When I arrived at Delmar Prez, I quickly realized that the arrangement of the music area in the sanctuary was disastrous. We have a platform across the back, about 15 feet deep most of the way, and 45 feet across. (You can peek ahead to help visualize.) Dividing it into 3 squares-- the right hand one as you looked at it has a forward extension of 4 more feet; the organ sat on that extension, with the piano behind it, and the sound system and other clutter behind that. The middle square, back half, is occupied by the organ pipes. The choir sat in one long row, mostly in front of the pipes! Uncomfortable, physically harmful-- I can't believe they tolerated it. Plus that long line made it hard to hear each other, and nearly impossible for me to hear the singers at the far end. I immediately moved things so they could sit on the left platform, beside the pipes, and had them move in front of the pipes only to sing; but this is problematic because I've got one movement-impaired singer. I also have been moving a dozen heavy chairs twice a week, from a rehearsal arrangement to Sunday seating and back
So I've been measuring and dreaming, and talked to the organ installer. The discussion of a new sound system made me realize that I have to commit to an arrangement for the next several years, so I am moving ahead with an experimental new arrangement. Sunday after church we moved the organ console, and I've been shifting furniture since then. Now, as you can see, I've got the choir on the larger platform, all in a body, with the piano; they'll be able to stand and sing in place. It's not perfect; I wish I had room for a few more people, and the sopranos will be behind me when I'm at the piano. But I think it will be a vast improvement.
Of course I know change is challenging, and I've already encountered one grumbler; I just hope there aren't too many! Choir rehearsal tomorrow night will give me a better idea.