Virtual Evensong featuring Ely Choristers raises £770k for charity

A star studded live broadcast of Choral Evensong featuring 2 choristers from Ely, has attracted a global audience of 19000 and raised £770,000 for charity.

Amongst the 250 singers who took part in the live broadcast on May 19th were Alfie Bottley aged 12, and Mimi Hughes aged 15, both of whom are choristers at Ely Cathedral. Other performers included choristers past and present from Norwich, Wakefield, Winchester, Llandaff Cathedrals and Westminster Abbey, alongside contributions from Stephen Fry, Alexander Armstrong, Sir Simon Russell Beale and Church of England priest, broadcaster and former 80s pop musician, Richard Coles.  

So far the project has raised almost £800,000 of its £1m target for the Cathedral Choirs’ Emergency Fund and almost £4,000 of the 50,000 target for the Rodolfus Foundation, a charity which runs residential singing courses, a youth choir and partnerships with local choirs to encourage young people from all backgrounds to sing.  

Ralph Allwood, the Rodolfus Foundation’s musical director said: “Choral Evensong is undoubtedly one of England’s greatest inventions and the broadcast has shown us just how much this wonderful tradition is loved and missed all over the world.  I have found the whole experience overwhelming and am so touched by the messages and support we have received from all faiths and none.”

The Virtual Choral Evensong project was the culmination of over 950 video and audio submissions gathered from around the world and the whole piece was opened and closed with Cosmo Sheldrake’s Evening Chorus, an improvisation using endangered British birds’ songs recorded in Dorset woodland to create the evensong of the birds at this time.

You can watch on by clicking on: and donate to either of the funds on the website:

Press release from Ely Cathedral

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