Organ students

New Paths continues to focus on educational work, again hosting three specially selected organ students for the duration of the festival. They will receive guidance from festival artists in the organ masterclass, will perform in the Musical Tour of the Minster, and will contribute to our Festival Worship at St Mary’s.

Paul Greally | organ student

Paul Greally is a Year 10 student at Watford Grammar School for Boys. He began playing the piano at the age of 4 and gained a Distinction in Grade 8 when he was 10. In 2012, Paul won 1st Prize in the finals of the Advanced Piano Category 1 of the European Piano Teachers’ Association (UK) National Piano competition, held in Manchester. He then began organ lessons with Michael Turvey MBE, and gained a Distinction in Grade 8, followed by the CertRCO Diploma in 2016.

Paul is the organ scholar at Pinner Parish Church and will accompany the choir on their Dublin tour this summer, which will include a service at St Patrick’s Cathedral. Paul has already given several solo organ recitals in St Mary’s Watford and St Peter’s Berkhamsted and as the winner of the junior section of the first London Organ Competition he will give recitals in Holbrook and Oakham in May. He received generous bursaries from the James Trust, the Royal College of Organists and the Alan Spedding Fund to attend courses: the Chetham’s International Summer School and the Oundle Summer School for Organists 2015 & 2016. He was subsequently awarded both an Oundle Mentoring Award (which involved spending Remembrance Day with the musicians in the organ loft at St George’s Chapel, Windsor) and an Oundle Recital Award (St Laurence’s, Upminster).

Paul studies composition with Edmund Jolliffe. He won the Frank Martin Memorial Award for his jazz quartet, Seattle, in the 2015 EPTA National Composers’ Competition. In 2017 he won first prize in the Music Education Expo competition; his setting of Ave Maria for SATB was then premiered by The Schola Cantorum at the London Olympia Music & Drama Education Expo.

Paul also has a Distinction in Grade 8 drums, and he has just started to play electric guitar. He is a keen jazz pianist, and he performed with the National Youth Jazz Orchestra (NYJO London) at the London Music Awards at the Roundhouse.

Ben Mills | organ student

Ben Mills is the Magnus Organ Scholar at the Parish Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Newark-on-Trent, where he is part of a team of three, including the Director of Music, Dr Stephen Bullamore, and the Assistant Organist, Harry Jacques. He regularly accompanies the choir, plays voluntaries and will give his debut recital in the summer. He also occasionally conducts the choir and assists in teaching the choristers. He has been playing the organ for 8 years, and is taught by Simon Hogan at Southwell Minster.

Having finished his secondary education at Nottingham High School last summer, Ben is currently on a gap year, spending his time learning new repertoire and building on his musical education. He recently gained his Grade 8 Organ (with distinction) and his Grade 8 Piano. He plans to study music at University after taking a further gap year.

Asher Oliver | organ student

Asher Oliver is currently the Junior Organ Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he is in his first year reading Music. He is a former pupil of Chetham’s School of Music, where he studied the organ with Christopher Stokes. He began his musical training aged 8, as a chorister at Manchester Cathedral, and later rejoined the music department there as Junior Organ Scholar in his 6th Form years.

Before heading up to Trinity in October 2016, Asher spent a gap year as Organ Scholar at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle, in which role he regularly accompanied and directed the Chapel Choir in their daily services, as well as assisting in training the choristers. He currently studies the organ with Colin Walsh, and Stephen Farr.