A young chorister from Ely Cathedral has been chosen to be part of a star studded line up to record a Virtual Choral Evensong, which will be broadcast live on YouTube on Tuesday (May 19th).
Alfie Bottley, aged 12, is one of several choristers from York Minster, Ely, Norwich, Wakefield, Winchester Cathedrals and Westminster Abbey, who will perform choral pieces alongside a cast of famous faces including Stephen Fry, Alexander Armstrong, Simon Russell Beale and the Revd Richard Coles, all of whom have come together “in lockdown” to present a very special Evensong.
The Virtual Choral Evensong Project will be broadcast live at 6.30pm on Tuesday on the YouTube and Facebook platforms for The Rodolfus Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting and raising the profile of the choral evensong tradition.
Alfie, who is currently in Year 7 at King’s Ely and has been a chorister at Ely Cathedral since 2016, was delighted to be chosen to take part. ‘It is such a nice feeling to be able to sing with everyone even though we’re far away from each other, and a privilege to sing Evensong with such famous people!’
This venture is the culmination of over 950 video and audio submissions gathered from around the world and includes choristers past and present from some of the UK’s great Cathedrals. Other contributors include the Canon Organist Emeritus at Durham Cathedral, James Lancelot, and Andrew Lumsden, organist and Director of Music at Winchester Cathedral. The blessing will be given by the Revd Richard Coles, a former 80’s pop artist with The Communards. The whole piece will open and close with Cosmo Sheldrake’s Evening Chorus, an improvisation using endangered British birds’ songs recorded in Dorset woodland.
The project, in association with ChoralEvensong.org, is in aid of the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund, set up by the Friends of Cathedral Music and the Ouseley Church Music Trust. The fund aims to raise £1million to support choirs that might not survive the Covid-19 lockdown.
Press release from Ely Cathedral