4 Steps to Choose the Size for your Choir or Choral Risers

Check out our updated post of this here!

At Texas Choral Riser Rental, we know that it can be tricky to calculate the size of a choir or orchestra riser for your event. Whether you are in a church, a hotel ballroom, or outdoors – it’s important to make sure you have enough room for your needs, without wasting money by building something that is too large.   Step One   Know your performance space! Have exact dimensions of the church, hotel ballroom, or stage that you are going to be putting choral risers on. Get a tape measure and find out real dimensions – don’t just try and ‘walk it off’. Input the space into a CAD drawing, or sketch out on a piece of grid paper.   Step Two   Research your municipality! For private events, this is not quite as pressing an issue. But for public events, or events in a rented space, it’s vital you know what the requirements the local fire marshal will need to sign off our your structure. Minimum needs are aisle width, step height, height before safety rail, and fire lane widths. Some municipalities will require you to submit a drawing to the fire marshal before the build can even be approved.   Step Three   What is my use going to be? Think about how you are going to use the riser. Some good questions to ask are:
  • Is the choir going to be seated or standing?
  • Do you need room for an orchestra on the risers, or in front of it?
  • How is the audience going to be seated, and will line of sight be a factor?
  • Are you going to amplify the choir through a sound system, and where will it be placed?
  • Do you want a narrow performance space with higher tiers, or a wider performance space with lower tiers?
Take some time and think about how the room is going to look for your attendees, and what the overall feel of the performance needs to be to ensure a successful show.   Step Four   Do the math. For seated choirs – a normal banquet chair is 18” wide. With a standing choir, you can estimate shoulder to shoulder at 16” wide. If your standing choir is using songbooks, estimate 20” shoulder to shoulder. Standing children’s choirs can be estimated at 14” wide. Now – take your shoulder to shoulder measurements and multiply by the number of voices in your choir. Divide by 12, and this will give you the number of linear feet you need to look at for your choir. Divide by the desired amount of tiers. (Don’t forget that the first row of voices will stand on the ground, or on stage in front of the risers.) From there – add 8’ minimum for aisles on stage right and left. Voila! You now have the width of the tiers for your choral riser. For riser depth – standing choirs will typically use 2’ of depth per tiers. Seated choirs will typically use 3.5’ of depth per tier. Multiply by the number of tiers (don’t forget that first row on the ground!) and this will give you the depth needed for your riser. Still have questions, or need a quote? Contact us, and let the experts at Texas Choral Riser Rental help you and your choir look amazing!