Ely Cathedral's director of music Paul Trepte retires after 29 years
The Director of Music at Ely Cathedral has stepped down after 29 years following a moving final Easter service.
Paul Trepte, 65, chose a special piece of music written by his own teacher as the finale of the evensong service on Easter Sunday, to be sung before a packed cathedral.
Many well-wishers were amongst the congregation - including former choristers, friends and family.
Paul said: “This weekend was like a white knuckle rollercoaster ride because it was very emotional for me.
“Of course we were surrounded by so many people who came to support us and of course I was doing what I hopefully do best for a last time in terms of my post at Ely Cathedral. It was a very moving day.
“My final service which was choral evening song on Easter Day and included music which I had thought about long and hard in terms of selecting what I wanted to do.”
He chose a setting of Te Deum by the 20th century composer Herbert Howells.
“I studied with him from my youth and in the early years of my professional life,” said Paul.
“It is just a soaring piece that brought Easter Day to a fabulous conclusion.”
Paul studied the organ with Donald Hunt and Nicholas Danby, and composition with Herbert Howells. He became organ scholar at New College, Oxford in 1972 and was appointed assistant organist at Worcester Cathedral in 1976. He was organist at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds from 1985 to 1990 before becoming Director of Music at Ely Cathedral.
Bringing to a close almost 29 years of work at Ely and 43 years working in church music, Paul has said he is looking forward to composing more of his own music, teaching and examining.
“What I’m going to miss most of all is the daily work with the choir,” said Paul.
“Not so much the big starry-eyed occasions and big festivals of Christmas and Easter but the quiet Tuesday and Thursday evenings maybe during the cold months where there’s hardly anybody there when actually the basic task is actually the same task: encouraging the choir always on those occasions to give their best all of the time.
“So the great thing really for musician in cathedrals is you get to make music nearly every day And getting many shivers of excitement on the ordinary occasions .
Paul and his wife Sally have enjoyed several days of celebration, including a party for their Ruby wedding anniversary and Paul’s 65th birthday. He credits Sally with a lot of work behind the scenes and says they have been a ‘double act’ in their work at the cathedral.
Paul is succeeded as Director of Music by his former assistant, Edmund
Paul said: “I'm absolutely overjoyed for Edmund. I will allow myself to take a bit of the credit because it was actually me who found him and appointed him to Ely Cathedral as my assistant.
“There were no assumptions that Edmund would be my successor he was simply the one who stood out - through an interview process in which I was not involved. All the more reason for me to be delighted for him. I think we pass over the musical tradition of Ely Cathedral into a very, very safe pair of hands indeed.”
Edmund's earliest musical training was as a chorister in Manchester Cathedral Choir, and as a pupil of Chetham's School of Music. These formative experiences fostered a love of organ and choral music which subsequently led to studies at Oxford University and at the Rueil-Malmaison Conservatoire in France. Edmund's previous posts have been at Chichester, Rochester and Ripon Cathedrals before his appointment to Ely as Assistant Organist in 2013. He has given organ recitals and conducted choirs in many parts of Europe and the USA,and worked in Ely with artists as diverse as Gareth Malone and Jethro Tull in addition to participating in several recordings and live broadcasts.
Speaking about his appointment, Edmund said: “I am thrilled and humbled to have been appointed as Director of Music at Ely Cathedral. There is no more inspiring and beautiful place in which to make music, and I am truly blessed with wonderful professional colleagues and incredibly dedicated choristers. We have an exciting story to tell about the breadth and quality of music-making in this place, and I am looking forward to spreading that message far and wide in the years to come.”