Westbury House School is in the very upper most part of Surrey, verging on being in London. As such, despite not being very far from Wiltshire, I did allow plenty of time for interacting (albeit briefly) with the M25. The thing with the rush hour morning traffic, especially in these uncertain times is you never quite know what its going to be like.
Mostly the roads have been, not surprisingly, quite a lot quieter this year. Certainly compared to previous times out on the road to record the traffic has seemed much less.
All told then I actually arrived at Westbury House School around 7am. Partly this was due to the traffic but mostly because I couldn’t actually find anywhere suitable to get some breakfast. Usually I aim to arrive with half an hour to spare so I can find the nearest Costa or similar, and have a bacon sandwich. But alas, on this occasion it wasn’t to be. I therefore remained hopeful the school might at least provide coffee!
As there was no parking at the school I had to park on the street some distance from the venue. This was at least an advantage of arriving early. Whilst the school wouldn’t let me in before the main contact arrived, I did at least manage to spend half an hour getting the kit from the car to the school front door. Fortunately, once I was allowed in, the hall was only just inside the main entrance and so setup was fairly quick.
Today as well as recording a school CD we had also agreed to video the school nativity play. Video is not something we normally do or advertise but as a ‘free extra’ on this occasion we agreed to this. Like so many schools the nativity play could go ahead, but not in front of an audience. The main part of the day was an audio recording and it was nice to see the school piano being used for this purpose as an accompaniment. The Director of Music at Westbury House had bought his wife in to play the piano – and very good at it she was too.
By lunchtime the nativity had been filmed and we were making good progress with the recording. I decided to head into the nearby suburbia to find some lunch. In the end I found a socially distanced sandwich courtesy of Greggs and found a park bench with a view of a roundabout! I was then entertained by the local wildlife….
After managing not to be eaten by a fox, the recording continued into the afternoon. Finishing by 3pm I was soon packed up and then began the trek of getting all the kit to the car which was some distance away.
The music making at Westbury House was excellent and it was a privilege to be chosen to record their Christmas Album. You can buy the album online by visiting our online shop.