Yesterday we went on a trip to the seaside; specifically Torquay in the lovely county of Devon. From Bath this is a bit of a trek so it meant leaving at 4.30am. However with many school recordings coming up over the next few weeks, this is something we are used to and in fact have often left a lot earlier!
On arrival, we were met by the school caretaker who showed us to the school hall. As this turned out to be quite a long walk from the car park we then sought permission to park in the playground, at least for the purpose of unloading the recording gear. Permission was granted but only on the basis the car was fenced in! Apparently this is a health and safety requirement. To be fair if it stops my car being used as a football target that’s perfectly ok with me.
Once unpacked and setup we met up with the school music teacher, Martin Jarvis. A young, dynamic teacher, we were filled with confidence to find he was leading the choir from the piano. A lot of schools nowadays sing to backing tracks – which of course is fine and perfectly sensible in many cases. But it’s always nice to see a teacher leading from the piano, and in this case playing it so very well.
The recording day proceeded well and exactly on schedule as organised by the school. We are aware of the challenges of fitting a recording session around a full days timetable, especially if you are using the ‘choir’ for the majority of the day. Despite the average age being around 9 or 10, with a few younger pupils involved, the children of Cockington Primary School Choir managed to maintain energy levels all morning until it was time to break for lunch.
The afternoon session went just as well as the morning and we finished around 3pm having recorded 8 songs. On this occasion the school were designing their own artwork and we think they’ve done a fabulous job!
About the author: Jules Addison is a Sound Engineer and Producer for Recordings 4 Schools and recorded the album on location at Cockington Primary School.