Home   News   Article

Ely Cathedral's director of music Paul Trepte retires after 29 years


By Alex Spencer


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.

Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8959947)
Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8959947)

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.”

Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service, seen here with past choristers. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8960160)
Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service, seen here with past choristers. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8960160)

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.

From left back row, the Bishop of Ely The Right Reverend Stephen Conway with new Director of Music Edmund Aldhouse and Dean of Ely Cathedral The Very Revd Mark Bonney with front Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral who retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service with wife Sally. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8960047)
From left back row, the Bishop of Ely The Right Reverend Stephen Conway with new Director of Music Edmund Aldhouse and Dean of Ely Cathedral The Very Revd Mark Bonney with front Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral who retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service with wife Sally. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8960047)

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 Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8959952)
Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8959952)

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.”

Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8959950)
Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8959950)

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.

Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8960048)
Paul Trepte, Director of Music at Ely Cathedral retired after 29 years at the Easter Sunday service. Picture: Keith Heppell. (8960048)

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.”



COMMENTS
()


Iliffe Media does not moderate comments. Please click here for our house rules.

People who post abusive comments about other users or those featured in articles will be banned.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments

We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.

If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More