The boy chorister team is headed by the cathedral’s Director of Music, Edmund Aldhouse; the Assistant Director of Music is Glen Dempsey. The boys’ boarding house, Choir House, also has dedicated and supportive House Parents (Thomas and Victoria Stockwell), and a full-time live-in Matron (Lucy Shute).
Life as a Boy Chorister
The boys’ day starts with instrumental practice before breakfast, followed by an hour’s rehearsal in the Cathedral Song School. The boys then join the other pupils at King’s Ely Junior for a full day’s school, after which they return to Choir House for a snack. Three days each week, a rehearsal and Evensong take them up to tea before homework (called “prep” at King’s Ely), free time and then bed. On weekends, the boys’ duties generally consist of two services on Sundays, and we ensure that they enjoy plenty of downtime at weekends as well. There is constant liaison between the school staff, cathedral staff, and the boys’ parents, and the boys’ pastoral welfare is a crucial priority.
How Choristership Works
There are funded places for 22 boy choristers. Boys audition for a place during Year 2 or 3. They normally enter the cathedral choir as Junior Probationers in Year 3, and leave the choir at the end of Year 8. Occasionally, boys can join the choir in other years, when vacancies arise. Year 3 boys receive 20% off the day fee, and boys in Years 4 to 8 receive 50% off the boarding fees; singing and theory lessons are provided free of charge. Means-tested bursaries are available in cases of parental need, and we aim to ensure that no gifted children are denied this life-changing opportunity purely due to financial limitations.
For further details, please contact the cathedral’s Director of Music:
Edmund Aldhouse (E.Aldhouse@elycathedral.org).