30 day PrepARATION recordings

Preparation Recording Guidelines

Our festival choruses include singers from various programs. We have found our Preparation Recording process to be very helpful in raising the bar of musicianship for festival choruses. The 30-Day Prep Recording is our way of ensuring a level of consistent preparation so that your well-prepared singers will be joining equally well-prepared singers for the residency. As part of the package, you'll receive MP3 part-learning tracks from us which you may share with your singers to assist with your group's preparation.

Our listening committee is not expecting a polished performance, but is expecting relative preparation, aware that you have additional days of rehearsal at home before arriving at the festival chorus. We first listen for correct notes, rhythms, and pronunciation, but encourage you to incorporate composer indications of dynamic contrast from the very start.

Important Points

  1. Upload your recordings via the button at the bottom of the page. In order to efficiently process the thousands or recordings we receive, we require that you use our form. Please do not share your recordings with us via cloud storage or email.

  2. Record all chorus material. If your choir will be singing it, please record it. Live performances are great! Make a separate track for each movement or selection. Feel free to omit instrumental or solo passages. Recordings need not come from one session, however we do ask that you upload all recordings at once, rather than in separate batches.

  3. Use appropriate accompaniment. You are welcome to use MP3 accompaniment tracks or a live accompanist, whichever produces your most musical outcome. We find that successful groups tend to use a live pianist with the director leading the ensemble. Due to limited rehearsal time, our guest conductors do not have time to play notes. Thus, your recordings should avoid this practice as much as possible.

  4. Please do not engage any sound- or pitch-altering software.

A note to small ensembles: All singers on the recording need not be traveling with the group. You may find it helpful to recruit additional voices to fill out the ensemble for the recording process. In certain instances, it has proven expedient for very small ensembles to provide recordings from individual singers. If you would like to consider this option, please let us know before proceeding.

Recording Tips

There is no need for commercial quality in your MCP Preparation recordings. However, some simple considerations make it easier to evaluate your submission:

  • A portable or pocket digital recorder is a great choice, but a phone works well, too.

  • Set the recorder as close to the conductor as possible so that the microphone faces the performers.

  • The best file formats are: mp3, aac, m4a, wav, and aiff.

We do not recommend recording your ensemble with the built-in recording app on your phone, as we have found the recording quality to be sub-par. As an alternative, please consider using one of the apps below. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but we have found these to provide consistently good recordings.