Head of Academic Music
After completing his studies at The Trinity College of Music and York University, Darren started his career in teaching, joining the Hurst Music Department in 2010. In addition to his school duties, he also works as a freelance musician, accompanist, church organist and composer. He is busy in and around the Sussex area where he works with both amateur and professional musicians, enjoying opportunities to perform on stage as much as writing and directing musicals.
Music is an integral part of school life at Hurst and it is viewed as a subject for all. Academic music is taught by a well-qualified team of academic and professional musicians.
A wide ranging activity, Music provides intellectual, emotional and artistic satisfaction as well as developing the ability to communicate through performance. The skills required are helpful in many areas of academia and the merits of studying music are well documented.
In the Sixth Form, we offer A-level Music and A-level Music Technology. We also provide appropriate tuition by specialist teachers in the Music School. The Music department has a long record of excellent results at A-level. Class sizes are healthy, but small enough to allow for some flexibility when selecting exam material.
A-level Music is a natural extension to the GCSE course, it also requires students to compose, perform and study set works in preparation for a listening exam, and includes a substantial coursework element. We follow the OCR specification.
Music Technology A-level caters for those students who have enjoyed studying music at GCSE and are interested in furthering their knowledge of popular Music. There is a well-equipped recording studio with seven workstations which run the latest professional software. Here, students can learn to record their own performances as well as write their own dance tracks. There is also a listening exam which is based upon a wide range of music from different periods and styles. We follow the EDEXCEL specification.
Below is a video of one of our Sixth Form students playing the piano.
The College has impressive facilities for music, which include dedicated teaching rooms, a Mac suite with composing software, practice rooms for individual lessons, a music hall for concerts, a recording studio with seven workstations running the latest professional software and a soundproof drum room.
The Music Department has a pedigree of preparing students for some of the best universities, colleges and conservatoires in the country. In recent years, a number of students have also been successfully prepared for Choral Scholarships at both Oxford and Cambridge universities. This success has also been replicated in the Music Technology Department where students have progressed to study on the prestigious Tonmeister course at the University of Surrey.