Our Director Of Music and Choir

Anne Ellis

Cert Ed, A. Mus. T. C. L., L.L.C.M (T.D) ( piano), A.T.C.L.(organ recital), A cert C.M.
Anne originally trained as a Primary School teacher, but subsequently has taught at all levels from nursery to adult. She is a specialist teacher in music and special needs. Anne is passionate about singing for all, and has always been involved in choral singing of all kinds, either as a singer but usually directing, enjoying the diversity of a variety of styles of music. Anne has experience with ladies choirs, school choirs, Church Choirs, and she founded the community youth choir Bournville Young Singers in 1986. She believes in high standards and enjoys working with people of all ages and abilities to help them reach their potential.
She has held several posts as organist and director of music in Churches throughout the Birmingham diocese, and has been established at St Mary Magdalene since 2001. In addition to her Church work, Anne runs a successful private music teaching practise and directs Bournville Voices, an adult a cappella chamber choir.

The Choir

There has been a choir at St Mary Magdalene Church for as long as anyone can remember, as this photo from the early 1950’s shows.

It is a tradition we strive to continue, singing music that is uplifting and meaningful for singers and congregation alike, whilst remaining relevant to the changing times and seasons. 

High standards are strived for and achieved by the choristers, who are dedicated and committed to presenting hymns, songs and anthems in a wide variety of styles for the variety of services at St Mary Magdalene. Singing is beneficial for all…….expressing feelings and emotions in a unique and special way. It is important for health and wellbeing and a good choir can lead a congregation to express their own feelings, and help develop and reinforce faith. 

We want to continue and maintain this tradition at St Mary Magdalene, and so new members of all ages are welcome at any time, and the present Director of Music, Anne Ellis, uses the Royal School of Church Music Voice for Life Scheme which offers courses and support to singers in all aspects of music and choral singing, enabling singers to develop and progress at their own level and own speed.

The future of the choir post-Covid

We have been in lockdown since the middle of March, and our Churches have been closed. The choir “family” has stayed in touch with each other through social media, and the well known hymns for each Sunday which Anne has uploaded on to the Church YouTube page and Facebook page (see the links below), has enabled everyone to sing at home, and feel some connection to others.

As we look to the future, we are optimistic that we will be able to sing together again in Church, but we do not know when this will be. It is likely that there will be changes, and we will be exploring ways to “socially distance” the choir. There is plenty of exciting new music to learn for the seasons of Remembrance, Advent and Christmas and the choir are eager to get to work on these.

With research ongoing into how singing is implicated in the spread of the virus, research which the bishops are currently looking into, it remains to be seen what pattern our music will take when we can meet again.  Please be assured that we will comply with whatever suggestions the medical community and the Archbishops come up with regards to singing in order to ensure the safety of our choir and visitors.

God moves in mysterious ways, and we continue to pray that He will show us the way forward, so that once more the choir can lead the congregation in songs of worship, praise, thankfulness, and hope. 

Anne's You Tube Channel

The Choir