In October 2016, we were approached by The Heroes Band to help them record a CD. After careful consideration and much thought being given to the most suitable venue it was eventually settled that we would record them in the Assembly Hall of William Booth College in South London. The recording sessions took place last weekend on the 18 and 19 March 2017.
The Heroes Band
The creation of the Heroes Band was the idea of David Vaninetti-Smart. In October 2013 David had just completed 10 years as the Director of Music of Farnborough Concert Band of The Royal British Legion, leading it from a small band in to a large nationally well respected concert band, raising funds for the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal through concerts etc.It was obvious to him that bands are a useful PR tool to the Royal British Legion by raising much needed funds through musical performances. David thought that it would be a good idea to create a concert band to support the Help for Heroes charity.
The Venue – William Booth Memorial Training College
William Booth was a visionary as well as a man of action and the college was built to give reality to one of his most breathtaking visions – that The Salvation Army should have a University of Humanity.
The College offers distance and on-site learning for cadets (officers-in-training), officers, lay employees and volunteers throughout the UK and and Ireland Territory and overseas.
This recording, as with most we do with Concert Bands, was undertaken over 2 days. Our team turned up at 8am on the Saturday morning in order to unload and set up our recording gear in the Assembly Hall of the William Booth College in Denmark Hill. Fortunately parking had been arranged so we were able to stop right outside the venue and within 15 minutes had all the necessary gear in the venue.
The Band’s Musical Director, David Vaninetti-Smart was clearly no stranger to the idea of recording and had everything prepared including full scores for us. All the band chairs all set up so we knew immediately where to start putting the mics and our gear. To keep things simple and ensure there was good communication between us and David we set up on the balcony above the band. Whilst it is sometimes useful to be in a separate space often we find it much easier to be located where we can easily communicate and see what’s going on. It just means our sound engineers can’t talk during the recording!
The recording session proceeded exactly as David had set out in advance and everything was covered in detail whilst also allowing for plenty of breaks. It should never be underestimated just how difficult a recording session is for the players. They had to give their very best performance almost non stop for 7 hours, apart from a few tea breaks.
The Heroes Band are an outstanding Concert Band and were clearly very well prepared and rehearsed for these sessions. We thoroughly enjoyed spending 2 days recording them on location in London at the William Booth Memorial Training College and are now embarking on the post production process. The tracks are currently in production and we hope to have some previews to share with you in the coming days.