Last week we returned to Cranleigh Preparatory School in Surrey to record a second album with their Chamber Choir directed by Catherine Beddison.
As a pupil of Cranleigh Prep (albeit some 30 or so years ago) it is always a great pleasure to return there in my guise as a sound engineer. In fact having not been back to the school at all until 3 years ago this is now my third recording in the Prep School chapel since then! In addition to recording the Prep School chamber choir we have also recorded Harlequin Chamber Choir, which at the time was also directed by Catherine Beddison (Deputy Head at Cranlieigh Prep).
We arrived at our usual time of 07.30 and were greeted by Catherine who unlocked the chapel and then produced mugs of tea!
Having already recorded in the Chapel a couple of times, the setup was fairly straightforward. Since my day the Chapel of St George has been extended and so there is a good space at the West end to set up our engineering desk. This gives us plenty of space away from the choir but also still line of sight which helps communication during the session.
Once everything was set up I decided it would be entirely reasonable to have a go on the chapel organ. However it aeems since my day the console has become disassociated with the pipes and is now a fairly nasty box of electronics provided by Wyvern.
At 09.00 we proceeded with the recording and the Cranleigh Preparatory School Chamber Choir were on top form. Right from the outset the tuning was impeccable and the choir was sounding every bit as good as I’d hoped it would. We recorded until just before 4pm with a short break for lunch. But even the very last song, a rather lively Samba, was just as fresh as the performances earlier in the day.
We are now embarking on the production part of the process and the plan is to have the album available towards the end of the Summer term. The CD was commissioned by the Head, Michael Wilson, who is leaving at the end of this academic year to take up the post of Head at Cranleigh Abu Dhabi. We wish him every success and happiness in this new role.
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