Rachael is delighted to lead the Guildhall Young Artists Taunton team as Head of Centre, which post she took up in September 2014, following on from Tomas Yardley.
Rachael is passionate about music and music education and in addition to running GYA Taunton she continues to teach saxophone and clarinet in several schools as well as privately, and runs a variety of ensembles for students.
Rachael trained at Arts Educational School and the universities of Surrey, North Texas USA, and London (Goldsmiths College). Whilst at the University of Surrey she studied saxophone with Steve Cottrell, Jean Toussaint, Simon Haram and John Harle at Guildhall School of Music & Drama. Rachael also studied piano with Peter Croser (then pianist in residence at London’s Centre for Young Musicians), and clarinet with Barnaby Robson.
Rachael has performed with professional orchestras in St John’s Smith Square, London, and Dorking Halls, Surrey, amongst many other venues. Solo recitals as a saxophonist have been given at Croydon’s Fairfield Hall, Southwark Festival, the Colour House Theatre and the South Bank in London.
Rachael played keyboards and reeds in the band The Big Idea, reeds and backing vocals in the band Astrea, and also worked with the band Mass Producers, an all-girl, 20-saxophone band with concerts in England and Scotland. TV work includes the soundtrack to BBC1’s drama Maisie Raine, featuring Pauline Quirke.
Rachael has been a proud member of the Musicians’ Union since 1994 and from 2013 to 2020 she served on the MU’s Education Section Committee. In June 2018 she was elected to serve on the Executive Committee of the MU, and her term has been extended to the end of 2022. Rachael believes the MU does very important work to help shape Government policy which affects the lives of thousands of professional musicians and music educators in the UK, hence her involvement as a volunteer.
Whilst living and working in London, for nine years Rachael taught saxophone at James Allen’s Girls’ School, and taught piano at the British Record Industry Trust Performing Arts School. She taught several pupils at the BRIT School who are now really famous but you’ll have to ask her who they are.
As an adjudicator Rachael has adjudicated for the woodwind classes of Blackheath Music Festival, the talent contest at Taunton School International, and the house singing competition at King’s Hall School.
Since 2003 Rachael has been based in Taunton Deane where she is a freelance performer on saxophone and clarinet, and has performed many solo recitals in a wide variety of venues. She has worked with OrchestraWest under the late John Cole and with rock and classical musician Darryl Way, a founder member of Curved Air.
In 2019 Rachael completed the Foundation Level Coaching & Mentoring course at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, and in 2021 Rachael completed the Women Into Leadership level 2 course at City of Bristol College.
Rachael is a member of the Musicians’ Union, the National Education Union and the Clarinet & Saxophone Society of GB (CASSGB). She is the Designated Safeguarding Lead (DSL) for Guildhall Young Artists Taunton and a qualified First Aider (February 2020).
If you wish to speak to Rachael about any aspect of GYA Taunton please ring 07754 217993 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.