Recording: The Ultimate Test

Last evening I held the first of two three-hour studio recording sessions with my choir. Most years we spend some time in the studio; this year we are putting together the first half of an album that we’ll complete next year. We started tonight with May, the piece we commissioned with Michael McGlynn.

I don’t think there is a better test of a group’s growth, teamwork, and trust than a recording studio. Tensions run high as you sing the piece over and over again to get the perfect take. As one or another section makes a mistake a few times in a row, trust is put to the test.

And of course the microphones don’t lie: any error you make shows up clear as day.

It’s an excellent way to culminate a year of hard work – to record that work for posterity and to demonstrate to yourselves just how far you’ve come.

If recordings aren’t on your May school-year agenda, I strongly urge you to add them. In the studio or in a hall, close miked or acoustic: the educational and musical results will astound you.