Talented Ottery organist gears up for first solo concert

PUBLISHED: 16:32 23 February 2009 | UPDATED: 08:34 18 June 2010

A TALENTED teenage Ottery organist, whose skills were spotted by a church cleaner, is gearing up for his first solo concert in April.

A TALENTED teenage Ottery organist, whose skills were spotted by a church cleaner, is gearing up for his first solo concert in April.

Music-mad Ben Scott, 16, a sixth former at The King's School was overheard playing the piano in Ottery's parish church in 2006 and is now gearing up for an evening of music in the venue on April 18.

Ottery resident and church cleaner Flo Rowland brought Ben's ivory tinkling talents to the attention of organ teacher and concert pianist Ruth Swift three years ago- and the rest they say, is history.

Modest Ben, who has also mastered the harpsichord, accordion, keyboard, electric, acoustic and bass guitars since he first picked up a violin when he was six, devotes two hours to playing the organ in the church three times a week and is looking forward to his big night.

He said: "Music allows me to express myself much more than anything else - I just put all my heart and soul into every piece I play.

"If I wasn't nervous then I would be worried, but if all goes well it will be a fantastic evening - the church has never done anything like this before. We will use a projection system mean people at the front and back will be able to see my hands and feet playing."

"I think my reputation is the opposite to what I wanted it to be at the moment as the boy who always makes a loud noise. I don't think anyone has ever heard me play quietly and am hoping to change that at the concert."

Ben cites his Wurlitzer playing grandfather and two pianist grandmothers as the sparks for his musical odyssey and hopes his talents will one day give him the chance to play the world's biggest instrument- an organ in Atlantic City in the US.

He said: "I'm hoping to get a university organ scholarship to King's College London

and would love to study in Paris as well at some point. To be the artist in residence in Atlantic City one day would be a dream come true. "

Ben has bagged the services of Cambridge Organ Scholar Damian Thompson for the evening as well as other young instrumentalists from his A-level music group.

Ben said: "The youth today has such a bad image. We need to promote young people playing music and raise this."

The event will also raise funds for Melanesian Mission charity.

Tickets for the concert are available from Ottery's Tourist Information Centre on (01404) 813964.


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