Well, to be fair, that dark and narrow quire of yours would hardly be difficult to fill with sound, and nine experienced boys should manage it well enough. Though I'm surprised you get so low in numbers - we rarely had fewer than 14 and it was usually 16 - I can't ever recall less than 12.
I love your cathedral, your town and certainly the new organ, VCC - but I've always thought the quire to be a bit overpoweringly looming. Dec and Can only inches apart too! I don't think I would have liked to sing in it, though I was once told that the acoustic doesn't feel as dry as one might expect.
Originally Posted by Simon
The acoustic in the Quire, Crossing and Presbytery area is lovely. Not perfect so the choir has to work at their sound but with all the wood in the stalls and its small area the Quire is like a sounding box and resonates the singing outwards to the larger Crossing and Presbytery area where it is best to sit to hear a balanced sound. The acoustic is certainly not dry. Harry Christophers of the Sixteen reckons that the Abbey acoustic is pretty much constant wherever you are in the building. Personally I think you hear the best sound standing by the notice board in the south transept!!
The number of experienced boys singing evensong in the Quire with a reduced number of men on Saturdays depends on the choir demographics at any one time. Currently 16 boys sing on Saturdays; but the Quire is very suited to smaller numbers. I remember Barry Rose doing a weekday evensong with seven choristers and a probationer due to illness. He stood in front of them going through the boys who weren't there ( the choristers were about 20 odd in number at the time ) saying he's out, he's out, he's out etc and finally " shouldn't make any difference " and it didn't - first rate sound filling the Quire area easily.
The current full choir always sings Sunday evensong in the Nave except for the half terms before and after Christmas when it sings in the Quire ( saves a bit on heating during the Winter months I believe! ). The boys are taught to sing in the Nave. BR always used to say that he taught them to bounce their sound off the walls.
I agree with you about the organ it sounds tremendous after the recent refurbishment and Tom Winpenny is a rising star in the organ world in my opinion - his playing is sheer class.
It was considerably more than mere refurbishment - quite a lot of new pipework went into it!
Originally Posted by Magnificat
Totally agree about TW's playing. I think it was the Festival before last where he chose to play one of the pieces (a Mendelssohn sonata) set in the semi-final round of the competition, and one of the judges had also programmed it in his recital. Guess who produced the best performance!