Thank you for joining the Saint Nicolas Virtual Choir!

On this page you will find all the information you need in order to particiapte in the virtual choir – how to access music and guide tracks, instructions about what to wear and where to record, and other helpful hints and tips from the team. However if you have any questions, do contact Naomi at naomi.taylor@chilternarts.com

Participation in the virtual choir is free of charge, including access to the score (see below) – but we do ask you to consider making a donation towards the project,
which you can do via PayPal by clicking here.

FOR ADULT CHOIRS AND SINGERS:
We will be asking for recordings of all choral sections in the first movement (I) and the final hymn in the last movement (IX) which starts at figure 64. 

FOR CHILDREN AND YOUTH CHOIRS:
The second movement (II) is our main focus, and if you would also like to sing the other two sections you would be most welcome, particularly the final hymn.

Access music via Nkoda: Sign-up Instructions

In partnership with Boosey and Hawkes and Nkoda, we are delighted  that we have been able to arrange for Saint Nicolas Virtual Choir members are able to have access to Nkoda for 6 weeks in order to access the music for Saint Nicolas. Please follow the sign-up instructions below.

1.Click here and create an nkoda account using your personal email address. (It says to use your Chiltern Arts email address, but this is just generic text – personal email is fine!). Chiltern Arts will not receive this information – it is your private account with nkoda.

2. You will be asked to download the nkoda app – click on the link relevant to your device, and download nkoda to your phone or computer

3. Click "Already have an account? – Log in" and log in with the details you used to create the account in Step 1.

4. In the top bar, click the Search magnifying glass button and type "Saint Nicolas" into the 'Title' search box and 'Benjamin Britten' into the 'Artist' search box.

5. You can choose either to use the vocal score (which includes a piano reduction) or the choral score (which shows only the choral lines) – both options will appear under the heading "Music" in the search results

6. Click the "+" button to the right of the score that you would like to use to save it to your library – this way you can easily access it whenever you log in or open the app

7. [Optional] In your library, you can click the three dots ("...") in the grey circle in the bottom right hand corner of the score thumbnail, and click "Store Offline" (next to the icon of a cloud and downward arrow), which will enable you to access the score even if your device is not connected to the internet.

8. To view the score, click the thumbnail in your library or in the search results. On a computer you can switch between preview view, (which enables you to scroll quickly through the score to the correct page) or full-screen view, in which you can use the left and right arrows on your keyboard to navigate through the pages. To access full-screen view from preview view, click anywhere on the music; to access preview view from full-screen view, click on the grey semi-circle to the right of the page.

9. [Optional] In preview view, you can add "bookmarks" using the coloured marker buttons to the left, which will add a dot on the scroll panel to the right, allowing you to easily find the movement you need to access.


Virtual Choir Guide Tracks

Please read the instructions below and then use the videos underneath to record your virtual choir contribution.

Please be aware that you are singing along with a live recording, and you will need to watch it through a few times before recording to ensure you pick up on Ken's subtleties (just as you would singing with a live conductor).

How do I do this?
You'll need two devices: one to record with and one to play the guidetracks into your headphones. 

1. We would recommend setting up the guide track video on your computer and using your phone or camera (with microphone) to record yourself singing. 
2. Click record on your recording device
3. Click play on the guide track video
4. Sing, sing, sing! 
5. Send us your clearly labelled recordings via Dropbox

Please make a separate recording for each movement, and label each upload accordingly. For movement 1, please record the whole movement in one go – rest assured that you will not be seen in the solo section, so don't worry about feeling awkward not singing in front of the camera! 

What do I wear? 
- Please could we ask that for recordings of movement 1 you wear a plain black shirt or top – the sort of thing you would wear for a concert performance. 
- For movement 9 wear something brighter and more informal (but please no big slogans or logos). 
- Children recording for movement 2 where something you feel comfortable in; we're emphasising the childlike nature of this joyful movement.

Where should I record?
Apart from the note above about thinking about the room to record in, if it's possible to stand with a fairly uncluttered background – a plain wall, for example – that would help us enormously.

Plus, here is a brief note from our sound engineer, Wes, for you to consider: "I would recommend that please nobody records their parts in spaces with a very evident acoustic (examples include bathrooms, or large tiled rooms etc) as this can be tricky to reduce once recorded if needed to blend with other parts. Perhaps clap your hands before choosing a room to record in and see if you can hear any strange reflections from walls / surfaces. Spaces with soft furnishings are ideal for recording virtual projects like these, as the soft items tend to absorb a fair amount of unwanted reflections from hard walls and similar. It is much, much easier to add a concert hall sound to a recording that is recorded ‘dry', than remove the sound of a bathroom!"

If you are planning to record using iPhones and the ‘Voice Memos’ app, then please could you turn their quality to ‘Lossless’ before recording. Click here to see a video of how to do this.

Do I have to send you a video?
No, if you'd prefer to just send us an audio recording, that is no problem! 

Will I be seen in the film? 
We can't guarantee that all videos will be on view in the film, although we will try our best to include everyone! We CAN guarantee that your voice will part of the choir, however! 

When do you need the recordings by?
The deadline is midnight on 31st October 2020.

How do I send you my recording?
Please upload your recordings via Dropbox

IMPORTANT: Please name the files with your name, voice part and the movement number.

But most importantly... ENJOY! Relax and take your time – remember there's no pressure to get it right firsttime!

Would you consider donating to this project?

Thank you for joining us in this exciting project as a member of our virtual choir! Participating in the virtual choir is free of charge, but we do ask you to consider making a small donation (suggested donation £2-5), which you can do using the PayPal donation button below. Thank you, every donation will help us to complete this project in 2021.

Click here to Donate via PayPal