Lower Sixth student Sam Stocks has put together a ‘virtual choir’ in the Covid-19 lockdown and produced ‘You Will Be Found’, featuring many fellow Emanuel students, from the dear musical Dear Evan Hansen.

Sam, who played Mr Bumble in the recent school musical Oliver!, believes the many ‘lockdown choirs’ which have been appearing recently are important in sharing the magic of music in these tough times. He was particularly delighted when the Royal Academy of Music shared his interpretation of ‘We Will Be Found’ on their social media platform, as he had been attending their Junior Academy at the weekends.

An incredible amount of effort and skill goes into producing a ‘virtual’ choir and Sam explains the process he followed in creating this film:

“A huge amount of work goes into putting together one of these videos; convincing people they can do it, recording yourself singing is no easy challenge if you haven’t done it before, and then working out how to edit the audio in Logic Pro X (adding compression and sound enhancing effects) and putting it together in a video editing software was an immense but greatly enjoyable process. This choir took me a week in total, from myself recording the rehearsal tracks and creating a shortened backing track, to publishing it on YouTube. My next choir is coming out on Sunday with the local church choir, singing ‘Hallelujah’ (watch here). It was more challenging as the singers there are less experienced, and the project came with a new set of difficulties in both organising and mixing. Mr House helped advise me on software to use.”

If you have been following current school news, you will know about the heartache behind having the school musical cancelled at the final hour, and it was particularly tough for Sam as he was ill in the final build up. He recalled: “I was sick for a week and a half before Oliver! I missed all of the technical rehearsals and almost all the run throughs, but when my self-isolation period ended I was straight back to school on the Wednesday of the show, where lots of Joyce’s special tea and support from the whole cast got me through the afternoon and evening performance playing Mr Bumble. Luckily, I had learnt my lines in advance of getting ill and more or less knew what I was doing, so I was practically straight into the show. It was so much fun to work on and I will thoroughly miss Mr Arnott who has now left.”

Watch ‘You Will Be Found’ below.