S

tanding in the shadow of Ely’s glorious cathedral, Etheldreda House is home to the King’s Ely Senior members of Ely Cathedral Girls’ Choir. Just across the road is Priory House, where the Year 7 & 8 girls board. Their houses provide a retreat from their busy schedules where they can relax after school, enjoy the company of their friends and the support of the resident Housemistress and her team. Three pianos and an electronic organ are available in Etheldreda House for practice, and the girls also have a designated rehearsal room, the Undercroft, as well as a kitchen, laundry room and a common room for their own use. Matron is on hand to help with the practical side of life such as first aid and laundry.

Girls in Years 7 and 8 in Priory and those in years 9-12 in Canonry share rooms in small groups. In Year 13, you will normally enjoy the privilege of a room to yourself.  It is envisaged that Canonry will eventually be home to all members of ECGC, from Year 7-11, but this will not happen before Michaelmas Term 2020 at the earliest.  Sixth Form choral scholars are not required to board.

Four mornings a week, the day begins with a rehearsal. The Girls’ Choir sings Evensong in the cathedral on their own every Wednesday and with the lay clerks on most Mondays. Weekend duties occur once or twice a month and at the beginning or ending of each term and half-term the girls have a ‘stayover’, a period of intensive rehearsals and four or five services. In addition, the girls sing in the cathedral’s celebrations of Christmas and Easter, participating in one of the two major festivals each year. Singing for Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve is one of the greatest highlights for every girl chorister.

In addition, there will be concerts, recordings and broadcasts, joint services with other choirs and individual singing lessons for which no extra fees are charged. The girls also enjoy the opportunity to participate in King’s Ely Chapel Choir and the many orchestras and chamber ensembles in the school music department.