How did HymnCDs.com get started?

The Church Music site
Professional organist John Keys of Nottingham Parish Church and producer Wendy Williams started by recording four CDs which are now part of the Core set. This was to help out a friend, Paul, who at the time was a joiner by day at the time, but a Minister in a small Spiritualist Church (in the grounds of Newstead Abbey): he is now their main preacher. Despite the name of the church, they follow a very traditional C of E style, and use a very old version of Hymns Ancient & Modern. They no longer had an organist, the organ had become unplayable, and they had managed for a while with a few hymns which someone had recorded onto cassettes, which were almost worn out.

Paul asked if John and Wendy could help out by doing some recordings, and they bought their very first recording equipment especially for that. As the recordings were coming to a close, it occurred to Wendy that there must be many other churches in that situation these days, and that they ought to do some more recording. The question then was how to get the recordings noticed. In 2005, Wendy Williams approached Brian Clegg, who ran a small church music site (still online) and before long the site was selling the range of CDs to help out churches with no organist who wanted proper organ accompaniments, rather than mechanical computerised versions.

Here's a screenshot from 2006:
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This is a real example of a modern, distributed organisation. John and Wendy are based in Nottingham, while Brian is based in Swindon 130 miles away. The three of them have only been in the same room once - otherwise all business is conducted electronically and through the post.
Going solo
The CD accompaniments became increasingly popular, so Brian set up a separate site, HymnCDs.com to focus on the accompaniments.

Over the years we've made big changes. There are now 117 CDs in our catalogue, and we sell far more downloads and MP3 sets than CDs. (If you prefer, you can get to the site from HymnDownloads.com or HymnMP3s.com.) But the aim is the same: to produce affordable recordings to help those who can't get an organist sing hymns and worship songs.
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Do you sell words or sheet music?

We don't - and hymns usually only come in books - but there are plenty of ways of getting music and words. CLICK FOR MORE...

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Have you recorded all our hymn book?

There are hundreds of hymn books and sadly we can't record them all. But we do have one fully recorded and plenty more partly covered. with a growing collection of indexes to link books to our library. CLICK FOR MORE...

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Can you record my favourite hymn?

If it's not already in our library, while we can't guarantee to record your favourite, let us know so we can add it to our wish list. CLICK FOR MORE...

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How did HymnCDs.com get started?

Back in 2005, organist John Keys and producer Wendy Williams were looking for way to make their CDs available. CLICK FOR MORE...

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How do I change the number of verses in a hymn?

You may always omit some verses, or your hymn book could have a different number to our recording. CLICK FOR MORE...

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How do I set up a playlist of tracks?

If you are using MP3s or downloads a playlist allows you to set up just the tracks you need for a service. CLICK FOR MORE...

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Why is there no singing on your recordings?

There are recordings available with singing on, but we don't provide them. Here's why. CLICK FOR MORE...

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How do I choose the format and play your tracks?

We have tracks on CDs, as MP3s and as downloads - and there are range of options for playback in churches and at events. CLICK FOR MORE...

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Where can I get your downloads and streams?

Downloads and streaming are available immediately, 24/7 - so ideal for a last-minute requirement. There are a whole range of options available. CLICK FOR MORE...

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Can I use your recordings in more than one church?

We recognise that increasingly one vicar/priest might cover multiple buildings. By default we cover four. CLICK FOR MORE...

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Can I change the speed of a recording?

It is possible to change speeds using an editor, but it's likely to make the recording slightly fuzzy. CLICK FOR MORE...

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