Taunton School students Daisy Hickson and Hetty Christopher have been crowned Young Musician and Junior Musician of the Year at the Taunton Festival of the Arts. It is the first time in the competition’s long history that a school has had winners in both categories.

Daisy Hickson, who is 15-years-old, wowed the judges with her stunning performances on clarinet. She played the technically demanding “Dance Preludes” by Lutoslawski and “Viktor’s Tale” by John Williams, securing 1st place as Taunton Young Musician of the Year.

In the Junior Musician category (for 13 years and under), Year 9 student Hetty Christopher topped the leaderboard with her incredible performances of “Legende” by Enescu and Arutiunian’s “Concert Scherzo”.

No other school has had students in both categories claiming first place in this competition, which is recognised as the only major music competition in the South West.

A number of students from Taunton School entered the competition and a notable mention must also be made to Year 11 student George Knowles who claimed fourth place (highly commended) for his tuba solo in a very high standard category.

Director of Music, Mark Cracknell commented: “I am delighted that the hard work and dedication of Hetty and Daisy to their musical pursuits has been recognised by the Taunton Young Musician Competition. We are very proud of all our music scholars, all of whom are making excellent progress and taking advantage of the many opportunities available through the Taunton School Music Department. We pride ourselves on aiming for the highest musical standards for all pupils, whilst encouraging everyone to participate and gain an experience of the wonderful positive power of music. Having the winners of both the Senior and Junior competitions shows the strength and quality of the musical provision here.”