The Music Department launched an ambitious project to unite the College community with the power of song. Pupils, staff, parents and friends of the College were tasked with singing the same piece of music, with each recording painstakingly compiled into the finished piece.
Teacher of Music, Mr Sebastian Johns, who headed up the ambitious project, explains the challenges he faced in compiling the track.
“The first step was, of course, writing the actual piece of music. I wanted to write something that would sum up the resilience being shown across the school (and the wider community, too), as well as something that anyone would be able to learn easily and join in with. I had known the poem Things Work Out by Edgar A Guest for a little while, and the words seemed absolutely perfect. The melody came to me late one evening, and after a flurry of late-night composition and some slight tinkering of Guest’s poem, the song was written.
The next stage was preparing the resources. Enabling all pupils, staff and parents who wanted to be involved to be able to learn the song meant that an instruction video had to be created, and I also had to prepare a range of backing tracks so that people would be able to stay both in time and in tune when they were recording – if not, compiling everyone’s recordings together might have been a rather more painful experience…!
Once these had been sent out, it only remained to wait for people to send in submissions, and they started arriving within a day. Every audio track was immediately transferred into an audio editing program, and lined up with one of the backing tracks. Every video was added to a large video editing project, where the singing was again lined up, but the audio muted – the final video would be combined with the complete audio track.
Once the deadline had passed, I could begin the final editing stages, arranging individual videos on the screen into a variety of small groups and the large-screen chorus view. The audio track also had to be compiled – singers were ‘synced up’ into groups of 10, and these groups were then inputted into a large-scale project where they were combined with the final piece de resistance – the orchestral track (this was entirely played in using an electric piano keyboard, one part at a time, making use of some rather clever digital instrumental sounds!).
Once this had been finished, it could be combined with the video, and the final product that you see now was finally done – along with some rather lovely drone footage courtesy of the marketing department, of course.”