As 2020 draws to a close and I reflect on the last twelve months of music at FSM, I am immensely proud of all our young musicians who embraced a term of remote music lessons back in the summer.  They have relished the opportunity to return to face-to-face lessons this term as well as a reduced ensemble programme and I am delighted that music has taken its place as an integral part of school life once again. 

Teaching music remotely was both an enormous challenge but also an extraordinary opportunity to think creatively about how to deliver a subject I am so passionate about in a completely different way.  With almost a thousand individual music lessons taking place through the summer term, I looked for a way to bring FSM’s musicians together and so the idea of a virtual recording was born.  Ordinarily Senior Choir would have been busy rehearsing for our summer concert and the end of year prizegiving so I decided they were the best ensemble to approach about taking on this challenge.

A detailed email was sent with instructions about how to make the recording, along with a backing track to sing along to.  I pressed ‘send’ and the wait began.  This was understandably a daunting prospect for many but to my delight the recordings started coming in, not only from our pupils here in the UK but also from Spain. 

Once the recordings had been received, it was time for Mr Harvey to work his magic on combining all the individual tracks and creating a choir.  This was certainly no mean feat and it took him hours, and I mean hours, to line every track up.   There were many times through the process when the thought ‘Have I bitten off more than I can chew with this project?’ crossed my mind but when the first edit of the recording appeared in my inbox, I knew it was all worth it. 

With final edits complete, it was time for Mrs Simons to begin piecing together the video clips and produce the film to accompany the finished song.  I wouldn’t have known where to start! 

As I listen to the song, which I chose to reinforce the important message of friendship during lockdown, my thanks go to all the members of Senior Choir who took on this challenge and undoubtedly stepped out of their comfort zone to make their recordings.   I also owe Mr Harvey and Mrs Simons an enormous debt of gratitude for their perseverance, patience and technological wizardry.  Without them, this recording would never have got off the ground. 

For me this recording serves as a lasting memory of 2020, the year when music didn’t stop at FSM.  I hope you enjoy listening to it. 

Watch the video below, or by clicking here


Written by: Mrs Rowntree