Over the past few weeks we have been incredibly busy recording Christmas Albums in Primary Schools all over the UK. In fact since the end of October we have clocked up some 9,000 miles driving to all corners of the country and met some lovely people and heard some beautiful singing.
We have heard many versions of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer with a wide array of regional accents! Also, importantly, we have experienced some wonderful hospitality in so many schools with lots of people going to extra effort just to bring in some cakes to keep us fed during the course of the recording. Of particularly mention were the fabulous cakes at St Marys CE Middle School in Puddletown and the splendid lunch at East Craigs Primary School in Edinburgh!
During the course of November we have stayed in a number of Premier Inn’s from London to Edinburgh and pretty much everywhere in-between. The most popular school name seemed to be St Mary’s, the majority of which, not surprisingly, had blue as their school colour. In all, over the past 6-8 weeks, we have recorded at 24 schools and produced just shy of 5000 CDs.
It’s not been easy, some mornings we have been on the road as early as 04.30 in order to arrive ready to set up from 07.30 in the schools. Maybe I’m getting old but if the start time calculates at anything earlier than 04.30 then I tend to book a hotel in the vicinity of the school. Particularly when we are recording back to back for 3 or 4 days in a row.
Timing is everything
07.30 may seem quite early to arrive in order to record a School CD. We are aware that most schools do not start until 08.30 / 08.45. However it takes us at least an hour to set up our mobile studio in your school hall and we also have to make approximately 20 trips carrying kit from our vehicles into your school. We once arrived at a school where the hall was a 10 minute walk from the car park with no alternative option! So in order to be ready to record by 09.00 which is always our aim it’s extremely important that we can gain access to the school from 07.30.
Usually all we need is for someone to let us in and point the way to the school hall or proposed recording venue. Also a cup of tea is nice as we have probably been on the road for the previous 2 – 3 hours. And even if we havent, the chances are we probably still left our hotel before they started serving breakfast!