Thank-you, VCC (sorry, Magnificat!).
Yes you are correct: I was not wishing to infer that the present choir was not good or big enough (see later), but simply asking why there was a perceived need for such a gathering of others who are not from the Royal Establishments, that’s all, as it was in ’36 (I think)!
That said, I can see that today’s choral world is wildly different from 1897 and 1936 and if the music we love and adore is to be continued, then perhaps ‘opening the doors to others’ is not necessarily a bad thing for such an occasion.
As for its usual numbers, I think it no secret that the numbers of the St. Paul’s choir have become less over recent times: 18 men daily since Stainer’s day (and the quire screen’s removal) until 1981 then 18 on Sundays and specials until 2011 and now only 12 for all services; meanwhile the boys’ numbers used to be 36-40 (with 8 probationers) and now I do not believe they enjoy such forces on the front row.
The latter may clearly be a reason for the former, but still a sadness none-the-less, but clearly the forces have to match...
But no, I was not saying they are not good or big enough for the occasion!
Enjoy it all of you!
Last edited by secret squirrel; 21-03-12 at 17:54.
Reason: typo, 'tone of voice', and clarification of a point!
(Avatar: detail from the Upper ten or Squirrels' Club by Walter Potter; a fine example of eccentric Victorian taxidermy, though the collection is now sadly broken up: