I have launched ChoirGuides to help choirs of all kinds learn their voice parts, and also (if they wish) make virtual recordings – where individual singers record from home and their contributions are mixed together to make an often impressive whole.
The focus is on my own music – you have to start somewhere – and I have chosen thirteen of my shorter choral pieces, plus one piece each from Mozart and Fauré just so that I can be in their excellent company. We have made recordings of these fifteen pieces with nine members of the Cambridge Singers, most ably accompanied by Richard Pearce on piano or organ as appropriate. You can listen to these recordings either as normal full performances, or else with your own voice part clearly highlighted and the other voices subdued, while following the music on screen or from your own copy. If you are participating in a virtual recording, you can, if you prefer, just listen to the accompaniment on its own as you record your part. If the process of making a virtual recording is new to you, don’t worry: so long as you have a computer or mobile phone, and headphones, you can do it, and we offer clear, simple instructions.
These are exceptional times, and choirs are responding to the challenge in new and inventive ways. It may be that virtual recordings will continue even after choirs can meet in the flesh once more – they’re fun to make and quite instructive – but it’s certain that choirs will always be glad of help learning their music, so I hope that ChoirGuides will continue to be useful for years to come.