A chance to join famous Ely Cathedral choir a year early

Ely Cathedral

Ely Cathedral - Credit: Archant

Ely Cathedral is on the lookout for younger applicants to join the ranks of its boys’ choir this September.

The new recruits will be known as ‘colt choristers’ and will be welcomed into the choir a year younger than usual, as Year 3 students rather than Year 4.

The cathedral has decided to go ahead with this change in recruitment to “provide an opportunity for youngsters to develop their musicality and their singing from a very early age”.

Unlike the 22 boy choristers, who currently board in a house in the cathedral precinct, the colts will be free at weekends and will not be required to board.

After the successful completion of a year spent as a colt in the choir, the boys will become boarding probationers in Year 4 and, ultimately, full choristers.

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A maximum of two choral bursaries per year, to the value of 20 per cent of school fees will be awarded jointly by Ely Cathedral and King’s Ely, to boys entering the choir in Year 3.

This amount will increase to 50 per cent of all payable fees in Years 4 to 8. Boys who remain at King’s Ely from Year 9 onwards continue to receive a generous bursary determined by the school.

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Paul Trepte, director of music at Ely Cathedral, is responsible for the welfare and musical training of the choristers. He said: “In boys so young, we will be looking for a bright personality and musical potential rather than achievement – so parents need have nothing to fear or lose by investigating this opportunity for a relaxed, informal audition and a chat with the appropriate school and cathedral staff.”

Ely Cathedral’s boys’ choir has toured widely in recent years in Europe, Canada and the USA it is hoped that their next international tour will be to China - including Hong Kong.

For more information about the new colt chorister initiative e-mail:


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