When I was younger, one of the most depressing moments of the school holiday was going into the local WH Smith in Guildford during the first week of August to find signs everywhere that said ‘Back to School’. Somehow this seemed to make the Summer holidays feel much shorter. Some 20 or so years later as a parent myself, this now starts to make a bit more sense. Parents are busy people trying to juggle a busy working life with a hectic social calendar. For them, a helpful reminder that their offspring need a new geometry set before September is in fact quite useful.
Just before the start of the Summer Holidays this year, we found ourselves recording in Hull at the Focus School in Cottingham. As this was a two day recording and quite some way from our base just on the edge of Bath, I stayed overnight at a local hotel. It was during dinner in the hotel restaurant that I noticed a Christmas Tree sparkling away in the corner. Having confirmed that it was in fact still July and outside the sun was still shining at 8pm I looked in more detail at the Christmas tree. As I had suspected it was in fact an advert encouraging people to book their Office Christmas Parties with said hotel. This is of course a perfectly reasonable way of advertising such events and, apart from the silly people like me who get cross about Christmas songs playing in shops from early October, probably had the desired effect of attracting attention.
Recording a Christmas Album
These events got me thinking about our own campaign for recording Christmas Albums with Schools and Choirs this year. Generally each year we get extremely busy in October and November recording all over the country. During this period we record a huge number of Primary Schools but also record quite a lot of Christmas Albums with Choirs and Theatre companies too.
Preparation and timing
I am still not best pleased when shops start to play the same 5 Christmas songs on a loop in their stores from early October. That said, if you are planning to record a Christmas Album this year, August is probably the time you need to start thinking about it. Working backwards, most schools will want the CDs, or digital albums ready for sale by the beginning of December so they can capture audiences at Christmas concerts and events. If we are producing CDs then it takes at least a week to make them, assuming we have all the artwork signed off.
Planning the session
Then, there is the recording itself. Most Primary Schools will record on a single day, whilst choirs tend to record over a weekend. This still involves an amount of logistical planning. The two biggest challenges for choirs will be first finding a suitable venue and then the bigger challenge finding a day or even a whole weekend where the majority of your singers can attend. I run choirs myself and find it hard enough just pinning people down to sing at a 2 hour concert. So trying to get a full complement of singers for a whole day or weekend strikes me as a mammoth task. Nevertheless with a bit of notice, it can be done and so the sooner you settle on a date for recording the more likely it is that your singers will be able to commit.
Schools will usually record on a normal school day so getting pupils attendance at the recording session is fairly straightforward. However, there are still a few logistics to be organised. Primary schools will usually record class by class or by year group and there will be at least 1 or 2 teachers involved in the recording session all day. This tends to upset timetables. OF course it is all perfectly manageable and we record at schools all the time. Nevertheless it is a factor to consider when you book a recording session that there will be a certain amount of organisation to do.
Book a Recording
Knowing just how much goes on behind the scenes when customers record with us, we have made the booking process extremely straightforward. All you need to do is pick a date you would like to record and then give us a call on 01225 302143 or click here to send us an email. It’s that simple. If the date is available, we will send you a written confirmation and our engineers will arrive at 07.30 on your chosen date so you can spend the whole day or weekend recording with us.