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Choristers at Ely Cathedral are part of a professional choir with a history stretching back more than a thousand years and a vibrant present. As well as singing in Ely's magnificent Cathedral, the boys perform in concert, on television, radio and CD, and tour all over the world. They gain a deep appreciation of poetry and architecture as well as an enviable knowledge of music.

Day to Day

The Boy Choristers' main job is to sing daily services in the Cathedral, and the boys usually perform at five or six services each week: Evensong at the end of the day, or Sung Eucharist on Sunday morning. They start each weekday with a rehearsal before lessons, then join their classmates for a normal day at school. After that they come home to the boarding house for a snack and a drink, before going to the Cathedral to sing Evensong. In the evening after tea they have time for homework, music practice and some relaxation before bed.

Although the boys' lives are busy, there are plenty of opportunities for free time: there are no services or rehearsals on Wednesdays, and we work hard to create downtime on Saturdays and Sundays, including several completely free weekends each term. Unlike many similar schools, King's Ely has no lessons on Saturday morning, creating a better balance between work and play for our boys: most Saturdays are completely free of choir commitments too.  

A Lifelong Skill

Being a Chorister is probably the best musical training any child can receive. Boys learn to perform at a professional level, quickly developing self-discipline, confidence, a desire for high standards and a real ability to manage their time. These skills last a lifetime: many choristers become outstanding professional musicians, but more excel in other fields thanks to this unrivalled training. All choristers receive free weekly singing lessons and theory tuition, and learn at least one musical instrument in the stimulating environment of King's Ely Junior. They play in groups and ensembles, and emerge as good all-round musicians.

Tours, Concerts and Broadcasts

The very high standard of Ely Cathedral Choir places it in demand for many events outside the daily services. The boys record numerous CDs and appear on BBC Radio and TV (including Gareth Malone's Sing While you Work, The One Show and Countryfile). They sing in concerts attended by thousands of people at the Cathedral and further afield, and perform with internationally renowned soloists and conductors.

A special highlight for the boys is the chance to travel abroad with the choir: we toured to Norway in 2012, France in 2014, Poland in 2015, and Austria, Slovakia and Hungary in 2016. The choir will visit Estonia in summer 2018. There is no charge to parents for these tours, which are made possible through fund-raising.

Read about School Life at King's Ely

Read about Boys and their parents

Chorister FAQs