ETSS Commissioning Recording

What a joy it was to gather together as a songster brigade for our first in-person rehearsal (March 4-6, 2021) since the covid-19 pandemic first entered into our reality. The last time we saw each other was during our February 2020 recording weekend where we recorded tracks for a Christmas album that was released by the NYSB. How fitting that our first time together in over a year was to record again – not for Christmas, but for an important upcoming territorial event (stay tuned).

Under the guiding hand of recording engineer, Phil Bulla, and the musical prowess of our new songster leader, Erik Jones, ETSS members came together for a full two days of recording at Montclair Citadel (New Jersey Division). Recording, though a worthwhile process is also very grueling. Since we were operating with reduced numbers due to covid-19 best practices, everyone who was there had to really dig deep and work on balancing their voices with the group while still producing a sound that was powerful and pleasing to the ear. Our territorial music secretary, Derek Lance, was a great help with his feedback on various sections of each song. Our pianist, Lily Finikin played beautifully as she accompanied us. The end result is something we can be proud of and we are excited to share it with the territory this coming Commissioning.

On the Saturday, we donned our red festival tunics and converged at the Centennial Memorial Temple (Greater New York Division) to visually record the song we had previously worked on. Under the camera savvy eye of Joe Pritchard, Creative Services and Video Production Director, the songsters laid down some visual tracks that are appealing and spiritually powerful. It felt good to try some things that were new to us as a brigade and to express our creativity in fun ways. Carol Jaudes greatly assisted us by telling us when we needed more energy and when we needed to shine more. Tired, but happy, we ended our long day in New York City looking forward to the next occasion when we can be together as a full ETSS brigade.

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