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Ely Cathedral

CATHEDRAL MUSICIANS

Edmund Aldhouse

Edmund Aldhouse

Edmund Aldhouse

Director of Music

Edmund was appointed Director of Music in April 2019 following the retirement of Paul Trepte who held the position for 27 years. Edmund was Assistant Organist at Ely Cathedral between 2013 - 2019. From 2009 to 2013 he was Assistant Director of Music at Ripon Cathedral, having previously held positions at Rochester and Chichester Cathedrals. In these posts he accompanied and directed the Cathedral choirs on tours to the USA, Italy, Holland and Hungary as well as several recordings and live BBC broadcasts.

A pupil of the Manchester Grammar School and a former Organ Scholar of Pembroke College, Oxford, much of Edmund's organ study has been pursued in France under Frédéric Blanc and François-Henri Houbart, resulting in a unanimous Premier Prix de Virtuosité at the Conservatoire de Rueil-Malmaison, near Paris, in 2008. He has a particular interest in improvisation and French organ music, and performances at Ripon of cycles by Messiaen and Dupré, set alongside words and images, received much acclaim.

From February 2015 Edmund was Director of the Ely Cathedral Octagon Singers (ECOS), the Cathedral's adult voluntary choir. gro/lardehtacyle//esuohdla/e

Glen Dempsey

Glen Dempsey

Assistant Director of Music from September 2019

Glen started his musical career as a chorister at St Mary's, Bury St Edmunds and later in the choirs of St Edmundsbury Cathedral. Organ lessons with Michael Nicholas led to his being awarded a scholarship as a répétiteur to study at the Purcell School of Music and in 2013 he was appointed Organ Scholar at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle.

Following a brief spell in the Netherlands where he was the Assistant Organist of St Nicholas's Basilica, Amsterdam, Glen became Junior Organ Scholar at St John's College, Cambridge. In this role he accompanies the choir in their busy schedule of daily services, tours, broadcasts and recordings, assists in the training of the choristers and continues his organ studies with Ann Elise Smoot.

He succeeded Joseph Wicks as Herbert Howells Organ Scholar in October 2017. gro/lardehtacyle//yespmed/g

Sarah MacDonald

Sarah MacDonald

Sarah MacDonald

Director of Ely Cathedral Girls' Choir

Sarah MacDonald is a Canadian-born organist and conductor, living in the UK, and currently holds the positions of Fellow and Director of Music at Selwyn College, Cambridge, and Director of Ely Cathedral Girls' Choir. She has been at Selwyn since 1999, and was the first woman to hold such a post in an Oxbridge Chapel.

Sarah came to the United Kingdom from Canada in 1992 as Organ Scholar of Robinson College, Cambridge after studying piano, organ, and conducting at The Royal Conservatory of Music's Glenn Gould School in Toronto with Leon Fleisher, Marek Jablonski, and John Tuttle. At Cambridge she read for a degree in Music, and studied the organ with David Sanger. Sarah has played numerous recitals and conducted choirs throughout the UK, North America, the Middle East, New Zealand, and much of mainland Europe. She has made over 30 recordings, variously in the guises of pianist, organist, conductor, and producer, and currently works most frequently with Regent Records. Sarah is a winner of the Royal College of Organists' (RCO) coveted Limpus Prize, and has taught organ and conducting for Eton Choral Courses, Oundle for Organists, the Jennifer Bate Organ Academy, and courses run by the RCO. For its first ten years, she was a regular director of the Girl Chorister Course at St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, in New York City, and she is in demand as a director of RSCM summer residential courses internationally.

Sarah is a Fellow and Examiner for the RCO and has also served on the Academic Board of the RCO and as a Trustee. She has had several choral compositions published by Encore Publications, the Royal School of Church Music, and St James Music Press. Sarah also writes a popular monthly column for the American Guild of Organists' magazine 'The American Organist', called "UK Report". gro/ylesgnik//dlanoDcaMharaS

Aaron Shilson

Aaron Shilson

Aaron Shilson

Assistant Organist to Ely Cathedral Girls' Choir

Aaron joined Ely Cathedral in September 2017. Prior to this he studied as an undergraduate at Leeds College of Music with Benjamin Saunders and Daniel Justin. In his final year he held the post of Organ Scholar at St Anne's Cathedral in Leeds.

After graduating from Leeds College of Music in 2014, he moved to Manchester to continue his studies at the Royal Northern College of Music with Darius Battiwalla, Christopher Stokes and Gordon Stewart. During this time he participated in master classes with Kevin Bowyer and Thomas Trotter and was recipient of the college's Frederick Lunt and Meadowcroft prizes. He balanced his studies alongside the Senior Organ Scholarship at Manchester Cathedral, spending a small portion of his time there as acting Sub-Organist. After graduating from the Royal Northern College of Music in 2016, Aaron held the Organ Scholarship at St Davids Cathedral. gro/ylesgnik//noslihSnoraA

Andrew Parnell

Andrew Parnell

Andrew Parnell

Assistant Director of The Ely Cathedral Octagon Singers

After a 25-year career in St Albans Cathedral, St Albans School and St Albans Symphony Orchestra, Andrew has enjoyed since 2001, a tripartite freelance career as conductor, organist, and composer.

In addition to his annual privilege of conducting Carillon, he regularly directs Ely Choral Society, Cambridgeshire Choral Society, and Wymondham Symphony Orchestra, and Ely Choral Society's Youth Choir, now well established in the cultural life of the city.

Andrew has maintained strong links with cathedral music since 2001, and has worked as Acting Assistant Organist at the Cathedrals in Ely, Canterbury, Wakefield, Southwell, Bury St Edmunds, Peterborough, and Rochester, and as acting Director of Music at Ely in 2006. Andrew continues to be invited to play as organ soloist or accompanist, recently appearing in Hampstead, St Albans Abbey, Peterborough Cathedral, and St Andrew's Hall, Norwich.

His compositions, both sacred and secular, have been performed in venues from Portsmouth to Philadelphia to St Petersburg. His Nocturne for Orchestra, commissioned by WSO for the orchestra's 30th anniversary, was premiered by the orchestra last July, and new church music will be published and performed later this year. He has recently edited The Ely Carol Book, a collection of carols by living composers performed in recent years by Ely Choral Society. gro/lardehtacyle//llenrap/a

Rebecca Duckworth

Singing Animateur

Rebecca Duckworth

Rebecca Duckworth

Originally a Choral Scholar at Christ's College, Cambridge, Rebecca toured widely with the University Chamber Choir, making recordings for BBC television and radio and singing at Salzburg, Paris and Edinburgh Festival's with professional freelance choirs. Leading solo roles include Hansel (Hansel and Gretel), Dorabella (Cosi fan Tutte), Zerlina (Don Giovanni) Gilbert and Sullivan (Duchess of Plaza Toro, Lady Psyche) and Oratorio ( Messiah, Mozart's Requiem, Haydn's Nelson Mass, Vivaldi's Gloria, Rossini's Messe Solenelle etc).

Rebecca delights in directing the cathedral's choir, the Ely Imps. In addition, Rebecca is singing teacher to the choristers of Norwich cathedral, is guest conductor at youth choir festivals, adjudicates at competitions and has worked on vocal research projects at the Institute of Education, London. She delivers teacher training, enabling teachers and community leaders to confidently lead singing within their settings , demystifying vocal technique, making it available to all. Rebecca set up a winter-time choir, "Winter Tonic", enabling people to sing their way through the winter months as well as to receive vocal coaching. For several years, Rebecca delivered Ely Cathedral's chorister outreach programme, visiting numerous schools, mentoring students and drawing teachers and pupils together in the cathedral for "Big Sing" style concerts.

Rebecca particularly enjoys coaching choirs and soloists for performances, examinations and auditions, whilst continuing to perform as a concert soloist. . gro/lardehtacyle//htrowkcud/r