Ashley Grote is presented to the Queen
Gloucester Cathedral’s Assistant Director of Music, Ashley Grote, was invited to attend a reception at Buckingham Palace to celebrate young people in the performing arts. The reception was hosted by the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh.
Ashley was nominated for the distinction by the Royal College of Organists, of which the Queen is Patron.
At the reception, he was presented to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh and rubbed shoulders with the likes of Dame Helen Mirren, Kevin Spacey, Jools Holland, Goldie, Jamie Cullum and Duffy.
“It was great fun,” said Ashley. “It was amazing to walk through the doors which we’d seen on television during the royal wedding coverage just a couple of weeks before.”
Ashley will be performing in one of the highlights of the Cathedral’s 2011 organ recital series on Saturday 11 June at 7.30pm. He will be taking part in a ‘Battle of the Organs’ between international concert organist Carlo Curley on his digital organ and Ashley playing the Cathedral’s instrument. Described by Carlo as “rock’n’roll power without the pain” this show-stopping concert will include Handel – Fireworks music, Widor – Toccata from symphony 5, Gigout – Grand Choeur Dialogue, Benjamin – Jamaican Rumba and Sousa – The Stars and Stripes Forever.
Ashley Grote is Assistant Director of Music at Gloucester Cathedral, where he plays the organ for the Cathedral’s principal services and accompanies the Cathedral choir in their busy schedule of concerts, tours and broadcasts. He assists the Director of Music in the running of the Cathedral choir, and conducts the Cathedral’s flourishing Youth Choir who sing evensong weekly.
Ashley is also Conductor of the St Cecilia Singers, a Gloucester based chamber-choir who celebrate their 60th anniversary this year.
A former Organ scholar of King’s College, Cambridge, Ashley was Assistant Organist of Westminster Abbey before moving to Gloucester in April 2008. During his time at the Abbey, he took part in many prestigious events that included the service celebrating the Diamond Wedding of HM The Queen.
Born in 1982, Ashley was a chorister at King’s College, Cambridge where he began organ lessons with David Goode, and was subsequently top music scholar at Uppingham School. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists in 2001 and, after a year as Organ Scholar of St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, Ashley returned to Cambridge to study for a degree in music. As Organ Scholar at King’s, he performed worldwide with the famous Chapel Choir in numerous tours, concerts and broadcasts, including the annual ‘Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols’. He was also Assistant Conductor for the Cambridge University Musical Society orchestras.
Described as a ‘sensitive and expressive’ performer (The Sunday Telegraph), Ashley has performed throughout the UK and Europe, with recent engagements including concerts in Germany and Finland as well as Durham, Truro, Hereford, Worcester and Westminster Cathedrals. He was a prize winner at the Dublin International Organ Competition in 2005, a semi-finalist in the St Albans International Organ Competition in 2007, and has held the prestigious W.T. Best scholarship from the Worshipful Company of Musicians of whom he is a Freeman. He continues to study in London with Nicolas Kynaston.
Ashley is also Director of the Edington Festival of Music within the Liturgy which takes place every August and brings together singers from Cathedrals and Churches across the UK.