It's great to see so many members continue to show up to our virtual rehearsals this far into quarantine! It's been difficult every week not being able to actually sing in harmony with each other.
To address this particular issue, we've mixed things up this week by having members send in solo sound clips. Thanks to Barry Tripp who overlayed all the tracks together, we were treated to our first "EYBS Virtual Quartet" during practice, and boy was it good.
Hearing our voices harmonize wasn't the only new exciting thing however. In anticipation of East York's 70th anniversary, we ended our practice with a very special guest - Barbershop Harmony Society CEO, Marty Monson!
We discussed the challenges all singers face during these times; how other Chapters are adapting to practicing virtually; and how BHS wants to support everyone in practicing their craft. We wrapped it all up discussing how singing can positively impact our well-being, and the mental and physical benefits it can bring to those we interact with.
Keep the whole world singing!
The East York Barbershoppers had been looking forward to a couple of days of fun and singing at the Spring Convention this weekend, not to mention celebrating the end of our tenure as Ontario District Chorus Champions, but given the state of the world it was clear weeks ago that this was not going to come to pass.
Like a lot of other choruses around the world, we've moved a lot of our activities virtual with the help of technology - keeping socially connected even in the midst of social distancing.
In lieu of singing away our championship and gathering with wonderful barbershoppers and their families, we'll have to settle for going down memory lane with our winning performance from last year. We hope you enjoy it.
Keep safe, keep healthy, keep singing!
Your friends at EYBS
We are still practicing physical distancing in Toronto for the forseeable future, but that's not going to stop us from singing! Thanks to the power of technology and resourceful examples from other choirs and barbershoppers, we've managed to complete our first group practice session online!
Despite some initial technical hurdles, with a lot of help from our chorus members, practice went swimmingly after the issues were resolved.
Big thanks to Pat for leading us through practice online; Barry Tripp for providing with the Zoom conferencing; and everyone who managed to show up and participate!
Until further notice, all Tuesday night practice sessions will be hosted over Zoom.
As you may have noticed recently, COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic by the WHO.
The health and well being of our members and guests are top priority.
We will be following actions similar to other organizations around the city, and cancelling rehearsals for the following dates: March 17, 24, and 31.
We will be monitoring the news and official recommendations as we approach April 5th, and additional communications will be made closer to that date.
Keep informed - here's a link to the City of Toronto's COVID-19 fact sheet, with recommendations on what can be done: https://www.toronto.ca/community-people/health-wellness-care/diseases-medications-vaccines/coronavirus/
Stay viligant, stay calm, and we'll look forward to getting back to singing when this passes.
Update: Unfortunately due to the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic we will be postponing the Auction to a later date this year. We will update this post as the situation evolves.
Come one, come all!
Mark your calendars for our 52nd Annual Live Auction Sale, set for Friday, May 8th at Harmony Hall.
See what curious bargains we have for auction, help support the Chapter and our designated charities, and enjoy a fun night with our auctioneer, Matt Penstone!
Congratulations to Mike Green for being voted 2019's East York Barbershopper of the Year!
We'd like to thank Mike for his great work in the past year, especially for his contributions as both VP Communications and Show Chair for our 2019 Holiday Show, where he was instrumental in coordinating and putting the show together. Making this even more impressive is that Mike only joined East York in 2017, after a trade with a chorus in Montreal for Mike and his brother Gerry (also a key guy on the Show Committee) in return for future draft picks :)
I was introduced to the East York Barbershoppers back in 2018 via the Holiday Party. Since then, I got to learn more about barbershop singing, and make friends with the eclectic group of performers that makes up the East York chorus.
Harmony was floating from the hills of Baldwin, Ontario on Saturday Aug.10, 2019 as approximately 100 quarteters and quarteter wannabes gathered for the 2019 OQE at Harmony Ranch. It was a beautiful day in a very special setting, filled with meeting new friends, coaching, honing quartet skills, and just having great fun. Five East York Barbershoppers acquitted themselves very well as they finished in the top quartets.
One first-timer Chris, said "it was a wonderful experience, meeting lots of new people, loads of energy and was very positive". When asked what was the best takeaway he got out of the experience, he replied "engaging with top quartet coaches, focusing on different areas of stage presence, performance and emoting the story behind the music".
He concluded with the statement, "I will be back next year for sure".
Sounds like a plan!!
Exciting Public Performance!
The weather was threatening, but the spirits high as the East York Barbershoppers made their way down to the Distillery District in downtown Toronto this past Saturday to take part in the Sing!Toronto festival. As Ontario District Chorus Champions, we were invited to perform on stage in the main square. Earlier in the morning most of the singers attended a music workshop which proved to be most informative. At 1:00 pm. the sky was clear and sunny, and inspite of a cool breeze off Lake Ontario, we gathered onstage and sang to an enthusiastic audience for about a half hour.
A great time was had by the performers and from the standing ovation (there were limited chairs), our audience enjoyed the presentation.
We are all looking forward to our next performance at the Pep Rally Tuesday June 11th at the Capitol Banquet Centre in Mississauga.
Mike Green, V.P. Communications
WOW! We Won!!!
The Barbershop Harmony Society Ontario District 2019 Spring Convention was held in Belleville Ontario on the weekend of April 12-13.
This Convention is where Choruses and Quartets from across Ontario gather in the spirt of friendship and competition for various championships. Barbershopping is truly unique, in that while we are competitors, we really encourage all participants to excel at our hobby.
Traditionally our chorus competes in the Fall Competition, but we made a change to the Spring Competition this year so we could focus this Fall on getting ready for our planned Holiday Show/Party in November, and East York Barbershoppers took to the stage after many months of rehearsing and refining our music and presentation.