4 Part Music returned to Oxfordshire to record a second Choir album at Blessed George Napier RC School, following on from their successful Christmas album recorded earlier this year.
When you have been in business in excess of 15 years, it perhaps isn’t that surprising that customers are coming back for a second, or even third recording. It is quite unusual however, for a school to record 2 albums with us in the same year. But on this occasion, there was very good reason.
Christmas Album – February 2019
The first album we recorded with Blessed George Napier School in Banbury, was earlier this year when they recorded a Christmas album. You read about this by referring to our blog post on the subject from February 2019. The Christmas recording had taken place in a church in Banbury, one of the main reasons being it featured the organ as well as piano accompaniment. The Christmas CD was a recording of the School Choir run by Tim Wilson, with some support from staff and one or two previous (alumni) choristers from BGN.
A second album for BGN
Roll forward 9 months and we were back again with Tim and the choir of Blessed George Napier. However, this was a very different recording session. For a start, on this occasion we were in a very large hall. The Monsi Sports Centre was our venue for the afternoon, which on the face of it, doesn’t appear the most acoustically friendly space for a choir recording.
The reason why the sports hall, and indeed such a large space, had been chosen for the recording this time was because it was potentially going to be a very large choir. This year Tim Wilson is stepping down after a number of years running the music and choirs at BGN and so invited members of the choir from previous years to come back and perform on this album.
Whilst setting up, we had no idea how many were going to turn up. It could have been 10 or 1000. In the end I think there were in the region of 100 singers which was great testimony to Tim’s time as Head of Music at BGN.
The Recording Session
It took us about an hour or so to get everything set up and by 1.30pm the choir had started to arrive. First in dribs and drabs, but by 2pm we had a good number of choristers, past and present, ready to sing. Copies were handed out and we soon got underway with the first of about 12 popular songs mostly from the 60s, 70s and 80s. Be My Baby, Super Trooper, Why do Fools Fall in Love and Say a Little Prayer, were just some of the songs we enjoyed recording over the next 4 hours or so.
Aside of a short break mid session, we carried on recording until around 6pm. By this time we had 12 songs recorded. This is no mean feat for a ‘scratch choir’ which hadn’t ‘met’ until a few hours previously. It is clear testimony to the excellent work Tim has been doing at BGN over the years that the choir members could just pick up the songs and record them in such a short period of time.
About the School
BGN is a Roman Catholic School which aims to be an extension of the Christian home to help parents bring up their children in the Christian tradition. The religious ethos can be found across the whole school curriculum and first and foremost in RE.