Ely Cathedral Choir has been part of the English Choral tradition since the mid-16th century, and in terms of monastic heritage, its history can be traced back considerably further to the time of King Canute:
"Row nearer my men that we may hear these good monks sing"
The Cathedral Choir May 2011 © Keith Heppell
Many of England's finest musicians started life as Cathedral choristers. This is no surprise, because professionalism is the hallmark of a cathedral choir. Today the Choir consists of some 22 boy choristers and six adult lay clerks, augmented on Sundays and Feast Days by additional singers and sometimes instrumentalists.
Alongside daily rehearsals and schedules, there is a demanding schedule of concerts, broadcasts and
The team is headed by the Organist and Director of Music, Paul Trepte, and his assistant Jonathan Lilley. Former organists have included musicians of high repute such as Christopher Tye, Robert White, Basil Harwood, Tertius Noble and Arthur Wills.
Under the direction of Paul Trepte, Ely Cathedral Choir is much in demand for radio and television broadcasts, recordings, concerts and tours.
Opportunities for Altos, Tenors and Basses
Experienced altos, tenors and basses are always welcome to audition to join the ranks of Ely Cathedral Choir. Although the weekday services are sung by the six layclerks only, there are frequent opportunities for extra singers to join them at weekends and for special occasions such as concerts and broadcasts.
These extra singers form a large pool of men who also act as deputies form time to time. At the present moment in time enquiries from Altos are especially welcome.
If you are interested in applying please contact the Director of Music, Paul Trepte on 01353 660336.
Ely Cathedral Choir On Tour
Ely Cathedral Choir at Sotogrande 29 October 2010
Poland and Czech Republic
Holland and Belgium
Rome and Vercelli
Southern Spain and Gibraltar
Why tours and concerts?
The English choral tradition is the oldest musical tradition in the western world, and is universally admired for the high standards promoted by the daily schedule of worship and associated rehearsal. Equally impressive is the discipline which goes with the musical excellence, so frequently praised by UK and foreign audiences alike.
Concerts and tours provide extensive opportunities for rehearsal and performances, which benefit the Choir as much as those who come to listen. In addition they extend the range and repertoire of the choir, which can provide the basis of quality recordings.
The Cathedral Choir tours abroad in an ambassadorial role. Principally it is an envoy for the Church of England and the gospel that it seeks to spread. Naturally the choir is perceived as a representative of its cathedral, its city, its country and of course, its sponsors. Since 1990 the Choir has taken the 'Ely Sound' to Rome, Holland, Germany, Belgium, Denmark, Poland, The Czech Republic, The Channel Islands, Gozo and Malta, Canada, Italy and America (twice).
Visits abroad are a natural and important extension of the Cathedral's Christian outreach, enabling audiences to experience first-hand the magnificence of English Church Music.
Our last tour 7-15 February 2012 took us to Norway. To view the Norway Tour Brochure click here.
Our Choir Patronage scheme has run for several years now and we are grateful to the increasing number of businesses and individuals who support our work with their subscriptions. Patrons can be associated with individual choristers, or the whole choir.
The minimum contribution is £25.00. Patrons' names are included in the tour programme, and each donor receives a photograph.
In addition, patrons will be given advance notice of events that the Choir will perform in. These include concerts, music tours and informal performances.
Many of our patrons live far afield, and because of their keen interest we keep in touch with them by means of a periodical newsletter.
Our patrons and friends always receive a warm welcome at the Cathedral, at concerts and other events.
You can enrol as a Patron by using our
or contact The Music Secretary
on telephone +44 (0)1353 660309
or write to:
Ely Cathedral Choir Patronage
The Chapter House,
Society of Ely Choristers
Friends of Cathedral Music
Ely Cathedral is especially grateful to the Friends of Cathedral Music for many years of financial assistance towards the cost of choristerships for boys. For further information about F.C.M. please visit www.fcm.org.uk.