Born into a musical family, Elvey started his career as a boy, singing at Canterbury Cathedral. Later, he received more formal training at the Royal Academy of Music. Around 1835, he was appointed ?master of the boys? and organist at St. George?s Chapel, Windsor, England (one of his tunes, ?St George?s Windsor? takes its name from this location). He served at St. George?s for almost half a century. He was knighted in 1871 for his Festival March, played at the wedding of Princess Louise.