It was wonderful to welcome Old Elean and former Ely Cathedral Head Chorister, Ed Birchinall, back to King’s today (January 18th).

Ed, who is a super-talented Bass-Baritone from Hertfordshire, hosted a fabulous concert in the evening as part of our 30th King’s Ely Recital Series programme.

And in the afternoon before the concert, our Senior musicians were given the opportunity to take part in workshops with Ed, who was full of great tips and advice about everything from breathing exercises to voice projection.

Ed was at King’s from 2009 to 2017, and it was so refreshing to witness him interacting with students with the same professionalism and warm aura that he was renowned for at school.

One member of staff who was especially pleased to see Ed was Vanessa Scott, who started teaching him singing when he joined King’s Ely Junior and the Ely Cathedral Choir in Year 6!

After leaving King’s, Ed went to the University of Edinburgh, where he completed an undergraduate degree in Music. He is now studying for his masters degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London.

Ed appeared in the 2017 and 2018 BBC Proms with the National Youth Choirs of Great Britain, in which he was a member of the Chamber Choir. He now sings with The Philharmonia Chorus as a member of their student scholar scheme. Ed has made many notable solo performances, including Haydn’s Creation, Mozart’s Requiem, Dvorak’s Stabat Mater, as well as recitals in Dublin, Paris, Salzburg and more. In 2018, he won The Margaret Fletcher Schola Cantorum of Edinburgh Lieder Prize Competition, and in 2019, he won the Edinburgh University Tovey Memorial Prize Competition.

Speaking a couple of days before his visit, Ed said: “I am very much looking forward to returning to King’s, which is where so many of my musical foundations were established. The concert programme includes some pieces which I first learnt at school, and others which represent me currently. It also feels strange to be giving some coaching to students and becoming a teacher for the day. I hope that I can offer the students some perspective from one that is still learning too!”

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