In this week's #BlessedIsShe, we meet Ella Venn, the newly-appointed Alto Choral Scholar in the Cathedral Choir.
In this centenary year of women's suffrage, we are celebrating the women who play important roles in the daily life of the Cathedral community.
Each Saturday of the year, we will be sharing a different story here and across our social media.
Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and search for the #BlessedIsShe hashtag.
What’s your connection with Bristol Cathedral?
I was a Chorister from the age of 10, after which I joined the Cathedral Consort, and have recently been appointed as the new Alto Choral Scholar.
How long have you been associated with the Cathedral?
Ten years this September.
What first drew you to Bristol Cathedral?
After an initial short spell of reluctance from my nine-year-old self, my parents thankfully managed to encourage me to audition for a choristership.
What have been some of your personal highlights?
Musical Highlights over the years have included mass at St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice and Evensong at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Christmas and Easter consistently feature brilliant repertoires, and the many services leading up to these occasions are particularly memorable. Most recently, the choir tour to Holland and Belgium again included a fantastic collection of music performed in equally exquisite buildings, complemented by warm evenings watching the sun set on the beach. And, from the earlier years, perhaps one of my fondest memories is a certain shrove Tuesday celebration before Evensong, where the choristers would race up and down the south choir aisle attempting to flip pancakes!
What would you like to see the Cathedral doing over the next few years?
I’d like to see the Cathedral Choir continue to thrive, to see continued support of the choristers during their time in the choir and beyond, encouraging participation in a variety of singing activities throughout their early adult lives. As such an integral inner-city space, I’d like to see the Cathedral continue to host a variety of events, both traditional and contemporary. Further debates, exhibitions, performances and discussions to allow it to maximise its capability in enticing as wide and diverse an audience as possible.
What does the Cathedral mean for you?
The Cathedral for me will always be a place of childhood nostalgia spanning a number of formative years. A place for peaceful tradition and history, a place of escapism in the heart of bustling city centre, and a place where I have made lifelong friends and memories. I am very much looking forward to what life at the cathedral has to offer in the coming years.