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Ely Cathedral’s girl choristers sang on the roof of magnificent Ely Cathedral as they prepare for a busy Christmas despite the coronavirus pandemic.

The girls, aged 10 to 16, climbed to the top of the Norman cathedral to rehearse for the festive season. Stunning aerial photos show them performing high up on the roof of the Gothic cathedral in the heart of the Cambridgeshire Fens. Ely’s girl choristers were founded in September 2006 – more than 1000 YEARS after the boy choristers.

Ely is the only cathedral in the UK to offer this intensive boarding choristership experience to girls in this age range. The 16 girls are all borders at Kings’ Ely where they live and rehearse together in a bubble so they can continue to sing at Cathedral services and maintain its excellent reputation for English choral music.

This Christmas they will be singing at a number of socially-distanced and ticketed services at the Cathedral, which will also be live streamed for those who can’t attend. These include Evensong featuring Britten’s Ceremony of Carols on Sunday (Dec 13), two carol concerts on Monday, December 21 and two carol services on Christmas Eve.

Sarah MacDonald, director of the girl choristers, said: “We are really looking forward to singing at the many services in the Cathedral this Christmas – it will be lovely to spread a little joy in what has been a difficult year for so many of us.”

Since their foundation the girls have made six critically acclaimed CDs and have sung on television and on BBC Radio 3, most recently on Armistice Day 2020, when they broadcast Evensong live from the Cathedral as part of the BBC’s marking of 100 years since the burial of the unknown soldier.

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