Over 250 children perform a new work in Ely Cathedral—with your support!

£21,135 of £22,000 raised (96%)

Ely Cathedral boy and girl choristers, Cathedral organists, professional orchestral musicians from the Britten Sinfonia, and Cathedral clergy and altar servers will be joined by over 250 Cambridgeshire schoolchildren at Ely Cathedral on 22 June 2020 to give the first performance of Ad orientem: An Ely Liturgy, a unique new work by leading young British composer James Olsen.

The work, commissioned by Ely Cathedral, sits somewhere between contemporary ‘art’ music, music theatre and liturgy, and tells the story of the original Anglo-Saxon monastery at Ely, destroyed by the Vikings in 870. It will combine theatre with music and liturgical elements to create a unique site-specific work for the Cathedral which makes use of different parts of the building in performance.

As part of the project, James and musicians from the Cathedral and the Britten Sinfonia will deliver a number of workshops in participating schools, introducing the children to local Anglo-Saxon history and medieval music.

We would be most grateful if you would consider becoming a patron of this extraordinary project to ensure that it can go ahead as planned and create an unforgettable experience for hundreds of young people in the Ely and Cambridgeshire community.

From as little as £10 you can see your name in the published score of the work, and receive a number of other benefits. You can find out more here, and sign up by clicking on the button above.

Download the full project brochure (PDF, 3.2MB).


Watch James's vlog to learn more about the project:



The project has received coverage in local radio and press, including an interview with James on BBC Radio Cambrigeshire (interview from 1hr 20mins to 1hr 47mins), and articles in the Ely Standard and Spotted in Ely.

More information is available on Ely Cathedral's website. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch here!