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 developed 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 and earned 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 and Notre Dame, Paris.
Choirs with which Paul has worked include the Grange Choral Society in Christchurch, Taunton Camerata, Sherborne School Music Society and East Cornwall Bach Choir. Paul has also been Chorusmaster to Dorset Opera and Associate Conductor to the 1994 Reigate Summer School. He has conducted the Dorset Guild of Singers in the Wessex Hall, Poole in performances of Verdi’s Requiem and Handel’s Israel in Egypt and also led workshops on South American Baroque music for the South West Early Music Forum.
Paul has been actively involved locally in leading choral music for many years, in particular as Musical Director of the chamber choir for much of its existence. He was Director of Music of Sherborne Abbey for 13 years until his retirement in 2019, where 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 Sherborne Festival Chorus since its formation in 2006, giving annual performances with them in Sherborne Abbey Festival of major choral works such as Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony and Sancta Civitas, Elgar Gerontius, The Kingdom and The Apostles, Mendelssohn Elijah, and Verdi and Brahms Requiems. He is also accompanist for Wareham Choral Society.