Classical Music Buzz > The Stairwell Carollers Choir Blog
The 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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Here's a cat to look at while you consider auditioning
Here's a cat to look at while you consider auditioning
Guest post by Rae, soprano. Photos by Holly.

We're having auditions for men soon, and, to this writing, there are yet no takers.

Hmmm.

Maybe my rendition of the audition experience last year was horrifically graphic and made you far too afraid of us.

Maybe we're really that scary. After all, 30-odd faces and voices sitting on stackable chairs in a church reception hall, with not a single instrument to hide quietly behind, could be seen as awfully intimidating. Or weird.

Maybe you think we're all really, really good.

Maybe you think we actually know what we're doing.

But, the truth is, we all just like to sing. And singing together is so much more powerful, more beautiful, just plain old bigger, than singing alone. Not everyone knows how to read music. Not everyone's been in another choir before. Very few of us know any Latin at all. Not everyone's ever sung outside of the shower before.

Pierre and his Maman at Christmas
Pierre and his Maman at Christmas
And no one's actually afraid of our director, Pete. (Sorry Pete, I know you wish it were true. But no, even that habit of hitting yourself upside the head with a tuning fork is just not that threatening.)

All choirs have trouble getting male voices. It's apparently not seen as all that manly to sing. I beg to differ. As a woman, trust me, it's sexy. We compete with all-male choirs for our men, with classical choirs, with professional choirs.

Graham, tenor, before dress rehearsal -- not doing his homework
Graham, tenor, before dress rehearsal -- not doing his homework
We even steal high school kids away from their homework and texting and videogames.


Morgan, tenor, focuses lights instead of going to the pub -- he is in two choirs and gets hired to sing solos on the side
Morgan, tenor, focuses lights instead of going to the pub -- he is in two choirs and gets hired to sing solos on the side
We've got barely padded metal chairs to offer, in an occasionally drafty church space, every Wednesday evening. No electronic devices. No instruments. No cookies or coffee. Plenty of cough drops. Bring your own water.

There's a spot waiting for you, where people will sit beside you. They'll tease you. They'll occasionally whisper and fidget and bug you until you get yelled at as if it were your fault, and then they'll giggle. And then, while you're trying not to laugh, they'll burst into sudden, glorious, astounding song.

Stairwell Caroller photo collage
Stairwell Caroller photo collage
And so will you.

At choir Pub night, Rae, soprano, finds Nikki's shyness endearing
At choir Pub night, Rae, soprano, finds Nikki's shyness endearing
There's nothing like it.

Come see for yourself.

--------

Rae



If you are a male bass, baritone or tenor (or have no clue, just love to sing) email us now at info@stairwellcarollers.com to book your 15 minute tryout.



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18 days ago | |
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All the Yule logs are burned away and resolutions made -- it's a New Year!

And, for the New Year, it's time for New Singers!


(Yes, we will miss our "old" singers -- we wish them well as they go off to school or are planning to travel the world in their retirement.)

Time... For tenors and basses to step up...

Peace Tower clock, Ottawa, Canada
Peace Tower clock, Ottawa, Canada

If you sing bass or tenor, and live within driving distance of the Ottawa (Canada's Capital) region, then the Stairwell Carollers may be the choir you're looking for. For our upcoming 2016 Spring season, we are auditioning Wednesday nights at the end of January. You must contact us to set up your audition time.

Sopranos and altos need not apply.

To qualify, all you need is a solid voice, a good ear and a great attitude. Many of us are bilingual ( we are proud of being an officially bilingual choir) but you need not be fluently bilingual to be part of the group.


Rehearsals start Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016 for our Spring madrigal and sacred music season.

(Reading music is an asset but not a necessity.)

For more info, send us an email -- info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com

Don't delay! Contact us to book your audition time.

Les Chanteurs Stairwell font des auditions régulièrement. Nous recherchons des basses et des tenors pour Janvier 2016.

(Lire la musique est un atout mais n'est pas essentiel.)

Pour plus de renseignements, envoyez-nous un courriel.

cute scroll


If you live in the Ottawa/Hull area and love to sing, set up your audition with us now!

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1 month ago | |
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Stained glass window, Arnprior, Ontario, Canada
Stained glass window, Arnprior, Ontario, Canada
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform "We Wish You a Merry Christmas ” arranged specifically for the Stairwell Carollers by Sir David Willcocks. Many thanks.

This arrangement of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas” is on our Christmas Carol CD, "I saw a swete semely sight", available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir.

"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie


 

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1 month ago | |
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Window at Knox Presbyterian church, Ottawa
Window at Knox Presbyterian church, Ottawa
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform "The First Nowell” , with a new arrangement by Pierre Massie.

This arrangement of "The First Nowell” is on our New Christmas Carol CD, “O magnum mysterium”, now available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir, (CD format only.)

"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie


 

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1 month ago | |
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Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform the popular Christmas Carol, "The Holly and the Ivy” -- a traditional arrangement from an old French melody.

This arrangement of "The Holly and the Ivy” is on our New Christmas Carol CD, “O magnum mysterium”, now available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir, (CD format only.)

"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie




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1 month ago | |
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Stained glass detail, Knox Presbyterian, Ottawa
Stained glass detail, Knox Presbyterian, Ottawa
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers sing "A Maiden Most Gentle”, written by Andrew Carter.

This arrangement of "A Maiden Most Gentle” is on our New Christmas Carol CD, “O magnum mysterium”, now available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir, (CD format only.)

"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie




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1 month ago | |
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Angel in Stained Glass
Angel in Stained Glass
Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform "Angelus ad Virginem” arranged by Andrew Carter, Sir David Willcocks and Pierre Massie.


This arrangement of "Angelus ad Virginem” is on our New Christmas Carol CD, “O magnum mysterium”, now available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir, (CD format only.)

"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie




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1 month ago | |
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Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform "Away in a Manger” arranged by Sir David Willcocks.

This arrangement of "Away in a Manger” is on our New Christmas Carol CD, “O magnum mysterium”, now available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir, (CD format only.)

"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie




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Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform the Christmas Carol "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, adapted by Arthur Sullivan with verse 4 arranged by Sir David Willcocks.

This arrangement of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” is on our New Christmas Carol CD, “O magnum mysterium”, now available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir, (CD format only.)

"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie




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1 month ago | |
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Ottawa choir, The Stairwell Carollers perform the haunting contemporary Christmas Carol "Village Wedding”, written by John Taverner. It's an exquisite piece that he wrote for his wife.

This arrangement of "Village Wedding” is on our New Christmas Carol CD, “O magnum mysterium”, now available online, at our concerts, and from individual members of the choir, (CD format only.)


"O magnum mysterium" Christmas CD
All our other CDs are available on our website in both CD form and as MP3 downloads.

The 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. We are a non-profit organization, who raise funds for local charities through concert, CD and cookbook sales.

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

Visit our blog or our website for updates.


Audio: Tom Barnes. Recorded at Knox Presbyterian Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Dec 12th, 2014.


Videographers: Gert-Jan van Heuzen, Kolin Casagrande, Sam Sloan


Editing: Pierre Massie




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