Sunday, September 10, 2017

The Choir gets a lift - Solo Saturday on Sunday

Sunrise in Spain.

Rise up, Rise up!

Risers - should you use them or not? The larger the choir, the more tricky the setup.

Long ago we invested in commercial collapsible choir risers. Sure enough, we looked pretty - and professional - perched on  three levels. 

Rex, bass, and Morgan, tenor, set up our commercial risers
Costumes were shown off well and the risers were simple to set up and safe to stand on.
Way back when risers were new... at The National Gallery of Canada
 Despite the onus of storing and transporting these mechanical marvels, we used them at many concerts. We also got used to the squeaks and clinks as the supporting structure complained about the weight of the entire choir. 

A commercial riser is a good choice for looks -- but is it the best for sound?

But then, during our Cantate Domino recording sessions our old risers proved unsuitable. We could not hear each other as well as when we were standing all on the same level. And they were noisy!

Our director made the executive decision to allow the Glebe Collegiate Music Department to use them (as payment for storing them), and to explore new options. 

Jim accompanies Ernie and Rex at a choir pool party

 Jim, master piano player and husband to Susan - alto - took on the task of creating a new set of risers. He designed and constructed them by hand from plywood. Each one is small enough to be easily carried with cutout hand holds.  All different sizes, they fit in each other for ease of transport, taking half the space of the commercial choral risers. 
Individual risers where needed in a snap!The new black risers are virtually invisible.
Now we have endless setups, customizable for each venue. Awesome. 

About The Stairwell Carollers:

Pierre Massie began our a cappella choir way back in 1977 while studying music at Ottawa U. The Stairwell Carollers are ranked with the best of Ontario choirs, winning both the 2010 and 2013 Ontario Music Festival Association competitions. 

A registered Canadian charity, we also help local charities with our concert, CD and cookbook salesNet proceeds benefit charity.


  1. Ha Ha. You would know all about that, David - having been in the choir THAT long :P


You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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