A FEW YEARS ago we received a significant donation from the estate of Eleanor Mary Mitchell for “a project in the church.” We decided to renovate several areas of the church-building that had been neglected over the years or where repairs might better be termed short cuts. We did things like renovate the doors, the floors and the lights (amongst many other things). But a seemingly insignificant thing has done wonders for restoring the building’s former glory – we removed the carpets.
This single act restored the acoustics of the building to the quality intended by architect William C. Harris. Making St. Paul’s Church one of the best (if not the best) example of the care and foresight Harris had when designing worship spaces. The change was immediately noticeable. In August, Todd MacLean, an entertainment report with The Guardian newspaper, while reviewing one of the concerts put on by the PEI Jazz and Blues Festival wrote, “First, you have the acoustically-immaculate St. Paul’s Church.” (August 26, 2011.) It’s difficult to imagine that he could have written such praise before the removal of the carpet.
One of the performers that night, Meaghan Smith, wrote in our Comment Book, “What a magical night! Thank you for the beautiful church, the magnificent acoustics…” The other was Meaghan Blanchard and she wrote, “…this was amazing and we’d love to be back.”
Jazz pianist Oliver Jones, four-time Juno award winner, Governor-General's Performing Arts Award winner for lifetime artistic achievement and a member of the Order of Canada, wrote, “What a wonderful time we had here, a true great sound, A RARITY. The sound is excellent in this church, PLEASE don’t change anything.”
Composer, arranger and keyboard performer Sean Ferris wrote, “Thanks so much for this beautiful Church, beautiful venue to perform. The acoustic at first listen are daunting… it’s a very lively building acoustically, but with the audience in the sound was amazing!” And Juno award winner Jack Semple wrote, “Thanks for the honor of playing in St. Paul’s. This church is the best sounding venue I have ever played in (I’ve been playing for 40 years). It is also so beautiful! Thanks again.”
This is what the professional musicians had to say about our building and it’s nice to know that they agree with us. I just thought that you would be interested to know that this building is acoustically immaculate.