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Inspirational Taunton School student wins Pride of Somerset Youth Award

Posted: 12th May 2023

Inspirational Taunton School student wins Pride of Somerset Youth Award

A Taunton School musician who continues to raise thousands of pounds for charities working in Ukraine has been awarded the Sandy Padgett Pride of Somerset Youth Award 2023.

Music scholar Anthony Knight, 17, is continuing his plight to raise money for the Ukraine Appeal, run by the UK’s Disasters and Emergencies Committee, through his musical talents. Since July last year Anthony has performed violin recitals at 42 churches across Somerset, raising more than £8,500.

In February this year he was awarded a top regional accolade – which recognises an outstanding contribution to the community – by the High Sheriff of Somerset, Jennifer Duke. This month sees him being selected as the winner of the Pride of Somerset Youth Award 2023 for his continued fundraising efforts.

The 16th year of the awards took place on the 11th May. The event recognises young people that have ‘shown acts of kindness, overcome adversity or helped their local community in some way.’ Previous winners include the England cricketer Jos Buttler, British Gymnast Laura Gallagher and Paris Paralympic-hopeful wheelchair athlete Jamie Edwards. Anthony was presented with the award, which is named in honour of District Commander for Somerset West Sandy Padgett, by Somerset Commander for Avon and Somerset Police, Dickon Turner.

Anthony, from Minehead, began offering to play 15 minutes of Bach at the end of Anglican church services after he was moved by the plight of the Ukrainian refugees. He plans to continue fundraising over his summer break as he heads to Europe to perform recitals in nine cities across six different countries in just 15 days.

Anthony will be travelling with his parents and staying in basic accommodation whilst he performs for free in a number of different hotel lobbies in Brussels, Frankfurt, Bern, Milan, Venice, Vienna, Prague, Berlin and Cologne.

Philip Edwards, Anthony’s Housemaster at Taunton School, said, “Anthony is an exceptional young man.  He is using his enormous talent to support those who need help.  I was delighted to hear that his generosity has been recognised and I hope that his story inspires other young people to make a positive difference also.  We are all very proud of him, and wish him luck in his next fundraising adventure around Europe!”

Anthony is the current Taunton Young Musician of the Year, and also the recent winner of the Taunton School Concerto Competition, leading to performances of the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto and Vivaldi Winter from The Four Seasons with professional orchestras. Anthony aspires to continue his violin studies beyond school, applying to the country’s top conservatoires.

Music plays a crucial role in the daily life of Taunton School. With an extensive range of orchestras, bands and ensembles, and numerous performing opportunities every week, the school enjoys a reputation for excellence in music. Current students also perform with national and county choirs and orchestras, and former students include West End Musical Director, Chris Ma. Former Taunton School musicians have gone on to study at top music universities and conservatoires including the Royal Academy of Music, Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Berklee College of Music in Boston.

To help him raise funds for UNICEF please see his Go Fund Me link below –


Categories: News Senior Sixth Form