Long lead times: Christmas came at Easter!

I sing with Tamesis, a small, semi-professional choir based in Reading, and to my great joy, we’ve recorded a Christmas CD this year – our third professional recording in the ten years I’ve sung with them.

The experience of spending a weekend in the studio resplendent in Christmas jumpers and Santa hats to get us in the mood, munching on mince pies and singing out for Joy to the World was at times surreal, certainly hard work, but also very satisfying and a lot of fun. It reminded me of my days as a retail marketer, when Christmas tastings and range planning were well underway almost before the previous year’s merchandise had been marked down in the January sale.

Now it’s September and it still feels way too early, but I am working on the CD’s publicity and launch plan so that we are ready to ride the Christmas wave when it finally breaks. December 25th won’t wait for me so I need to get ahead and be sure we are 100% ready.

Long range forward planning is a fact of life when production lead times are involved, as for the recording, editing, pressing and distribution of a CD. When delivery cycles are less concrete, timings can be more flexible. It’s always a good idea to try and keep to a realistic plan, of course, but commercial pressures can mean we end up coming in very close to deadline or even missing it. It’s lucky for me that my clients are often so busy that they need my help to bring a campaign in on time. They tell me that my flexibility and responsiveness are key reasons they work with me. It’s a win-win situation – I enjoy the variety and the buzz of working to a tight deadline and it’s satisfying to help take the pressure off a busy team or individual so they can concentrate on the things they alone can do.

If you can stand to look ahead to December already and would like to hear a preview of the Tamesis Christmas CD along with some clips of it being recorded, take a look here. It’ll be on sale online (£10) and on iTunes from 1st November. We’re supporting Sue Ryder and donating £3 from every one sold. If you’re a real forward planner, it’d make a great Christmas gift!

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