MORE than 200 children had their voices well and truly heard at King’s Ely’s annual Choral Day.

The musical extravaganza, now in its 11th year, saw pupils from eight different local preparatory and primary schools coming together to sing at King’s Ely and Ely Cathedral on September 18th.

The action-packed event was led by renowned conductor, Rachel Staunton, and organised by Director of Music at King’s Ely Junior, Neil Porter-Thaw.

The programme included warm ups and rehearsals in King’s Ely’s Hayward Theatre, tours of Ely Cathedral, rehearsals in the cathedral Nave and a performance by the Ely Cathedral Girl Choristers, all of whom are pupils at King’s Ely.

The highlight of the day was when all pupils came together in the cathedral to perform to their parents, families, teachers and friends.

Mr Porter-Thaw said: “We were delighted to welcome 225 children along to King’s Ely for what was certainly an exhilarating day of singing. Rachel’s enthusiasm rubbed off on all of the children, so much so, that the singing carried on long after the concert had finished.”

Rachel Staunton grew up in the award-winning Berkshire Youth Choir and toured the world as a member of The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. She gained a choral scholarship to read Music at Royal Holloway, University of London, where she graduated with a first-class honours degree. Since postgraduate studies at London’s Royal Academy of Music, Rachel held the post of vocal director for In Harmony Opera North (Classic FM’s Music Education Project of the Year 2014) and spent several years establishing the Opera North Children’s Chorus.

Over the past decade, Rachel has worked as Assistant Director with The National Youth Choirs of Great Britain. Something of a choral entrepreneur, Rachel was instrumental in founding the London Youth Choir (LYC) in 2012. As the Artistic Director of LYC, Rachel has a vision to use singing to unlock young people’s potential. Rachel was made associate of the Royal Academy of Music, in recognition of her contribution to choral music and work with young people.

Schools which took part included Bancroft’s School, Fairstead House School, Histon and Impington Junior School, Lantern Community Primary School, Moreton Hall School, St Cedd’s School, Stretham Community Primary School, The Leys and King’s Ely.

Around 3,000 children have participated in King’s Ely’s Choral Day since it was launched in 2008. Over the years, the event has been led by Bob Chilcott, Alexander L’Estrange, Ben Parry, Joanna Forbes L’Estrange, Dominic Peckham, Esther Jones and Greg Hallam.

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