Each September, Hereford Cathedral welcomes four music scholars to join the cathedral community. Over the next few weeks we will be meeting each of them to find out how their year is going so far. First up is Ollie Fulwell our tenor choral scholar for this year...

Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Ollie Fulwell and I’m originally from Blackburn. I was head chorister at Blackburn Cathedral Choir before depping in the back row there and also sang with various other choirs including the Cathedral Chamber Choir as Junior Scholar. I spent two years at the Junior Royal Northern College of Music studying trombone as my principal instrument and voice as my second instrument before coming here to become the tenor choral scholar.

How did your musical journey begin?

I started in the children’s choir at Blackburn Cathedral when I was 4 or 5 - my mum is very into music and was keen to get me involved. So I started there, and started learning a little piano as well alongside it. It probably wasn’t until I joined the Blackburn Cathedral Choir that I really got into my music and that is when I decided it was something I wanted to do for the foreseeable future.

What made you come to Hereford Cathedral?

Hereford was recommended to me by people at Blackburn and other people in the music community due to its good reputation. When I came for my interview and audition I thought the atmosphere was welcoming and friendly, I really got along well with the music staff and as a result felt that this was going to be the place for me.

How are you finding life in Hereford?

I’m really enjoying life in Hereford, it’s more friendly than I could ever have imagined. I am with a really good team of lay clerks, the music department are all great and the congregation have all been friendly. Lots of people have invited us for dinner from all parts of the cathedral community which has really helped us to settle in!

What does a day in the life of a scholar look like?

There are daily scholar rehearsals, as well as time spent learning music individually and socialising with the lay clerks. Once a week we take part in the music department meeting and we also supervise the boys on a daily basis before their rehearsal which involves keeping them entertained. We sit in on their rehearsals and make sure everyone is behaving and then once a week we go to the school and teach them theory, from beginner level up to Grade 5. It really develops your teaching skills and it’s made me realise that teaching is something I do enjoy. 

What has been the highlight of your time here so far?

Our December tour to Bologna, despite being brief, was a really nice way to experience the culture of another country. We also had the opportunity to sing in different places, taking part in flashmobs on the flight and in the centre of Bologna, as well as the beautiful Church of San Procolo.

What are you most looking forward to during the rest of your time here?

I’m really looking forward to taking part in the Three Choirs Festival. It will be nice to see my former director of music Sam Hudson leading it and it will be an amazing opportunity to take part in something of such a large scale – something which I haven’t really done before.

What are your plans for after this year?

Next year I am off to study music at the University of York and plan on music being a part of my life moving forward by continuing with my orchestral playing and making the most of any opportunity I get to sing.

Our scholars will be performing at the Choral Scholars' Mass on Thursday 19 March, 12 noon. Click here to find out more about this event and the Lent Lunch which follows the service.