Our pupils get the opportunity to take part in concerts throughout the year, often performed in the beautiful surroundings of our school chapel. Please take time to enjoy the short film above which showcases highlights from our 2019 ‘Concerto Competition‘.
You can also listen to a performance of ‘The Armed Man’ from November 2017 and watch the full performance version of the ‘Concerto Competition‘ in the drop down menu.
Pupils embrace music from a very young age at Taunton School and follow a broad and varied curriculum as they develop their musical abilities and master a variety of musical instruments.
Courses available to Senior pupils include, Music GCSE, Music AS and A2, Music IB, as well as Music Technology AS and A2.
Pupils benefit from the expertise and experience of 27 highly qualified visiting music teachers, professional master classes and recitals and often go on to study music at conservatoires, universities and performing arts colleges.
Our Music School comprises of exceptional facilities including a state of the art music studio and technology classroom, dedicated Sixth Form teaching room, percussion studio, chamber music suite, recital room, keyboard room, numerous teaching and practice rooms and provides the perfect platform for budding musicians to explore their capabilities.
And with approximately 40 School concerts and recitals a year, pupils enjoy regular solo and group performing opportunities whilst showcasing their talents to live audiences. Our excellent music venues include The Theatre Foyer, School Chapel and Gwyn Williams Room and provide the perfect stage for performance.
Music GCSE follows the EDEXCEL syllabus. The course comprises of three sections – weighted as performance 30%, Listening and Appraising 40%, Composing 30%.
- 2 performances
- 1 solo piece
- 1 ensemble piece
- Total duration 4 minutes.
- 30% coursework, undertaken during the two year course.
- 2 compositions
- 1 set to a brief set by EDEXCEL, from a choice of 4
- 1 free composition, in any style
- Total duration of at last 3 minutes
- Music technology can be a part of this coursework
- 4 Areas of Study with 2 set works in each
- Exam with questions on the elements of music and analysis of the set works
- Areas of Study: Instrumental Music 1700-1820, Vocal Music, Music for Stage and Screen and Fusions.
- Set works include a variety of musical genres and styles, including Star Wars, Bach, Queen, Wicked and South American Fusion.
Pupils will learn to be more aware of what is happening in the music they listen to, hearing the subtleties of rhythm, harmony and instrumentation. The course will broaden musical horizons and improve pupil’s technical knowledge and performing skills.
Director of Music – Mr Mark Cracknell
Mark Cracknell, our Director of Music, has worked extensively as a soloist and accompanist around the world, working with many renowned musicians. During college he was a major prizewinner and has since gone on to achieve great things.
Notable accomplishments include performing on television and radio for the Texaco Young Welsh Musician of the Year and for the woodwind and brass sections of the BBC Young Musician of the Year. Recently, Mark has performed at prestigious venues across the UK, including the Colston Hall, Sherborne Abbey, and The Purcell School for Young Musicians. His concerts also include the international festival D’art et de Musique in France, and a radio broadcast at the Moscow Conservatoire in Russia.
Before starting at Taunton School, Mark was an accompanist and piano teacher to the specialist musicians at Wells Cathedral School.
Assistant Director of Music – Mrs Fiona Cracknell
Fiona read Music at Cardiff University after gaining a vocal scholarship and was awarded a Bachelor of Music degree with honours in 2004, specialising in American and English Song and the liturgical music of Hector Berlioz. While at University she won many national vocal prizes and the opportunity to perform with both Welsh National Opera and British Youth Opera. Upon completion of her degree, Fiona gained her Licentiate of the Royals Schools of Music in Singing and had the opportunity to study with Renee Fleming at the Julliard School in New York.
As a singer, Fiona enjoys performing frequently as a soloist in recital and oratorio throughout the UK and further afield, and has had the privilege of working with leading professionals including Sir Bryn Terfel, Willard White, John Rutter, Simon Rattle, Sir David Willcocks and Sir Colin Davis.
She is currently Assistant Director of Music at Taunton School and loves combining her passion for music as both an academic and practical subject with her enthusiasm for working with young people. She is so proud of all the department has achieved, with particular highlights being running her wonderful Advanced Vocal Ensemble, a performance of ‘The Armed Man’ at Wells Cathedral, directing ‘Phantom of the Opera’ ‘CATS’ and ‘Evita’, and co-leading a tour to New York to premiere the ‘Taunton School Anthem’ by Howard Gooddall.
Taunton School offers 13+ and Sixth Form scholarships in Music. For more information, please visit the Scholarship page on the website.