Christmas spirit remains strong at Ely Cathedral as big festive concert cancelled

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As Christmas concerts are cancelled amid covid concerns, Ely Cathedral choristers are hoping they can still spread some festive cheer.

The cathedral's annual Hark the Herald carol concert was due to be held on Wednesday evening, but the decision was made to cancel in favour of smaller carol services.

"With the ongoing pandemic situation it wasn't wisest for our audiences or our performers to pack 1000 people into the building for two and half hours of music," said Ely Cathedral's director of music, Edmund Alderhouse.

There would still be performances, but they would be scaled back and some services would be available to view online.

"We know that we're going to give joy to lots and lots of people here in the building and our services streamed online. So people are going to be hearing Ely Cathedral all over the world," Edmund Alderhouse added.

Some of the choristers are old enough to remember performing at Christmas concerts before the pandemic and while the cancellation of the big concert was a disappointment, they were still keen to sing for the smaller audiences.

Albert Walker, Sophia Garrard and Harry Shepherd are all looking forward to performing Christmas carols Credit: ITV Anglia

"It doesn't feel that different, it's just kind of weird because it's not the same and there aren't as many people," said Albert Walker, a young chorister at Ely Cathedral.

Another chorister, Sophia Garrard, felt the Christmas spirit would still there and it would be a good experience for the singers.

"We're just trying to be as nice as possible because this is a difficult time for everybody in the world," she said.

While Harry Shepherd was treating the smaller concerts just the same as if they were bigger ones with large audiences.

"Although it's not such a big concert, we are still singing a service and other than the amount of people coming to the services, it's the same really," he said.