Paul Trepte Steps Down as Ely Cathedral Director of Music

This weekend marks Paul Trepte’s retirement after nearly 30 years as Organist and Director of Music at Ely Cathedral. 

Paul studied with Donald Hunt, Herbert Howells and Nicholas Danby. After an organ scholarship at New College, Oxford, he became Assistant Organist at Worcester Cathedral. He moved to St. Mary’s, Warwick before becoming Director of Music at St. Edmundsbury Cathedral. In September 1990, he succeeded Dr Arthur Wills at Ely Cathedral.

His prime passion is for choral conducting but he composes, lectures and examines whenever he can find time. He has made many recordings and has a number of published and recorded choral works to his credit. Paul holds Honorary Fellowships from both The Royal School of Church Music and the Guild of Church Musicians.

Paul Trepte (right) with Ely Cathedral’s latest chorister recruits

Ten new choristers were installed during what was a very special Mothering Sunday Eucharist at the Cathedral, attended also by three junior probationers to mark the completion of the first stage in their chorister journey.

Cake to Celebrate!

The service was followed by the traditional cutting of the specially made chorister cake, something that is always a highlight for everyone involved. Being a chorister at Ely Cathedral and King’s Ely is something very special: singing Evensong, sharing life with the other choristers, being part of a happy, talented group of boys and girls – it’s an experience that will stay with them throughout their lives. For many, it will also mark the beginning of a successful and fulfilling musical career.

Talking about his time at Ely, Paul says: “Naturally, the biggest joy for me over the past 29 years has been the privilege of working daily with the cathedral choir. I shall particularly miss the morning rehearsals with the boys. That’s the time of day when most of the work is done, but it’s also when boys seem to be at their best. At 8am it’s unlikely that anything has gone wrong in their day. They are cheerful, energetic and very biddable! They can also be relied on to give their choir director the first laughs of the day. That has always been important to me before the rest of the day unfolds, usually dominated by interaction with adults.

Thumbs Up for the Boarding House

“I have frequently been asked what I consider to have been the highlights during my time here. That’s easy. The daily rhythm of choral worship in our cathedrals is the jewel. In this day and age it is nothing short of a miracle.

“To that I would add this: I am particularly glad that the advantages of a suitably flexible boarding house have remained such an important part of choir life throughout my tenure at Ely. The special spirit created amongst a bunch of boys who are all “in it together” is, in my view, to be cherished, preserved and admired.”

Happy Retirement

Paul and Sally are staying in Ely but, needless to say, Paul will continue to compose, examine, teach, read, swim and watch cricket! We hope you enjoy your retirement Paul, and a big thank you for all you have done for the choral tradition.