Welcome to Ely Choral Society



Ely Choral Society is a flourishing mixed voice community choir conducted by Andrew Parnell, one of the UK's foremost choral conductors.


Concerts are held in Ely Cathedral and other venues locally with professional soloists and orchestras, together with musicians from the Ely and Cambridge area.


The Ely Youth Choir for 13 to 18s was launched with great success in 2010 and is aimed at teenagers who want to experience the fun and excitement of choral singing to public audiences.



Next concert...



The main item at the next concert is Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Carmina Burana is Carl Orff's best-known work, and it brings together all the most interesting elements of his musical style. Although the text is taken from the writings of itinerant students in the 12th and 13th centuries, the music is full of 20th century rhythmic vitality and energy, whilst being enduringly accessible, with its often simple, repeated phrases and uncomplicated harmonies. The opening chorus, O Fortuna, is very familiar to many people, through its use in various TV shows and adverts, from the Old Spice adverts of the 1970s to its use as the main theme for The X Factor.


Carmina Burana is in three main sections, with the first celebrating the return of Spring and the promise of love. The second addresses the vices of gambling and drinking and includes a boisterous and energetic drinking song, as well as the famous lament of the roasted swan, whilst the third returns to the theme of love, with the music becoming increasingly passionate and exciting.


The piece will be accompanied by a newly available commission from Making Music designed to be performed as a companion piece to Carmina Burana, Jonathan Dove's Arion And The Dolphin. Arion is a young poet from Corinth who wins first prize in a singing contest in Sicily. During his voyage home, the sailors plot to kill him and keep his prize-money. Arion begs to sing one last song, and they allow him. His song draws dolphins to the ship. As soon as he finishes his song, he jumps overboard and is rescued by one of the dolphins who carries him to safety. The dolphin ends among the stars, as the constellation Delphinus.The story is told as a sequence of songs, with a soloist as Arion, tenors and basses as the sailors, and children's voices representing the dolphin.


The soloists for the concert will be Tara Bungard (soprano), Ashley Harries (counter-tenor) and Mark Gotham (baritone). The pianists will be Maurice and Thanea Hodges, the percussion section will be led by Will Sivier and the conductor will be Andrew Parnell.


The concert will take place in the Hayward Theatre at the King's School, Ely. Tickets are priced £16 and under-18s £5. Tickets will be available from early May (around the 9th) from Burrows Bookshop, 7 High Street Passage, Ely, by e-mailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it  or by calling 01353 669579.








Future Concerts



2015/16 Season 

19:30, Saturday 9th July 2016

Hayward Theatre, King's School, Ely

Orff Carmina Burana

Jonathan Dove Arion and the Dolphin

Ely Youth Choir, pianos and percussion



2016/17 Season


Venice Tour, featuring ECS members


18:00, Friday 28th October 2016

St George's Anglican Church


18:00, Saturday 29th October 2016

Church Of St Rocco


19:30, Wednesday 2nd November 2016

Ely Cathedral

Duruflé Requiem

sung liturgically

Ely Cathedral Octagon Singers

Edmund Aldhouse, organist


19:00, Saturday 3rd December 2016

St. Mary's Church, Ely

Bullard O Come, Emmannuel

plus a selection of Advent carols

Ely Youth Choir

Edmund Aldhouse, organist


19:30, Saturday 8th April 2017

Ely Cathedral

Handel Messiah

Soloists and orchestra TBC


19:30, Saturday 15th July 2017

Ely Cathedral

Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in D minor

Vaughan Williams In The Fen Country

Parnell New Fen commission, TBC

Ely Sinfonia

Soloists TBC







Registered Charity No. 802308