I really wanted to celebrate all that our choirs have achieved this year and I wanted to do it safely and happily without any disruptions or restrictions. So, I re-arranged ‘2000 Miles’ by the Pretenders based loosely on an arrangement by the Scala Choir, had it typset by the fabulous Tim Allen and taught it to all of my singers.

One of the reasons for this came from two of my West Bridgford singers. Marijke and Rachel – both avid runners – decided that this year they would run 2000 miles (each) just so that when we got to the line “It’s very far” they could sing this knowingly! The pressure was on!

The West Bridgford Liberty Singers started meeting face to face in September but only in two halves. It’s such a massive choir I didn’t want to put too much pressure on my singers, the venue or myself. So for this reason, we didn’t perform at Christmas together as a choir at all. But I still wanted a focus, a reason to rehearse and creating another virtual recording seemed the best way forward. I taught the songs and the harmonies face to face. The Liberty Belles have also been meeting face to face since September – as a much smaller choir we have been able to perform (they sang to the West Bridgford Liberty Singers in November) and they also managed a very very small outdoor gig at the start of December. It was manageable.

My zoom set up complete with ironing board.

The NHSBT Liberty Singers have always only ever sung online together. Their contract ended at the start of December but I really wanted them to go out on a high note as it were, and invited them also to join the recording. I taught them all the harmonies online as usual and created all the video footage for them to follow on you tube. Because I’d taught some of this face to face with the other choirs, I knew which bits might be problematic (think ssssssss) and how I wanted them all to sound.

Skincredible Zoom Footage

It was the same for the Skincredible Liberty Singers – (From the British Association of Dermatologists and the British Dermatological Nursing Group). Always online and with their contract also coming to a close I wanted them to be a part of it too. The sing always got voted to the top of the poll so I hoped I was on to a winner.

The ICU Liberty Singers usually always only sing online but they did actually meet up in November to sing, record, film and create friendships together. We had a little try and flossing to the song (because of the 6/8 timing) which was totally hilarious!

So, the five choirs bought in to my plan. I created the piano part (thankfully, it only has three chords so even I could manage it!)

Celviano straight into GarageBand

I recorded the harmonies – it was supposed to only be 2 parts, but you know me, the chorus has four. I couldn’t help myself! It’s an odd song because it in 6/8 time as opposed to the standard pop song 4/4 but I think its adds to the charm of the piece. There enough showboating for the sopranos in the chorus as well as a hefty line for the bass singers – of which we had several!

I mix using Ableton Live

In fact, when it came to mixing, we had 21 blues, 30 greens, 32 yellows and 24 reds totalling 107 vocal parts! Some people really got stuck in and recorded more than one part….. some people sang all four! I am utterly delighted with the sound of it, the dedication our singers have shown to the project and feel happy that we achieved exactly what we set out to.

2000 Miles – The Liberty Voices

No matter what I throw at my singers either in person or online, they just deliver. They learn their parts, the sing their hearts out and together we are strong. Please share this audio far and wide.

Oh, and guess what? This is Marijke…

I am assured that Rachel is right behind her….. I’ll make sure I post her photo when she’s made her 2000 miles too!