blog or our website for updates.
Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at St. Barnabas Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, May 31st, 2014.
Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kevin Millington.
23 days ago | |
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