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Sing Hallelujah with the BBC Philharmonic

Would you like to be part of a national choir singing The Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah with the BBC Phil for A Celebration for Ascension Day on BBC Radio 4?

Simply record yourself singing the famous chorus while listening to the music played by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. We’ll mix together as many contributions as possible to form a virtual choir of singers from around the country. The finished results will be heard on BBC Radio 4 on 21st May 2020 at 8pm as part of A Celebration for Ascension Day.

How do I get involved?

  • Get the sheet music and BBC Philharmonic music track.
  • Play the music on one device through headphones.
  • Record yourself singing your own part on another device.
  • Then upload your video here by 11.59pm on Sunday 17 May, 2020.

What happens then?

We’ll use as many voices as possible to form a virtual choir of singers from around the country all singing from their own homes. The finished results will be heard on Radio 4 on Ascension Day, Thursday 21 May 2020. We’ll also include some performances in a video which will be posted on this site.

Before you start

  • Please read our tips on how to record yourself singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.
  • Listen to the BBC Philharmonic track and sing along to ensure that you’re comfortable with the music.
  • Choose whether to sing Soprano, Alto, Tenor or Bass. You can sing any part you’re comfortable with and submit recordings singing different parts as long as you can sing in that range.

What you’ll need

You’ll require two devices – one to play the music track and one to record your own voice. You’ll also need a pair of headphones so that you can record your voice without hearing the music track on the recording. Then simply download the sheet music and the BBC Phil track and get started.

How to make and submit your recording

1. Find a quiet space

Turn off any noisy appliances and ask any members of your household to keep any noise down.

If you’re filming yourself, think about lighting, avoid wearing branded clothing and make sure there’s nothing in the background you wouldn’t want people to see!

2. Set up your playback machine

Download the BBC Philharmonic track, plug in your headphones/earphones and set the volume to a comfortable level that you can hear while singing.

3. Set up your recording machine

Record on a digital camera or a smart phone.
Plugging in an external microphone could help you achieve a better sound, if you have one – but if not, don't worry.
If filming yourself, shoot in landscape mode and aim to be in the centre of the shot.
Set up the device in a stable position.

Listen to the accompaniment

G F Handel: "Hallelujah" Chorus (Messiah)

The orchestral accompaniment recorded at home by members of the BBC Philharmonic.

In 2009 BBC Radio 3 got the nation singing Hallelujah. Resources are still available online (YouTube) to help you to prepare your recording.

4. Go for a take

Put on your headphones.

Press record on your recording device and ensure the microphone is facing your mouth.
Using your playback device, press "play" on the BBC Philharmonic track.

Sing along with the BBC Philharmonic.

When finished, press "stop" on the recording device.

Listen back to the recording to hear how it sounds. If you’re not happy or if there are intrusive noises, please try again.

5. Upload your track

Upload the file to the BBC Uploader link here.

Read the Privacy Notice for the BBC Radio 4 Sunday Morning Virtual Choir Uploader.

Remember…

  • The closing date for submissions will be 11.59pm on Sunday 17 May, 2020. Avoid last-minute panic by uploading your entry in good time!
  • We can’t guarantee to use your contribution in the final piece but we’ll do our best to include as many recordings as possible.

Most importantly, sing out, sing well and have fun! This is your chance to sing one of the best loved choruses with the BBC Philharmonic and hundreds of people from around the country.