Born in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, Paul Ellis studied at Manchester University and the Royal Northern College of Music, where his tutors included Gillian Weir (organ) and Robert Elliott (harpsichord). He discovered his love of choral music whilst at university and choral conducting has been a major part of his career ever since. He has worked with many choirs in the South West, earning a reputation for high standards of performance and innovative programming of an extensive range of music, from Renaissance to contemporary.
As an organist, Paul has given numerous organ recitals, both in this country and abroad. Venues include Southwell Minster, Blackburn Cathedral, St George’s, Bristol, Hanover Square, London, St Stephen’s Walbrook, London, Manchester Town Hall, Notre Dame, Paris, and regular recitals in Sherborne Abbey.
Choirs with which Paul has worked include the Grange Choral Society in Christchurch, Taunton Camerata and the Liskeard-based East Cornwall Bach Choir. He was also conductor of Sherborne School Music Society, establishing with it a reputation for high standards of choral singing and giving polished performances of many major choral works. He has been actively involved locally in leading choral music for many years, in particular as Musical Director of Sherborne Chamber Choir for most of its existence, with whom he regularly gives concerts in Sherborne Abbey and further afield with some of this country’s top soloists and orchestral players.
Paul has just retired as Director of Music of Sherborne Abbey, where for 13 years he was responsible for building a thriving choir of adults and boys, conducting them for two choral services each week in a wide range of repertoire and undertaking recordings and a number of tours. He has been Musical Director of the Sherborne Festival Chorus since its formation in 2006, giving acclaimed annual performances of major choral works with them in Sherborne Abbey Festival.