Bedford School boy sings his way to BBC Young Chorister of the Year final

Alexander Olleson

A music scholarship pupil from Bedford School is on his way to the grand final of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year.

14-year-old Alexander Olleson wowed the judges at last weekend’s semi-final, securing his place in Sunday’s final, which will be shown on BBC One.

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 was just 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.

Despite being apprehensive, Alexander said mastering his nerves had helped him progress through the competition.

“It was a great feeling to have made it to the final,” he said. “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 and staff at Bedford School are waiting with bated breath to see if Alexander can win the final this weekend.

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.

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.”

You can watch the final of BBC Young Chorister of the Year on BBC One on Sunday at 1.15pm.

Now more than ever, we need your help to fund the Bedford Independent’s quality journalism that serves our community...

We choose to champion editorial independence, meaning we report the facts without bias and can stand up to those in power when we believe it’s needed.

We can give a voice to people in our community whose voices may otherwise not be heard. And we don’t have a paywall, so everyone can read the stories we publish for free.

But in this time of crisis, many news organisations all over the world are facing existential threat, with advertising revenues plummeting. We’re no different.

We work hard every day to bring you news, commentary, entertainment and announcements from across Bedford. We hope that, with your help, we’ll be able to continue this for many years to come.

Will you help sustain our work today by clicking below ? Even a small donation makes a difference for our future.

Thank you for your support.