We record in all sorts of schools, and in the run up to Christmas we spend a lot of time recording CDs in Primary Schools. This is great business for us and part of our core offering to schools. However, it’s also really lovely when we get asked to go and record in Secondary Schools and particularly when we are recording a Chamber Choir.
This was exactly the requirement for our visit to Stratford Girls Grammar School. Based in Shottery Manor, Stratford Girls’ Grammar School is a selective girls’ 11 to 18 school with about 710 girls on roll currently. SGGS are members of the Association of State Girls’ Schools.
The Recording – Day 1
We spent two days with SGGS Chamber Choir. The first day was on location at The Guild Chapel in the centre of Stratford. Standing on the corner of Church Street and Chapel Lane, the Guild Chapel is one of Stratford-upon-Avon’s best-known and most important historic buildings.
The Chapel houses some of the finest medieval wall paintings in Europe, covered up on orders given to Shakespeare’s father in the 16th century following the Reformation, when he was the then Chamberlain of the Corporation of Stratford. They were discovered under layers of limewash many hundreds of years later and are recognised as some of the very finest surviving.
Day one was spent recording the more traditional carols all A Capella in this beautiful chapel. There was always going to be the risk of external noise given the chapel’s location in the centre of Stratford, but with the doors firmly closed we managed to get a fabulous sound using the acoustic of the chapel.
The Recording – Day 2
The second day we relocated to Shottery Manor to record some more contemporary style songs with piano accompaniment. The intention was to create more of a studio sound for these tracks so we set up in the Stratford Academy of Music.
The tracks are now in our production studio and the album should be out later this month.