Bedford School pupil wows judges on way to BBC Young Chorister of the Year final

A Bedford School pupil has sung his way to the grand final of BBC Young Chorister of the Year. Alexander Olleson, 14, impressed the judges at the semi-final, beating stiff competition on his way to the final, which will be shown on BBC One on Sunday.

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4th December 2020 — A Bedford School pupil has sung his way to the grand final of BBC Young Chorister of the Year.

Alexander Olleson, 14, impressed the judges at the semi-final at the weekend, beating stiff competition on his way to the final, which will be shown on BBC One on Sunday.

The fourth former, who joined the school on a music scholarship in September, has been singing for years, joining his local parish choir when he seven. He later joined Christchurch Cathedral School, singing in the school’s choir for around five years before moving to Bedford School where he now sings with their Chapel Choir.

Alexander said he was a little apprehensive before the performance but managed to fight back the nerves: “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.”

Pupils at Bedford School are waiting to see if Alexander can win the final this weekend. The talented teenager 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 of Bedford School, who was previously succentor of Christ Church Cathedral, said it was great to see Alexander rising to the challenge: “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.

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“At Bedford School, we seek to raise good people first and foremost; and then to allow them to flourish as academics, as sportsmen, as artists and above all as themselves, in a supportive and ambitious atmosphere.” Dedicated to nurturing a wide variety of individual interests and to developing them as far as boys can take them, the school is devoted to ensuring the boys love their childhood. They aim, for balanced, outward-looking, forward-thinking, kind and sociable young men who are comfortable in their own skins. In this all-boys environment, boys can develop without inhibition and awkwardness, and feel able and keen to participate to the fullest.

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