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Bedford School Upper Sixth Former Wins Scholarship to Berklee College

Published Friday 27th of April 2018 11:41:33 AM

Bedford School Upper Sixth Former Ollie Graham received some incredibly exciting news over the Easter holidays. After a rigorous and demanding application process, Ollie found out that he had won a $13,000 scholarship to study at the preeminent Berklee College of Music on a four-year Film Scoring course. Ollie said that he literally gasped with shock when he read the email. Followed by what seemed like an eternal wait (while his phone temporarily froze), he then went on to read that not only had he been successful in gaining a place, but that the place is unconditional and that he will go there as a scholar. The application process took place over a two-year period and Ollie was required to devote a great deal of time and energy to the various elements. Ollie received copious amounts of support from the school’s Head of Careers and UCAS, Mrs Lincoln; meeting with her every week for two years! Ollie said, “I’m eternally grateful to Mrs Lincoln for all her expertise in the application process and for supporting me throughout.” In addition to the administrative side of the process, Ollie was required to score three music compositions. He was then put through his musical paces at a London-based interview day. Here he was asked to play the drums in a variety of different styles including jazz, march and rock, as well as take part in a Latin inspired jam session. His voice and note recognition were put to the test when he was asked to sing back notes played on the piano, and identify whether the note was flat or sharp. This was then followed by a formal interview with the Music Director from Berklee. Music Director at Bedford School, Mr Jonathan Sanders, said, “I am really pleased for Ollie – he has worked so hard for this. The Film Scoring course at Berklee College of Music is extremely popular and sought-after, so Ollie has done incredibly well not only to have been offered a place but also to have won a scholarship there.” Ollie’s musical repertoire since joining Bedford school has been impressive to say the least. He has conducted and led many musical events at the school, most recently the outstanding ‘Evening of Film Music’ for which he arranged and conducted excerpts of music from many big Hollywood Blockbusters. He has also composed music scores for various school productions as well as some external productions. Ollie’s first study instrument is the drum kit, followed by piano and guitar – all of which he plays to a high standard. He also plays the Chinese flute, ukulele and double bass. He is currently studying Music Technology, Design Technology and Business at A-Level, and will sit his exams this summer.
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