Ben Bloor was at Derby Grammar School from 2003 to 2010.

“On leaving Sixth Form I took a gap year as the Organ Scholar at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. This involved living and working in the castle, playing the organ for daily services in the chapel and on occasion for royalty.

I then read Music at the University of Oxford. I studied, and was Organ Scholar, at New College. Alongside my degree, I toured around the globe with New College Choir and took part in recordings and live BBC Radio broadcasts.

Currently I am the Organist at the Brompton Oratory in London where I play for weddings and accompany the professional choir in weekly Mass and Vespers. I also teach the organ at Westminster School, and keep a busy freelance portfolio giving recitals.

Playing the organ is a fairly niche thing to do, but the fact that I was so well catered for at Derby Grammar School highlights its commitment to providing the best opportunities for each of its students. Not only did I receive a wealth of encouragement from both staff and friends during my time at the school, but I was able to practice my craft in a mutually beneficial way by playing for morning assemblies and at school events.

My abiding memory of School was when I was given the chance to play the solo part in Poulenc’s Organ Concerto, accompanied by strings and percussion in Derby Cathedral as a Sixth Former. This enormous undertaking both tested my confidence and prepared me for similar events in later life – the fact that the School allowed me this privilege is a testament to their solid commitment of nurturing a pupil’s full potential.”

Ben Bloor
Ben Bloor