AFTER a thousand years of boys and men, Ely Cathedral is
about to join the other cathedrals that have a choir of girls. Its new choir
will be separate from the boys, singing on separate occasions. The girls, aged
13-18, will be drawn from the King's School, Ely.
The inspiration came from the head of the school, Sue Freestone (
centre, with pupils). She is herself a musician, and her idea was
enthusiastically welcomed by the Director of Music and the Dean and Chapter of
Bursaries that reduce the school boarding fees by 33 per cent will be
available to all new members of the girls' choir, and the school will recruit
four girls into Year 9 and four into Year 10. The remaining dozen places will
be taken up by older pupils already in the school.
"The musical educational opportunities available to cathedral choristers are
unparalleled," says Mrs Freestone, "and we have the infrastructure to support
the education of these girls in the widest sense. I am very envious of all they
will have the chance to experience."
The choir will have a number of distinguished patrons, including the
well-known singer and broadcaster Lesley Garrett. The school is currently
advertising the post of director of the choir.