Crown and Covenant Releases I AM: Kids Sing Psalms


I’m very happy to let you know that another recording project I worked on this fall/winter is available now. I Am: Kids Sing Psalms has been released by Crown and Covenant Publicatons, an Imprint of the Reformed Presbyterian Church. This album feats choristers from all the choirs of Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts singing a cappella Psalm settings. It was a delight to work with Kathryn Barnard and all the young singers as we put this project together with Crown and Covenant’s Lynne Gordon.

You can purchase I Am: Kids Sing Psalms at the PSCA online store. I think you’ll enjoy it.

Sing On! CD Released


OK, I’m really proud of this one. For two days in June I set up my recording rig in the sanctuary at Shadyside Presbyterian Church and the extraordinarily talented girls of Pittsburgh School for the Choral Art’s Concentio and Chamber Choirs gave hour after hour of amazing performances to make this recording a reality.

Order Sing On! now at the new PSCA Online store.


Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts CD Now Available

TranseamusThe Christmas CD I produced for Pittsburgh School for the Choral is now available. I am so  grateful for the privilege of working with such an outstanding organization. There is something special about being at a live performance when you feel like all the musicians rise to the occasion and give it their best. To not only be present at that kind of moment (which happens over and over again with these young musicians) but to also be able to capture it on audio is an extra rush for me.

To get your copy, contact

Emily Swora, Choral School Administrator
Phone: (412) 267-7707

 The cost is $15 plus $2 for shipping. You can pay by paypal or mail a check to

PO Box 82563
Pittsburgh, PA 15218

I know you’ll enjoy it.

OGC Rehearsal for Reflexions


I was at First Presbyterian Church in downtown Pittsburgh recording the dress rehearsal for the Oakland Girls Chamber Choir performance on Saturday night. The choir, ensemble, and magnificent soprano Laura Very sounded terrific. Back when I was freelancing as a trombonist I performed at First Pres, but it had been a long time, and I’d forgotten how unique the acoustic is there. You expect a large stone church to be very washy, but as music director Anne Smith explained to me, this church was designed around the minster being heard easily from the pulpit at every point in the sanctuary. The result is that text projects with absolute clarity so it’s a wonderful place to sing!

The mics on the stand are a pair of Rode NT2-As in a Blumlein array. I don’t see many people using a Blumlein pair, and I can’t for the life of me figure out why. You get the stable stereo image of a coincident pair and some of the roominess of a spaced omni pair, but with just the two mics. The NT2-A is extremely flat in figure eight mode, so it’s very nice for capturing acoustic music. I experimented with using various spot mics over the course of the rehearsal, but by far the best sound in this venue and with these musicians was just the simple stereo pair, so that’s what we’ll do on Saturday night.

Speaking of Oakland Girls Choir…

Pittsburgh School for the Choral Arts, parent organization for Oakland Girls Choir, just published their new Web site, including some tracks from a live recording I made of OGCs’ 2012 Christmas concert. The whole concert will be on a CD to be released next fall, but in the meantime, you can hear some excerpts here.

There are many fine musical moments from this performance, but one of my favorites is Rise up Shepherd by Mark Hayes. It features all three choirs together, from the youngest first graders to the seniors in high school. You really hear the progression and maturation of the girls’ voices, where they started and where they are headed, and yet it’s wonderful and energizing at every level.

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Speaking of which…

New addition to the fishlinphil attic studio.

Did I mention I really dig Audix? 1) They make great mics. After hearing people swear by the D6 as a kick drum mic, I finally added that (and the i5 for snare) to my arsenal. Spent a whole Saturday messing around with them on my son’s set and was not disappointed. 2) They make their mics in Oregon where they are based. I know there are a lot of decent sounding, cheap mics being designed here (and elsewhere) and being manufactured in China, but I’ve resisted the temptation to buy them so far. I just don’t like the economic model. I like Rode mics because they sound great and they’re manufactured in Australia. I would buy an sE mic because it’s an actual Chinese company and from what I’ve read they make quality gear. I’m not a purist about this by any stretch, but I wish I had enough money to be one. Anyway 3) Audix really gets customer service. The other day I e-mailed them with a question about one of their mics because there was conflicting information about it between the web page and the published specs. Audix e-mailed me back within the hour and answered my question, thanked me for helping them find the mistake (in the specs as it turned out), and asked me for my T-shirt size and my address so they could mail me a T-shirt. Score! This should in no way make me more likely to buy the mic in question. But it does.