Fourth Former Alexander Olleson has wowed judges on his way to the grand final of BBC Young Chorister of the Year and we are waiting with bated breath to see if his performance on Sunday is enough to secure him the title.
Alexander joined the school on a music scholarship in September and has been singing for years, joining his local parish choir when he was seven. He later moved to be a chorister at Christ Church Cathedral in Oxford, where he sang with the world-renowned choir for five years. The choir sings for seven services a week in the cathedral, as well as performing in concerts, recordings and tours. Whilst Alexander was there, the choir visited the USA, China, Germany and Oman. He now sings in the Chapel Choir here at Bedford School.
Alexander said he was a little apprehensive before the performance but managed to fight back the nerves.
He said: “It was a great feeling to have made it to the final.
“When you are nervous it is definitely harder to sing, I have had solos before where I have slipped a note because of nerves.
“I think that was one of the main reasons I managed to get through to the final – because I managed to keep my nerves under control.
“If you are confident in yourself, you can sing much better.”
Alexander has not let lockdown get in the way of his singing practice, joining his local parish choir through video conferencing to make sure he keeps his voice in good shape.
Neil McCleery, Chaplain, who was previously succentor of Christ Church Cathedral, said it was great to see Alexander rising to the challenge.
He said: “It has been a joy to see first-hand Alexander’s progress as a musician and more broadly as a young man since joining us at Bedford School.
“The English Choral Tradition is a unique cultural treasure, and I am immeasurably proud of Alexander’s success in this prestigious competition which recognises his dedication, talent, and enthusiasm for this very special part of our living musical heritage.”
The final of BBC Young Chorister of the Year is on BBC One on Sunday at 1.15pm.