Articles tagged with: Rachel Rensink-Hoff

  • Brock Chamber Choir and Women’s Choir holding auditions for upcoming season

    Brock’s Women’s Choir (pictured above) is holding auditions for its second season this summer. Photo courtesy of Julie Hoff.


    Brock’s Chamber Choir and Women’s choir are looking for new voices for the upcoming 2019/2020 season!

    Both the Chamber Choir and Women’s Choir are open by audition to all Brock students, and the Women’s Choir is also open to community members.

    Singers can opt to take choir for credit, but are not required.

    HOW TO AUDITION

    Auditions will begin in August.

    Click here to access the audition sign-up sheet and schedule an audition time.
    *Please arrive at your audition early to complete an audition form.

    Previous singing experience and the ability to read music is required.

    All singers accepted into the choir are expected to attend all rehearsals and performances throughout the year. Dates for the entire year will be posted before the end of August, prior to your audition.

    Auditions will be 10 minutes in length and will include the following:

    1. Vocal range check
    2. Listen and sing-back
    3. Sight-singing
    4. Rhythm-reading and clap-back
    5. Singing of Shenandoah (click on the link for a pdf of the music)

    If you are accepted into one of the choirs, you are invited to register for the course (if you wish to receive credit). Permission to register will be granted after the auditions are completed.

    Rehearsals begin the week of September 10, 2019

    Rehearsal times:

    CHAMBER CHOIR: Rehearsals Tuesdays and Thursdays, 3 to 4:20 p.m.

    WOMEN’S CHOIR: Rehearsals Thursday evenings, 6 to 8:45 p.m.


    For more information about opportunities and the audition process please contact Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Conductor, at rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca  or the Department at music@brocku.ca.

    Learn more about the Brock choirs.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students

  • Avanti Chamber Singers preparing to end Brock Music season on a high note

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform for the final time this season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. in St. Thomas Anglican Church. (Photo courtesy of Julie Hoff)


    (From The Brock News, April 16, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will close an eclectic Brock Music season with their final performance, The Road Home.

    Led by Assistant Professor Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Brock’s Ensemble-in-Residence will perform at St. Thomas Anglican Church on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. as part of the Viva Voce! Choral Series.

    Rensink-Hoff explained this concert is quite different from Avanti’s first two performances this season.

    “We’ve had a very diverse year,” she said. “We did the big classical piece at the beginning of the year and have explored probably every style chorally that we could throughout the season.”

    The concert repertoire was inspired by This House of Peace, a choral number by contemporary composer Ralph Johnson, commissioned for the opening of the Sacred Heart Medical Center at Riverbend in Springfield, Ore. The song reflects on conversations Johnson had with people staying in a medical centre guesthouse while their loved ones were in hospital.

    As well as Johnson’s number, the choir will also perform songs that reflect on the idea of “home” as a space where individuals feel at peace.

    The opening piece, titled Ambe by Indigenous composer Andrew Balfour, is rhythmic in style and based in an Ojibway dialect.

    The program also includes All of Us by Craig Hella Johnson, and Stephen Paulus’ The Road Home, for which the concert is named.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be joined by oboist Marta Agnieszka for a few pieces during the performance, including Gabriel’s Oboe arranged by Jon Washburn.

    This is the third and final performance of the season for the choir, who have spent the last eight months rehearsing and growing together as singers.

    “Concert themes can be quite personal and so, as I work with Avanti and get to know them more, it’s easier to create programs that I believe will resonate with the members of the choir,” said Rensink-Hoff.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform for the final time this season on Saturday, April 27 at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St. in St. Catharines.

    Tickets purchased in advance for the show are $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. There is also a discounted price of $5 for students and eyeGo program members. Tickets are available through theAvanti Chamber Singers website, at Thorold Music, Booksmart Books or from choir members.

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    Categories: Events, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Season-ending Brock Choirs concert to explore stages of life

    The Brock University Women’s and Chamber choirs, shown at a recent performance, will again take the stage in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m.


    (From The Brock News, March 26, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    The Brock University Women’s and Chamber choirs are back for the second and final performance of the school year, with a program exploring the different stages and seasons of life.

    Led by conductor and Brock Assistant Professor Rachel Rensink-Hoff, the two choirs will perform together on Saturday, March 30 at 7:30 p.m. in the Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The performance is part of the Viva Voce! Choral Series, which sees the University’s choral ensembles come together as the Brock Choirs in recitals that take place throughout the year.

    Since their most recent performance in November, the two groups have been working on new and diverse pieces for their upcoming concert.

    “Second semester always has more experimentation,” explained Rensink-Hoff, “so we do a lot of moving around in terms of our seating and how the voices work together.”

    The two choirs will perform a wide range of repertoire, from traditional pieces by Schubert, Mendelssohn and Brahms, to more contemporary songs by Canadian composers Nancy Telfer, Jane Siberry and Jon Washburn.

    Rensink-Hoff selected poems to include by authors Christina Rossetti, Robert Burns and Charles Dickens, which she believes will resonate with the audience.

    The choirs will also perform a few pieces in different languages. Rensink-Hoff said working with that material has been both challenging and rewarding for the groups.

    “When you work with languages a lot through singing, you really get an understanding of how a language works,” she said. “From an educational perspective, it’s really wonderful to see.”

    Along with pieces in Latin and German, both choirs will perform a composition in Xhosa arranged by South African composer Michael Barrett.

    Brock Choirs in Concert II will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC) in downtown St. Catharines.

    Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for seniors and students. There is also a $5 option available for eyeGo program members. Tickets are available through the PAC box office at 905-688-0722 or on thePAC website.

    The final performance in the Viva Voce! Choral Series is also approaching on Saturday, April 27 featuring the Avanti Chamber Singers. For more details on upcoming concerts, visit the Department of Music website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Avanti Chamber Singers to give a cappella performance

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will perform an a cappella concert at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church on Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. (Photo: Julie Hoff)


    (From The Brock News, February 15, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Guests at the upcoming concert performed by the Avanti Chamber Singers are in for a surprise.

    Voices Raised, led by Rachel Rensink-Hoff on Saturday, Feb. 23, is a chance for Brock University’s choir-in-residence to celebrate the raw power of the human voice.

    The group will be performing an a cappella concert, with pieces ranging from early classical works to contemporary repertoire. The show promises to be the most diverse concert to date, with everything from open-throated chant singing to spoken word poetry.

    Members of the Avanti Chamber Singers have been working hard since their performance last November to build confidence with pitches and tuning, since there are no accompanying instruments this time around.

    “I am proud of what Avanti has accomplished in the short period of time since our last concert,” said Rensink-Hoff. “We can’t wait to share this program with our audience next week.”

    The group will also be performing a bit of beat-boxing and a deeply moving text by Indigenous poet Rita Joe titled I Lost My Talk. The singers will also be premiering two new compositions — one by Niagara-based composer James Moffett and the other by Laura Hawley.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be inviting the audience to join in a singalong during the concert.

    Seating at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church is limited and guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible.

    Voices Raised takes place Saturday, Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through the Avanti Chamber Singers website, at Thorold Music and Booksmart, or from choir members for $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. A $5 ticket is available for students and eyeGo program members.

    Rensink-Hoff is also the conductor for the Brock University Choirs, which includes both the chamber choir and the new women’s choir. Their next performance is Saturday, March 30.

    For more information about upcoming choral performances, visit the Brock University Music website.

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Avanti Chamber Singers to commemorate the Christmas Truce at first concert of the season

    The Avanti Chamber Singers are led by conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff during rehearsal for their upcoming performance Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday November 14, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    On Christmas Day, 1914, French, British and German soldiers along the Western Front laid down their weapons, emerged from the trenches and joined in song to celebrate the season. Now referred to as the Christmas Truce, the unofficial ceasefire was a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amid the violence of the First World War.

    To mark the 100th anniversary of the 1918 armistice, conductor Rachel Rensink-Hoff will lead the Avanti Chamber Singers in a performance to remember the truce on Saturday, Nov. 24 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church in St. Catharines. This marks the first performance of the season for Brock’s choir in residence.

    Titled And on Earth, Peace, the concert will include Remembrance Day tributes, popular songs from the time of the First World War and classic Christmas carols. Songs will be performed in English, German and French, and the audience will be invited to sing along to carols that soldiers would have sung.

    “The moving story of the Christmas Truce was fitting inspiration for our first performance of the season,” said Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. “As we look back to Remembrance Day and forward to the holiday season, we will join together in song — just as those soldiers did more than 100 years ago.”

    Many differing stories about the Christmas Truce have been shared. Even today, it is still unclear exactly what happened on Christmas Day all those years ago.

    The most commonly shared account is that soldiers all sang carols together in celebration on Christmas Eve before emerging to wish their enemies a Merry Christmas the next day. After the soldiers ceased fire, they met to exchange small gifts and souvenirs.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is comprised of 30 musicians from around the Niagara region.

    Rensink-Hoff said she works with different individuals every year, and hopes to showcase the hard work and talent of this year’s choir at the opening concert.

    “The challenge with a new choir is gelling together as a group — not just musically, but interpersonally,” she said. “This is now my second season with Avanti and it makes a big difference when you know people more closely because it helps all of us feel that we are in this together.”

    Accompanying the Avanti Chamber Singers will be pianist and organist Lesley Kingham and guest trumpeter Timothy White.

    And on Earth, Peace takes place Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7:30 p.m. Advanced tickets are available through the Avanti Singers website, at Thorold Music and Booksmart, or from choir members for $20 for adults and seniors. Tickets at the door are $25 for adults and $20 for seniors. A $5 ticket is available for students and eyeGo program members.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers will also be performing on Feb. 23 and April 27 at St. Thomas’ Anglican Church.

    Rensink-Hoff is also the conductor for the Brock University Choirs, which includes both the chamber choir and the new women’s choir. Their first performance will take place Dec. 1.

    For more information about upcoming choral performances, visit the Brock University Music website.

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    Categories: Events, Faculty & Instructors, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series

  • Auditions for Brock’s new Women’s Choir open to the public

    Brock’s new Women’s Choir, to launch this fall, is open by audition to Brock students and Niagara community members.

    (from The Brock NewsWednesday, June 20, 2018 | by )

    Voices from the Brock and wider Niagara community will come together in harmony this fall as the Department of Music launches a new Women’s Choir.

    The all-female ensemble will be open by audition to Brock students as well as the general public.

    “I am hoping that this choir brings together women from the University and the Niagara region to offer something very special to our local arts community,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music who will direct the new group.

    The Women’s Choir will rehearse on Thursday evenings beginning this fall, readying for performances with Brock’s Chamber Choir on Dec. 1 and March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The department’s established mixed-voice Chamber Choir is also open by audition to all Brock students and staff.

    Also included among Brock’s choirs, an integral part of the Music program, is the Avanti Chamber Singers. The community-based adult ensemble, also directed by Rensink-Hoff, is the department’s Choir in Residence.

    “The choirs allow students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the fantastic FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,” says Rensink-Hoff. “My hope is that more students from across campus and members of the public will consider joining us.”

    To audition, previous singing experience and some ability to read music are required.

    Students who successfully audition can enrol in choir for academic credit.

    For more information or to schedule an audition, please visit the Music Department’s website.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, Media Releases, News

  • Viva Voce! Choral Series & The Regional Women’s Choirs present a concert for International Women’s Day: “She Rises”

    sherisesThe Viva Voce Choral Series includes Brock’s student choral ensembles (men’s and women’s choruses) as well as the Avanti Chamber Singers, a mixed ensemble including several Brock staff and Music alumni. Under the direction of conductor Harris Loewen, the ensembles perform multiple concerts throughout the academic year, and engage in community outreach, collaborative work with other Ontario choirs and special recording projects.

    When: March 8, 2014 – 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
    Location: St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines
    Admission: $17 adults; $15 seniors & students; $5 for the eyeGo ticket program for high school students.

    Click here for the event poster.

    Regional Women’s Choirs present a concert for International Women’s Day: “She Rises”

    On Saturday, March 8, 2014, at 7:30 pm, the Brock University Women’s Chorus hosts guest ensembles: the McMaster University Women’s Chorus and the Queenston Ladies Choir, in a concert showcasing the beauty and power of women’s voices. This event, in celebration of International Women’s Day, takes place at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario Street, St. Catharines.
    Conductors Lisa Brillon (Queenston), Harris Loewen (Brock) and Rachel Rensink-Hoff (McMaster) will conduct their individual choirs, as well as the massed chorus of over 100 women’s voices, in this rare festival performance by three elite, treble-voice ensembles.
    The concert will have a clearly contemporary flavour. The majority of works to be performed were written in the 20th and 21st centuries – a number of them published in just the last few years. The program will also include works by 19th century composers Bruckner and Mendelssohn, as well as wonderful arrangements of traditional folk songs and spirituals.
    One of the featured works is the Canadian premiere of “She Rises” (2011), a piece for double women’s chorus with lyrics and music by American composer Catherine Dalton. The words speak of the inspiring Celtic sun goddess Brigid, as well as St. Brigid of Kildare (Ireland). The music, a Celtic-style melody accompanied by rich harmonies and creative vocal sound effects, is “a jubilant celebration of the energy and light that resides without and within all of us.”
    Other massed choir works include Eric Whitacre’s lyrical “Seal Lullaby,” Clifton Noble’s exciting spiritual arrangement “Hold On,” Dale Warland’s pensive “Sed Amore,” and Canadian songwriter Leon Dubinsky’s inspiring “We Rise Again,” in an arrangement by Toronto’s Lydia Adams.
    Dr. Harris Loewen, Associate Professor Music at Brock University, states: “This celebratory and wide-ranging program, presented by the very best women’s choirs of the region, will appeal to a really broad audience. If you’ve never been to this kind of choral feast, exclusively by women’s voices, this is a terrific way to celebrate International Women’s Day, and support choral endeavours by women.”
    Concerts in the Viva Voce Choral Series are presented by the Department of Music as a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and Brock University.
    Join us for this moving celebration on March 8 at 7:30 p.m., held at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario Street, St. Catharines. Tickets are available at the Centre for the Arts Box Office, or at the door.

    For more information contact:
    Marie Balsom, Communications
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    T: 905-688-5550, ext. 4765 | E: mbalsom@brocku.ca | W: brocku.ca/miwsfpa

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    Categories: Events, Media Releases, News, Viva Voce Choral Series