In early January I was fortunate to go as part of Chapel Choir to Merton College, Oxford to record an album of Christmas music, A Winter’s Night. Merton College's Chapel is one of the best places to record in the country. It’s a beautiful building and the acoustics are truly incredible.
We recorded fourteen pieces over the three days and the album will also feature three performances by Onyx Brass, the amazing ensemble who collaborated with us on some of our pieces. Singing and recording for up to seven hours a day is a gruelling process. You have to go over phrases and verses until they are absolutely perfect. Thankfully, we had an amazing team. Our producer, Isabella Gardiner was endlessly supportive and always had something positive to say to keep our spirits up. We got through our schedule on time thanks to all the work that Mr Ionascu had put in over the last few months. We’re also extremely grateful to all the dons who took time from their holiday to help us: Mr Cunningham, our organist, Mr Tarney, Mr Thomas, Ms Quinault, and Mr Hurley.
When we weren’t busy recording we were able to look around Oxford and Mr Tarney organised thing for us to do in the evenings, such as going to see the film 1917. We also explored St Anne’s College, where we were staying.
The opportunity to record in Merton College was very special and the music we were singing was really fun; I’m so glad to have done it. I’m looking forward to continuing Choir this term and our tour of the Baltics, including concerts in Riga and Tallinn, this February.
The album will be released by Signum Records later this year, once all the editing and collating is finished. News of its release will be shared on our website.
Photographs courtesy of Mr Thomas.
1st June 2020
Two brothers write of their experiences of lockdown together, with one studying for exams, and the other continuing his singing, remotely.
31st May 2020
Quiristers have been singing at Winchester College since 1394. The current situation could not be allowed to disrupt that tradition. Therefore online rehearsals and recording individual voices remotely have become the new ways of keeping the sound of Chapel Choir with us.
13th April 2020
In celebrating Easter - despite being separated from one another - James McKinnel finds reassurance that love, life and hope will win out in the end.
6th April 2020
Marking the start of Holy Week, the College Chaplain considers how we keep going when told to socially distance ourselves from ones we love.
27th March 2020
Whilst we are unable to gather for our Passiontide Service, it is still possible to share the music we would have enjoyed, and find a moment of peace.
25th March 2020
For the third in our series of Thoughts for the Day, the Chaplain celebrates the Feast of the Annunciation to the Blessed Virgin Mary.