Born and raised in Northern Ireland, Ben was an undergraduate at St Andrews University, where he held the Cedric Thorpe Davie Vocal Scholarship for five years and was senior choral scholar at Holy Trinity Church.
While still an undergraduate, Ben performed as a concert soloist with numerous groups across Fife and Central Scotland, in works including Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St John Passion, Mozart’s Mass in C Minor, Haydn’s Nelson Mass and Requiems by Duruflé, Fauré and Mozart. He was also very involved with St Andrews’ Opera and sang the roles of Aeneas in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Sir Henry Milhouse in Roger Scruton’s The Minister and Tarquinius in Britten’s Rape of Lucretia. He also worked extensively with the Gilbert & Sullivan Society both as a soloist and musical director.
Ben was considered to be one of the most outstanding singers who had studied at St Andrews in over 25 years and his bass solo in Handel’s Messiah was described as “perfection”. Ben moves to London to continue his vocal studies.
How the Award Helped
The Dewar Arts Awards will help him pursue a Master of Vocal Performance at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
At the end of his first year, Ben successfully auditioned for the Guildhall Opera Course and was moved onto the Advanced Certificate in Opera course. His award was extended for a second and final year to enable him to complete a MMus in Vocal Performance.