Come & Sing and Record this Christmas!

Exclusive vocal workshops at stunning new events space
A special Christmas-themed day of singing and recording

Sunday 10th December 2017

10am - 1pm or 3pm - 6pm


All Singers Welcome!

The Workshop:

By popular demand we are hosting the first ever James Hawkins Music Christmas A Cappella and A Ca"POP"pa (see what we did there?) Singing & Recording Workshop on Sunday 10th December.

Join the talented choir director and music producer, Jim Hawkins, fresh from the finals of Britain's Got Talent and at his favourite recording studio, to sing and record several Christmas songs in a very original way.

The feedback from our last workshop was phenomenal, thrilling and inspiring.

This December we'll welcome a new group of singers to come and sing together. We are a welcoming bunch, so feel free to attend alone or with friends, you'll be well looked after either way.

You will come away with four tracks performed by you, so you can delight your family, friends and office colleagues with a ready-made album that you can proudly play at every Christmas party you attend from now on. Whether you enjoy the challenge of the A Cappella session and/or the fun Christmas party atmosphere of the afternoon A CaPOPpa workshop - OR BOTH! - there's something for everyone.

Why record?

This is a workshop that brings together Jim's passion for finding untapped potential in the amateur voice, and using the recording and production process to facilitate this. Jim loves to teach and demonstrate to singers who are not professionally trained how good they can sound together.  Through teaching and now the process of making recordings, singers at any stage of their journey can learn, achieve a boost in confidence, and inspiration, as well as have a fantastic, memorable experience.

Here are two sessions to choose from and during each session we will rehearse, sing and record four different songs over a three-hour period.

Giving Back

We will be donating 10% of profits from the workshop towards the Choirs With Purpose charities that Jim has been working closely with all summer.

The Sessions and the Songs!

These will operate on a first-come, first-served basis at a price of £35 per person for one three-hour session at the newly built Events Space at The National Archives, in Kew, London. You are of course more than welcome to attend both!

A glimpse of our last Recording workshop

The cost of the recording workshop includes:

  • All musical scores*
  • Pre-recorded audio resources to help you learn your part in advance*
  • All final recordings made will be yours to keep and made available exclusively to you approximately a week after the recording session**
  • Sessions are open to those aged 16 or over only.


Session 1: 10am – 1pm

This morning session is for anyone who enjoys the challenge and beauty of singing a cappella and will include the following songs:

  • Carol Of The Bells
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Christmas Lullabye
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas

Session 2: 3pm – 6pm

This afternoon session is for anyone who enjoys singing the classic Christmas pop songs and will include:

  • Merry Christmas Everyone
  • Mary's Boy Child
  • We Wish You A Merry Christmas
  • Merry Xmas/War Is Over

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why the National Archives?

The National Archives may sound like a strange place to visit to record a pop-up choir, but it has a brand new, large and acoustically treated events space, perfect for recording large groups of singers. As well as the room being well designed for this style and scale of teaching and performance, James Hawkins Music is now fully equipped to record choirs on location. This set up will give us an honest, undoctored play-back and a clear representation of our singing. The National Archives is also a stunning setting, and its brand new decor will lend a touch of class to the day helping to promote a higher standard of performance.

Why record?

The recording environment has one very unique and important aspect, which helps us improve at a faster rate. This is the simple ability to play back our performance for instant feedback.

Working with Jim and our play-back we can produce much more fine-tuned feedback and specific feedback to enhance everything, from an entire performance, or single small fragments of bars. So we’ll be able to make improvements and keep improvements and raise the standard our singing overall.

Do I need to be able to read musical scores?

No, not at all. In advance, by e-mail we will send you audio recordings of the part you choose to learn along with copies of the musical scores. You’ll have plenty of time to listen and learn the part by ear. Plus Jim will assist you throughout the session and especially through any tricky bits. In our experience we find people enjoy having a musical score as a guide. Even if you don’t read music, you can follow a line up and down with an audio track to help you. We find it’s a wonderful stepping stone to learning how to read music in the future.


Will we have time to practise as a group before the recording session?

There won’t be a separate group rehearsal ahead of the recording session. But you will be sent complete audio recordings of each song part, and the musical score as a guide, well in advance of the recording day for you to rehearse individually. (These will be released no later than one month beforehand or, if you book a place after that date, they will be available to download from your confirmation email immediately). During the recording session, Jim will lead you through the songs in warm up and there will also be plenty of opportunity to record and re-record parts of the songs in isolation, if some tricky bits catch the choir out!

Must I have attended the JHM workshop first time around?

We welcome everyone who loves to sing! You don’t need to have attended before. Simply choose the session with the songs you like the best, or if you can’t decide, do both 🙂

Am I able to request a refund if I can no longer make the event?

No, we do not offer refunds. However, you are free to arrange for another person to take your place, and/or sell on your ticket if you need to. You may use our Facebook page to advertise any spare tickets if you wish.

Is there car parking available?

Yes, there is a large, free visitors car park at The National Archives, in Kew. Follow Sat Nav instructions to Bessant Drive and follow signs to the Visitors Car Park.

Can I take photos and videos on my mobile phone or other device on the day?

Yes, you can. We have purchased a full licence for us to record video and take photographs from our sessions. Please take note of the IMPORTANT INFORMATION section at the bottom of this page about how you may use this footage.

Are there disabled facilites and access?

Yes, The National Archives is equipped with disabled access and facilities. See more information here. If you have any specific questions about The Events Space, please let us know before booking and we will check with the venue to make sure we can accommodate you comfortably.

Is there a dress code for the workshop?

No. You can wear whatever you’re comfortable singing in, as long as it’s decent 😉

Can I bring a non-singer as a guest to the workshop?

No. This is not a public performance. Tickets are available only to people who will be fully participating in each recording session. If you have special needs and require a helper, this is an exception, so please let us know and we will make arrangements with you.

The National Archives is open to the general public, however, and a guest can make a visit to the rest of the facilities if they wish.

Will the 3-hour session include a break?

No. Please prepare to be singing and recording for the whole three hours. Every minute counts and we’re going to be as professional as possible.

You will of course be able to use facilities before and after the session and we won’t stop you leaving the session if there’s urgency.

What time shall I arrive and where do I go?

After booking your ticket, we will send you an itinerary of the Workshop session nearer the time. This will include specific instructions for arrival and meeting points etc.

May I purchase a ticket on behalf of someone else?

Yes, you can. This is useful if you want to buy a Workshop place as a gift for a loved one, or if you want to book tickets on behalf of a group. It’s probably best not to make this a surprise gift though, as the attendee will need to practise and learn their vocal parts before attending.

The booking form asks for the name(s) of the person(s) attending the workshop, if it is different from the person booking the ticket. You will also be asked what voice part the attendee(s) will sing. The e-mail confirmation includes the E-ticket and is sent to the person buying the ticket, so you will be responsible for sharing those details with the attendee(s). Similarly the correspondence regarding preparing for the Workshop, with links to musical resources, will be sent to the person buying the ticket, so we ask you to share that to the person(s) attending.

Workshop details:

  • Music Producer, arranger and choral director: James Hawkins
  • Venue: The Events Space, The National Archives, Kew, London TW9 4DU
  • Date: Sunday 10th December 2017
  • Cost per person per 3-hour session: £35.00 (booking fee and V.A.T. included)


Important information

*All musical resources, both audio and scores, will be made available in good time before the workshops. Sharing these resources with any third parties is strictly prohibited.

** Date of delivery of recordings will be subject to mixing and digital preparation and may take longer than one week after the recording session. JHM reserves the right to deliver final recordings later than one week after the recording session and within a two-week period. In the unlikely event that JHM experiences unforeseen technical problems with the recordings, the delay will be longer and JHM will promptly communicate a new delivery date to all participants informing them of the expected delay period.

Participants own shared rights in the sound recordings only. By paying the participation fee of £35 (or £30 early bird pricing) to JHM, all sound recording owners automatically agree to not use the recordings for future commercial or charity release, re-sale, sync licensing, broadcast, online playlisting or any other known or unknown form of direct commercial online sales.

Any mass duplication and transference of recordings to CD, Minidisc, vinyl, tape, video, USB drive, hard drives, or other known or unknown hard-copy/media is prohibited.

All sound recording owners are only permitted to display and share recordings made on December 10th 2017 using

All sound recording owners are only permitted to embed soundcloud links into any personal websites and are openly permitted to use recordings for promotional and display purposes only. Recordings must not be sold.

*** Recordings can be uploaded to Internet sites with MCPS clearance only, such as

6 comments on “Come & Sing and Record this Christmas!

  1. Would love to come along but my old school’s Carol Service in St. Olave’s, Hart Street is on that date (always 2nd Sunday in December). Am relied on to do the ‘Tea’ too.

  2. I can see that the session I booked has completely changed. I’m ok with that because it looks like I can drive and park there but will you be sending all the details to me email? I have paid also, probably due a part refund

    • Hi Tina, Thanks for your message. Yes the venue has changed, but nothing else has. We wrote to everyone on 26th October but I can see you didn’t open it. Maybe it went to a junk folder? Here’s a link to the online copy.
      Anyway, yes I also processed all refunds as promised on 30th October. They aren’t quick though. It said they would take 5-10 working days to process, which is more than I thought originally. So that must mean they should definitely show up by 13th November – oh that was yesterday! Hmm, can you check again and let me know if you still haven’t got it in a couple more days? Cheryl X

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