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Taunton's Festival of the Arts

Taunton's Festival of the Arts

Providing Life Enhancing Skills

This week and next many of our pupils will be taking part in the Taunton Festival of the Arts. Pupils from schools in the area compete in various classes, differentiated by instrument or musical genre, performing to an experienced adjudicator who then gives constructive and positive feedback before awarding prizes. Cups, trophies, medals and certificates are awarded and everyone in the audience enjoys a free concert. In the same way that our sports teams get to see what their peers in other schools are achieving in their matches each weekend, so our musicians must also be aware of the standards and abilities of those in other schools. It is always a good thing to put oneself in the spotlight, to build the confidence and steely control required to stand in front of people and to work at something difficult in order to present it to an audience. These are skills which are life enhancing and important; all skills that music, and performing music gives – alongside the well documented cognitive, academic, social and physical benefits of learning music. It is for this reason that we support the music festival and encourage our musical pupils to get involved. We will report in next week’s Courier about their successes!

Mark Cracknell
Director of Music

The Arts are Alive and Well in the West Country 

As it is the week of Taunton’s own Festival of the Arts, a celebration of the music, drama and dance that this corner of the country has to offer, I am led to reflect upon the age old argument that all of the most important aspects of the Arts are fully London centric and, that outside of the M25 bubble, creativity and innovation in the Arts is limited. The argument I have always held against this in terms of theatre is that some of the country’s most celebrated and pioneering theatre companies come from the South West. From Headlong Theatre’s brash, daring multimedia performances to Kneehigh’s innovative use of puppetry, choreography and storytelling, to Paperbirds thoughtful and provocative Theatre in Education - the South West is a vibrant, cultural hub which gives young companies the space to create. Taunton Festival of the Arts is a testament to how our young people are able to thrive, achieve and indulge in their creative passions outside of the capital and I wish all of our students who are taking part the best of luck! 

Melanie Stamp
Head of Drama and Theatre Studies