I direct a school-aged chorus of 100 students, divided equally into sections A and B. The two sections sing different parts of 2-part arrangements. Our COVID restrictions this year state that: (1) I cannot have more than 50 students in the rehearsal space at once, and (2) I can not have students from different section in the space at the same time. So I either have all of A, or all of B, for each rehearsal. Further, I am not permitted to hold any live, in-person performances. Even with all this in mind, the students have enjoyed singing and want to share what they are capable of. I'm planning to produce a recording of their singing and am planning to try it like this...
I have at my disposal enough devices (chromebooks, ipads, etc) to supply each student with one. Here is my plan. I'm looking for ways that this may fail before I try it with 50 kids.
- On Day 1, Record the accompaniment only with my accompanist and me in the empty rehearsal space.
- On Day 2, invite Section A into the rehearsal space. I'll host a Zoom session, invite all the students, mute them, and instruct them to put on headphones (we have enough). From the device hosting the Zoom, I'll play the accompaniment file. They will all hear it in their headphones and be able to sing along. If I also listen to the file as a participant in the zoom, not the host, I should experience exactly the same latency as them when I conduct, and so we will all be in sync and hearing the accompaniment at the exact same time. I'll use a separate device to record their singing.
- On Day 3, I'll repeat this process with Section B.
- After the recording days, I'll use ProTools or GarageBand to mix the accompaniment, section A, and section B together. This will not result in a perfect studio recording (obviously), but it should be a reasonable "capture" of their performance.
In what ways is my strategy most likely to fail, has anyone tried anything similar, and are there any additional strategies that I might be able to employ?