Sometimes, a song is just perfect for choirs. ‘The Rose’ arranged by Abi Moore worked so beautifully with my Liberty Belles choir (20 ladies in a hair salon) that I thought I’d try it on The ICU Liberty Singers AND The NHSBT Liberty Singers. Fantastic – they loved it.

Working online with both The ICU and NHSBT groups continues to thrive and yet I’m constantly looking for ways to improve their experience and give them new goals. There has been a little bit of crossover between these two choirs as some of the ICU Consultants are Clinical Leads for Organ Donation – sometimes they turn up twice in one day!

Teaching this three part arrangement went as planned with the online zoom sessions, access to the separate audio files and finally creating the conducting videos. To keep the singers in time when they are recording themselves at home on a phone is essential so I make you tube videos of myself for them to follow on one device as they record into another. Sounds reallllly complicated but I’m always impressed with how many people embrace this and get on with it.

I tell the singers – don’t get too hung up on mistakes. Don’t listen back to yourself because by our very nature, we will always find the bits that are ‘wrong’ or ‘less than perfect’. One singer recorded her part about 40 times!!! Nooooo!!! As with singing together live, the virtual recordings work the same. As I add in more and more voices and balance the volume, the imperfection, lumps and bumps that come as part of being a real person, are eradicated. Then simply blend together and create something greater than the sum of it’s parts.

I love the mixing. I literally, place everything in the right place and balance the sound – no auto-tuning, no reverb, just as we are. The strength of a choir is being unashamedly itself and online choirs are no different. I really liked seeing the names of the people who had sung and thinking which choir they belong to – mixing them as real people from different organisations.

We loved the end result. 33 separate voice parts (many people sang all three) all blended to create a harmonious piece.

The Rose/We are sailing. FULL CHOIR MASTER ICU and NHSBT

What do you think?!

The feedback from the singers was fab as ever….

“Taking part in the recordings is easy – decide your part by colour (no complicated singing terms or sheet music) – al the instructions and videos to keep you in time are on the website. Once done it’s easy to follow the link to upload. Kari then does the magic to mix the voices together” Lou – NHSBT