‘Choristership is about so much more than singing’ - inside ‘Holy Week’ for Ely Cathedral's choristers
- Credit: King's Ely
‘Holy Week’ at Ely Cathedral saw various combinations of the cathedral’s choristers, choral scholars and lay clerks singing 15 choral services in just seven days.
But King’s Ely believes that choristership is about so much more than just singing, making sure each chorister gets the downtime they deserve as well as having fun.
When the choristers were away from performing in this year’s Easter services, they enjoyed movie nights, arts and crafts, punting and shopping in Cambridge, a laser tag outing and much more.
The activities are all part of King’s Ely’s ‘stayovers’ when the choristers stay in school outside of term time for the rehearsals and services at Ely Cathedral.
Sarah MacDonald, director of Ely Cathedral girls’ choir, said: “Easter and Christmas are always firm favourites for our cathedral choristers.
“Since they are the busiest times of the year at the cathedral, the choristers perform to thousands of people as young professionals.
“It was especially wonderful this year to see the cathedral completely packed on Easter Sunday morning for the first time since 2019.”
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Alongside the other activities, the choristers enjoyed hot cross buns together after the solemn services of Good Friday and took part in an Easter Egg hunt in the Dean’s beautiful garden between services on Easter Sunday.
Loveday Perceval Maxwell, housemistress of Walsingham House at King’s Ely, which is where the boy choristers call home, said: “Holy Week is the most sacred week in the liturgical year in Christianity.
“For the choristers, this demands not only a sense of solemnity in the music that is sung, but in how they present themselves within the cathedral space.”
She added: “As such, it is important that away from the cathedral, the boys are able to enjoy some fun down time and be noisy happy boys!
“The chorister stayovers during Christmas and Easter are a wonderful opportunity for our day choristers to experience all the positive aspects that boarding offers – being part of a team, cementing friendships and when not singing, having lots of fun!”
If you know a child who loves singing, choristership is now available to both day and boarding pupils at King’s Ely.
The school currently has spaces available for boys in Years Three and four and girls in Year Seven.