With our studio based in Wiltshire, we spend a lot of time driving around the country. During March and April this year, we headed up the M5 and M6 quite a few times to schools in the North East. As a result it’s always nice when the occasional more local job presents itself. Somerset may not be everyone’s idea of local to Wiltshire, but to us it was like being rewarded a lie in!
Instead of setting off around 4am, I was able to leave just after 6.30am and still arrive at the school just ahead of 07.30. As often happens, I was the first to arrive.
One of the reasons why we like to arrive at 07.30 in the morning is because there is always an element of unknown with regards to the set up. We know what kit will be needed and always have everything required. However, we can never be too sure how close we are able to park to the school hall / recording venue. Coupled with this, there may be several doors to be negotiated en route between the parking space and the recording space.
At St Joseph’s, Burnham on Sea, I was met by the head teacher who showed me into the school. Just a short walk from the car to the main entrance, doors were propped open so I could quickly and easily get all the kit into the hall. This is another advantage of arriving before the children as for a few moments doors can be opened to make access easier.
As often happens, I was set up in good time and there was time for coffee before the first group of children arrived. The recording on this occasion was all the school singing together in each song. Our school CD recordings vary. Lots of schools like to sing a song per class or per year group. But some prefer to include all the children in all songs. The recording proceeded well and we were well on schedule to finishing the recording of all 12 songs before lunch.
Of course, we do not put a time limit on our recording days. Some schools will continue recording until the end of the school day around 3.15pm. Others prefer to get everything done in the morning. A lot of this will depend on the school timetable and availability of the children and / or the recording space.
From our perspective it makes no difference whether or not we finish at lunchtime or the end of the day. Although sometimes it’s nice to finish early, particularly if we have a long drive home. For me personally this can be an advantage particularly as I usually have a choir rehearsal to run most evenings. When you have started at 3am and don’t finish working until 10pm, this can be a long day.
Nevertheless, we do not ever put a time limit on the recordings, other than the constraints of the school day. Everything was going well at St Joseph’s, Burnham on Sea right up until the last couple of songs. Suddenly a lawn mower struck up right outside the window. To make things slightly more complicated it was not technically on school property but was a local resident living almost next to the school.
We do our best to deal with most situations as they occur, but there isn’t much we can do about extraneous noises when it comes to recordings. And this was particularly loud and would have not been a pleasing addition to the children’s singing on their CD. Consequently, the head teacher was despatched to politely ask the neighbours to stop mowing their lawn for approximately 10 minutes. Clearly a man of considerable diplomacy and tact, moments later, everything was once again silent and the recording continued.
We had a great day recording at St Joseph’s Primary School in Burnham on Sea, Somerset. The album is currently in production and should be ready just after Easter so it can go on sale at the beginning of the Summer term.
If you would like to find out more about our school CD recording services either in Somerset, or elsewhere in the UK then please give our team a call on 01225 302143. If you prefer you can click here to access our contact form and send us an email.