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A Communal Video for My Church

Choir (and congregation (and friends willing to help))-

This is a difficult time and it’s hard to see a bright spot – the reduction in social interaction in particular has had a stronger effect than many of us might have expected. For me personally it’s especially hard not being able to see my students and my singers at church.

I have an idea for how we can come together with our voices to present an anthem on Easter morning. By now I’m sure you’ve seen many videos of musicians performing a piece of music on video at their own home and it’s all been combined together. I actually spent last week making one with one of my school orchestras. The trick, as I’ve learned, is picking a tune that is simple/easy enough that people won’t have trouble recording it on their own and providing a way to link the timing of the performances.I’ve made a reference recording for each voice part. (Vocalist friends – don’t think too poorly of me after you listen to these…)

Alleluia – Soprano reference
Alleluia – Alto reference
Alleluia – Tenor reference
Alleluia – Bass reference

In this arrangement:
Verse 1 – “Alleluia” all voices unison
Verse 2 – “He’s my Savior” all voices in parts
Verse 3 – “I will praise Him” key change, voices in parts
Verse 4 – “Alleluia” voices in parts

Here’s how to record:
You will need-
1) a device to record a “selfie” angle video (phone is probably best)
2) another device you can use to listen to the reference recording – you will sing with this while you record your video
3) headphones, plugged into your 2nd device, only in one ear so you can stay with the reference recording. The one-ear thing is important because you need to be able to hear yourself clearly as you sing to make sure you are in tune and making a good sound

Practice with the track a few times – sing with good posture and try not to take breaths sooner than every 2 measures (as on the reference track). Find a good place to record – should be quiet, free from distractions, and, ideally, have good lighting. Set up your phone so it’s well framed on your head and shoulders. Put a headphone on one ear only, connected to your device playing the reference recording. Start recording the video first, then play your reference track. When you hear my voice say “Ready, set, count” then you should count with me aloud as I say “1, 2, 3, 4”. This is to make it easier for me to line up the timing of the videos. When you get to the end, hold for 2 seconds while looking at the camera then stop your recording. Please try to smile (or, if that’s too much to ask, just don’t look angry) and look at the camera as you sing.

I realize this could make you feel very self-conscious and exposed – keep in mind there will be lots of people on screen, and I can do lots in editing to make it look and sound good. This will be more difficult than it seems like it will be, but I urge you to help us out with this. Our church needs something like this right now.

Please send your video to me ASAP (send to, but preferably no later than Thursday as it will take me a lot of time to create the combined video from everyone’s clips. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.

Thank you, and feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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