After a long, but fairly easy, drive back from Newcastle, yesterday morning we got a lie in and didn’t have to leave until 05.15am. Our destination was St Mary’s Junior School in Long Ditton. However, unlike the majority of our school recordings, this one was not taking place in the school hall. Instead we found ourselves on location in the local Church of St Marys.
In many ways it makes a lot of sense. It saves taking up the school hall, which invariably has to be used for lunch and also means that you are likely to have a lot of ‘through traffic’ of people trying to get around the school. You are also subject to break times which can be noisy affairs in Primary Schools.
By using the local church it meant that the children had to be route marched by their teachers from the school just a few hundred yards away. On the plus side, this meant that everything had to be planned meticulously and as a result ran exactly to time! When we are recording on location we always leave the timings and schedule for the day to the teachers. After all a school still has to function fairly normally around a recording. School timetables are complicated enough as it is!
As with the majority of our primary school recordings, St Marys were singing to backing tracks. This always presents a challenge to us as we are never quite sure of two key elements. Firstly, how good will the tracks be in terms of audio quality and secondly how will they be played?
Luckily we carry a multitude of cables, mixing desks and other paraphernalia to cope with pretty much anything that we might find out in the field, or indeed in a church.
All in all the day was a great success and with detailed notes taken during the session we are able to turn this around and produce CDs ready for delivery to the school within a week. The school have engaged someone to produce very professional looking artwork and we thoroughly enjoyed the day with the staff and pupils at St Marys Long Ditton.