If you have been walking along Town Walls in Shrewsbury over the last term, you may well have heard music pouring out of Shrewsbury High School as the school’s new Director of Music, Jon Deakin, leads the girls in their choir and orchestra rehearsals.
Music has always played a key role in the life of the school and this autumn the school is thrilled to have welcomed two new accomplished musicians to its teaching staff – both with big plans to include as many pupils and students from across the county in their exciting new musical adventures.
Mr Deakin joined Shrewsbury High School from another GDST school, The Belvedere Academy in Liverpool, whose music department won the “Best School Music Department” at the Music Teacher Awards earlier this year. An outstanding pianist, Mr Deakin is excited about putting Shrewsbury High on the map as a centre of musical excellence in the county. “I love to conduct and arrange beautiful and exciting music for young people to play, hopefully inspiring that same love for music I first felt at around the same age. I believe that an outstanding music department should be one huge, supportive community; a place where pupils feel welcome to come to express themselves through a wide range of exciting musical enrichment”.
Also joining Shrewsbury High School is new Assistant Head and Director of Sixth Form Dominic Neville, an accomplished musician and former Choral Scholar in the world famous choir of King’s College, Cambridge. He has conducted in many of Europe’s most prestigious venues, for BBC Doctor Who and a Hollywood feature film, and has trained choirs for Sir Simon Rattle and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as the award winning Paul McCreesh and Gabrieli Consort, whose recording of Coronation Music recently attracted a 5 star review in The Times.
It is this very special link with conductor Paul McCreesh that has inspired Mr Neville to set up the Shrewsbury Youth Chamber Choir with Mr McCreesh as Patron, a youth choir open to pupils aged 13-18 from all schools across Shropshire. Mr Neville welcomes boys and girls to this new, exciting and ambitious choir for young people. Rehearsals take place at Shrewsbury High School every Wednesday evening from 4.30 – 6.00pm and anyone interested in getting involved and would like to come for a taster session and find out more should email ShrewsburyYouthCC@gmail.com. You can find out more about music at Shrewsbury High School at www.shrewsburyhigh.gdst.net.