Jeremy sat back down in the bass section after leading no. 547 Granville, and whispered to me, “Boy, we sound good today.” We did sound good; there were a lot of us; more precisely, when I counted I discovered that there were forty four of us: 19 tenors, 8 trebles, 7 altos, and 10 basses. And though there were quite a few new singers, there were lots of experienced singers, too.
I had never heard that many singers in All Saints Chapel. It can feel a little cavernous when there are fewer than 20 singers in that space; we sit way back in one end of the long cruciform building, and between that and the high peaked ceiling, it can feel as though the building is swallowing most of the sound. (This may be why we sometimes over-sing, pushing our voices to the point where we sing out of tune.) But with 44 people, it sounded very good indeed: it was loud, but not overwhelming; and there was just enough echo and reverberation to fill out the sound in a very satisfying manner.
I hope this upwards attendance trend continues. Having large numbers of people does mean that each person gets to lead fewer songs (which, though it does bother others, is quite fine with me personally). But having large numbers of people also means that newcomers are supported by many more experienced singers, and that newcomers don’t feel as exposed if they make mistakes. Since one of the most important functions of a local singing is to help newcomers to learn how to sing, I would love to have us averaging 50 singers a week.