Our previous trip out towards Sevenoaks was recording at Tonbridge Girls Grammar School. Today’s recording, not to far from there was at Amherst School.
Amherst is quite a big school with nearly 400 pupils on register and runs from year 3 to year 6. When we arrived we were greeted by the head teacher and the main contact, Sam Clarke, who is responsible for music in the school. We quickly unloaded our gear into the main school hall. Unusually, the hall was completely open on one side onto the main reception area and through flow of traffic from different parts of the school.
Setting up on location
We appreciate that when recording in schools, there is always going to be a certain disruption to the timetable but at the same time normal school business must go on around us. Nevertheless, Amherst were taking this recording seriously and had arranged for lessons to be quiet, photocopiers and even telephones and bells to be silenced. Apparently this has to be done during exam season.
The hall was also going to be used for lunch, but fortunately there was a small stage set up for a drama production so we were able to put our microphones and stands on there which meant less equipment had to be moved out the way come lunchtime.
The Recording Session
We started promptly at 9am with some songs featuring the whole school. This in itself was quite a challenge as it was a particularly hot day and with nearly 400 pupils and the entire staff, the hall was crammed full and it soon became very hot. Obviously pupil health and well being is always the most important element, and whilst a recording studio should ideally be as quiet as possible there is always a balance to be struck, particularly in schools! Windows and doors were therefore opened to get some fresh air.
Once the singing started we realised this was no ordinary Primary School. From conversations with Mr Clarke in the lead up to the recording session, I had suspected the music was going to be rather good at Amherst. And goodness me, what an amazing job he has done with the pupils there. As always we set up our engineering desk in the corner with listen back facility so our clients can hear the tracks as they are recorded – we also play back through monitor speakers into the recording venue so the children can hear themselves too!
We spent the whole day at Amherst and were also invited to join the staff table for a very nice cooked lunch. It was clear to us that music plays a very important role at Amherst School and we were priveleged to be given the chance to record there and work with such talented staff and pupils.
The CD is currently in production but we are already thinking it could well be one of the best Junior school CDs we have recorded this year.
To find out more about our recording services for Schools please give us a call on 01225 302143 or click here to email us