This week we once again found ourselves heading up the M1 at the early hour of 4am in order to be on location in Wakefield to record at the Girls’ High Junior School. Having been in York just 10 days before we are now familiar with the M1 and all its ongoing roadworks! But nevertheless by leaving early we managed to avoid any delays and arrived outside the school exactly on schedule at 07.40 just as the teacher arrived to greet us.
This particular job required 2 setups as the school wanted to spend a couple of hours recording at St John’s Church in the morning before relocating to the school to continue recording until the end of the school day.
Fortunately we were able to park just on the edge of the green so it wasn’t too bad getting all our recording gear into the church for the first part of the session. We had about an hour to set up before the first group of children arrived and actually it took a little less than that – so much so there was time to wander over to the school to get a cup of tea! This is always very pleasing and made for a very relaxed recording session!
At exactly 9am the first set of pupils came in ready to record. The church was used for the songs which included larger groups and indeed at one point the whole of the Junior School which was probably around 250 pupils.
We recorded a total of 8 songs in the church and then (exactly on schedule) at 10.30am we were ready to dismantle all the recording gear and relocate it to the music room in the school about 500 yards away. With 2 of us this doesn’t take too long and we also had help from the music teachers and a couple of caretakers. With their help and the promise of another cup of tea we set to and were ready again just ahead of the planned 11.30am session starting in the school. In fact we learnt while we were setting up in the school room that Wednesday was ‘Cake Day’ at the school and we were given slices of a rather lovely Coffee Cake!
The recording session continued for another hour which got us another 5 songs in the ‘can’ and then we stopped for lunch. We had been promised a school lunch and what a very nice lunch it was too in the school dining area. Being the child that I am I was most delighted by the chance of a pink milkshake with a digestive biscuit to dunk in!
After lunch there were a few more songs to record and then everything was pretty much done just before 3pm. This was handy because I then had to get back down the M1 some 230 miles away to run a choir rehearsal that evening! Fortunately however the traffic was favourable and everything worked out exactly to plan. There was even time for fish and chips before running my choir rehearsal.