TOM Brimelow has been appointed director of music at King's College and King's Hall School, Taunton.

He joins from Exeter School, where he was assistant director of music.

After studying music at the University of Edinburgh, he started his teaching career at Gordano School, in Portishead, before moving to Sherborne School, where he taught music and music technology.

A former lay clerk at both Truro Cathedral and St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh, he has a passion for choral music, plays the piano and violin, and has an interest in the philosophy of music.

Mr Brimelow said: "I am genuinely excited to be working with such talented colleagues in a school with a rich choral tradition.

"We recognise the benefits of music as not just an enjoyable pastime, but to the all-round brain gym.

"Music improves emotional wellbeing, engages visual, auditory and kinaesthetic styles of learning and develops scientific, mathematical, linguistic and creative thinking.”

He joins King's Hall head of music Gareth Dayus-Jones, who studied music at King’s College Cambridge, is a trained pianist and sang as both a soloist and in internationally regarded vocal ensembles such as The King's Consort, The Eric Whitacre Singers, London Voices and The Queen’s Six.

He was a lay clerk at St George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, for eight years, which allowed him to take part in many prestigious events.

While highlights in his singing career include a role in the world premiere of Stockhausen’s opera Mittwoch aus Licht, working with Eric Whitacre as a member of the Eric Whitacre Singers, and singing in several operas staged at the Royal Albert Hall, pupils tend to be more impressed with the fact that he sang on the soundtracks to The Hobbit, Flushed Away and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.

Currently, pupils at both schools are looking forward to a busy Christmas period of concerts and carol services and then, in the New Year, King’s Hall’s orchestra will be taking part in the postponed TYCA music festival, where they will be playing a composition written especially for them by the composer JJ Hathaway.

The performance will be the culmination of a number of workshops and rehearsals which have given them access to players from the professional Southern Sinfonia orchestra and have been led by their conductor, Simon Chalk.