October 2, 2019
As Messiah Season quickly approaches, we thought it might be useful to our customers to clarify what makes each edition of Handel’s masterpiece special. We currently stock seven different editions of the Messiah and each one offers something of value to singers both professional and amateur.
Based on the latest scholarly edition produced by Max Schneider and Georg Friedrich Handel-Gesellschaft, this is the closest edition to an “authentic” or “historically informed” edition of the work available. The vocal score we keep in stock does not contain the critical commentary published separately by Bärenreiter but does provide a clear and transparent text that conforms to the Urtext criteria: no editorial dynamics are shown, the continuo realization is shown in small notes, and textual variances are indicated. Bärenreiter has produced a beautiful engraving of the Messiah that uses high-quality paper.
This edition is also surprisingly affordable. The publisher offers a special price for North America that is about half what Europeans would pay.
We recommend this edition to those who are very appreciative of the latest scholarship and interested in historical performance. It is a very clean and beautifully looking score and is becoming more popular every year.
October 1, 2019
For years, The Leading Note has stocked a variety of choral folders, including inexpensive models suitable for children’s choirs, folders from Marlo Plastics that are perfectly sized for a standard octavo, and the classic Black Folder Deluxe from Vancouver’s Small World Music Folder company.
To fill the gap between this top-of-the-line folder and the smaller, less-expensive options, we now stock two other folders from Small World. The Choralex and Ringbinder each offer unique features that complement what the Black Folder Deluxe offers, rather than replace it.
The Black Folder Deluxe
The classic Black Folder Deluxe is a durable, lightweight, ergonomic folder with options available to suit a wide range of requirements. This is one of the best folders available for both professional and amateur singers; an elegant lightweight folder at a good value that has by far been our most popular seller over the years.
One of the more important features of this folder is the bottom strap, which is attached at the outside base of the folder. It also has a comfortable hand strap at the back for you to hold it securely. It can carry many scores and will stand up to the abuse that daily rehearsals inevitably inflict on overworked choral folders. It is a large folder which makes it great for large scores, but this same quality means it can sometimes be too bulky for a crowded stage.
September 9, 2019
Laura Hawley is an award-winning Canadian composer who’s been rocking the choral scene lately and someone we consider part of The Leading Note family.
Laura spent her formative years in Ottawa and worked at The Leading Note while completing her studies. We’re now very proud of everything she has accomplished in her career and would like to point the spotlight at her excellent work.
As a committed musician, she has made a career from composing, conducting, and teaching. She founded Hypatia’s Voice Women’s Choir of Ottawa, taught at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, and worked with Cantiamo Choirs of Ottawa as founding artistic staff member for fourteen years. She recently relocated to Edmonton, where she was appointed Artistic Director of Da Camera Singers, conducts ChandraTala Choir (part of Kokopelli), and teaches composition at Concordia University of Edmonton. She has also toured with the Canadian Chamber Choir as a singer, accompanist, and featured composer. All of this while continuing to write music and gaining international recognition for her choral compositions.
Popular titles by Laura Hawley include Sonnet 43, The Sun is Mine, and a French setting of In Flanders Fields (Au champ d’honneur). In December 2015, Laura’s arrangement of a traditional Arabic song, Vivre, Aimer, Partager, went viral just as Canada was welcoming refugees from Syria. The YouTube video of this first performance has now garnered well over one million views and the printed music is now the most popular choral title The Leading Note has ever sold! This title has even surpassed Morten Lauridsen’s ever-popular O Magnum Mysterium.
Her work is published by Rhythmic Trident Music Publishing and Cypress Choral Music, but we are pleased to offer a collection of Laura’s excellent work that extends beyond other publishers and retailers, including several of her self-published titles. Check out her complete catalogue and find out why she’s one of the most popular choral composers we carry!
August 9, 2019
We hope this message finds you well and enjoying all that summer has to offer. This month is all about one of our favourite music publishers in the world – Bärenreiter!
Bärenreiter publications are every musician’s favourite, with Urtext and Critical Commentary editions that are considered definitive and highly sought-after. We love singing with Bärenreiter blue – do you? Also included in today’s newsletter is a handy resource about other international choral music publishers. Read on below for more details.
And remember, whatever music you are seeking for the upcoming season, The Leading Note has it all! Contact us anytime for a quote or to place your orders for September rehearsals.
Top 10: Bärenreiter Choral Top 10
What are our most popular Bärenreiter choral titles? (hint: half of the titles are by the best composer of all times – climbing the charts for over 250 years!). Can you guess who it is? Have a look and find out!
July 5, 2019
Dear choral friends,
This month, we are celebrating Christmas in July!
It may feel strange to be thinking about Christmas in the middle of the hot, sunny summer. Or, as this bit of dialogue from Massenet’s opera Werther puts it: “vous chanter Noel en juillet… c’est s’y prendre à l’avance” (“you sing Christmas in July, you rush the season”). But it is a necessity for choir directors preparing Christmas-themed concerts in the fall. July is the perfect time to plan out your fall programming and get your orders into The Leading Note and avoid the late-summer rush!
Top 10 – Christmas Selections for Children by Jackie Hawley
Ottawa-based choral pedagogue, Jackie Hawley, has curated a list of Christmas selections for children’s choir. See her Top 10 recommendations.
June 8, 2019
Dear choral friends,
Does June bring an end to your choral season? Or, like me, are you embarking on an exciting summer tour? Perhaps you are part of a festival like Unisong Choral Festival, which Ottawa welcomes this year and culminates in a mass choir performance on the National Arts Centre stage on Canada Day. However you are spending your summer months, we hope you can find some time to enjoy more choral music!
Top 10 lists – Donald Patriquin
Our Guide to Choral Music Repertoire includes an ever-growing section of Top 10 Recommendations from our community of choral directors and composers. With Canada Day fast approaching, we want to highlight the list curated by popular Canadian composer Donald Patriquin, which includes both original compositions and arrangements of Canadian folksongs. Did you know that The Leading Note is Patriquin’s exclusive Canadian distributor for his A Tempo works?
View Donald Patriquin’s Top Ten
April 4, 2018
The Leading Note is grateful for the generous donation of Vintage Sheet Music from Margart Munro, previously owned by Lillian Hoffman. Miss Hoffman, a resident of Farnham, Quebec, was a violinist who graduated from the music program at McGill University in Montreal and was Margaret’s inspiration for learning the violin. Miss Hoffman was a member of the Farnham ensemble (pictured below) and knew the composer Lee Roberts (and some of the sheet music is signed by the composer himself). Miss Hoffman’s collection of nearly 300 vintage titles are currently on sale at The Leading Note and we are pleased to provide all proceeds to Ottawa’s OrKidstra program.
September 10, 2014
Have you always wanted to sing Handel’s Messiah?
Starting September 17, Alcorn Music Studios presents Messiah 101, a 12-week course to help you learn and master the world’s favourite oratorio. Led by choral director Elise Letourneau, this course will help you learn how to keep your place in the score, how to count in your vocal entries, how to listen to the accompaniment or other vocal parts for your note, how to mark up your score and more. Learn about important vocal techniques and choral etiquette to bring you up to speed for CAMMAC’s annual Come Sing Messiah event on December 5th at Dominion-Chalmers United Church.
Don’t forget to bring a copy of the Messiah vocal score, available at The Leading Note for $12.00 +HST.