Bach Choir Risers
The Society has constructed a set of choral risers (raked staging to allow the back rows of singers to see over the front rows). We would be happy to share our design with any other choir who can use it.
- Deep enough (front to back) for singers to be seated during solo/orchestral sections of works
- Collapsible for storage
- Individual elements can be carried out of a venue by a single chorister
- Collapsed risers fit in the boot (trunk) of a large car, or into a mid-sized wagon or hatchback
- Made from readily available materials by a home handyman
Comments: item 1, most choirs (especially schools) do not sing a repertoire with solo sections, or are stoic enough to stand throughout; item 2, many choirs use a venue with permanent staging; item 3, many choirs have a permanent venue with storage for roll-away risers. This makes the market for risers such as ours very small, and to our knowledge there is no commercial product that meets items 1-3, so item 5 was instated. Item 4 was later made redundant when we purchased a box trailer (1300mm x 2150mm x 1050mm high, 4ft x 7ft x 3ft6" high) to both carry and store the risers. The trailer is rainproof and is parked with a chorister with spare hard standing.
All risers are made on a 900mm (3ft) square platform, which easily allows for chairs to be placed. The back row (high) risers are about 500mm (20") tall and the intermediate (low) risers are about 250mm (10") tall.
The riser tops are lengths of yellow tongue particleboard flooring (18mm thickness) and the supporting frames are all of standard pine board and studding.
The low risers are supported by a square of 240mm x 18mm pine board hinged on all corners; thus when the frame is to be stored it collapses into a 1800mm long module.
The high risers are supported by a set of inward folding legs. Another pair of inward folding leaves is locked to the legs using bolts with butterfly nuts to give a rigid frame. Almost all the frame is 70mm x 35mm 'dry wall' studding. The images below show the frame in its folded and erected states.
The riser tops are aligned to the frames by stops on their underside, and are fitted with a safety rail at the rear. The tops of the risers weigh about 12kg, as does the base of the high riser, while the base of the low riser weighs about 7.5kg.
The materials cost for either riser is about AUS $70; the construction takes about two hours for a low riser and four for a high riser.
Please click here to request a copy of the instructions; they are specified for Australian building materials, but should be easily adaptable to local building materials - you can rework them to the nearest equivalents in your country. If you are fortunate enough to have someone who can weld metal you might choose to use metal framed risers, but you still might get ideas from our design.