Dave Taylor is our Musical Director for Rapunzel The Lockdown Pantomime. You may see him in the band on the day of the performance. As well as conducting the band he is going to be playing keyboard, trumpet, piccolo, flute, clarinet and saxophone.

What is a Musical Director in a Theatre?

A Musical Director also known as a Conductor leads a cast, orchestra, choir and other musical groups during a performance. They select musical arrangements and compositions to be performed and study musical scores to prepare for rehearsals.

What are the main responsibilities of a Musical Director?

  • Attend creative team meetings with the Director and Choreographer to develop the overall vision of the show
  • Study the script and music
  • Participate in auditions, evaluate the vocal abilities of all auditionees and offer suggestions on which individual might be best suited to each role based on vocal performance
  • Teach music to the cast and musicians
  • Attend rehearsals
  • Lead regular warm-ups with the cast and musicians before shows
  • Normally serves as the conductor during live performances, directing the orchestra

Dave Taylor answers your questions!

Question from Tom in King’s Lynn:

“When we are singing Fabulous Baby there are some bits that we don’t sing. What are they for and will they be the same on the day?”

Question from Lesley in Great Yarmouth:

“Some of us are finding the last note of Fabulous Baby is too high to sing. Is there another note we can sing instead?”

Question from Alice in Wymondham: 

“In the song it’s pantomime how will we know when to start singing again after ‘it’s behind you’ and will it be the same as the rehearsal tracks?”

Question from Rachel in Cromer:

“We have been practicing Girls Just Wanna Have fun and it sounds like there are some bits missing, why is that please?”

 About Dave Taylor

Dave Taylor has been a music teacher for around 15 years. Before that he was a musician in the Army for 24 years. This is where he learned how to play woodwind instruments to a very high level, particularly the saxophone. He is very keen on jazz, blues and big band music, and loves improvising on the saxophone. In the army, he learned how to lead ensembles, conduct wind bands and play a very varied range of musical styles and genres. He also learnt how to arrange music for different combinations of instruments and has written several pieces of music too.

Since becoming a music teacher he has worked in many schools in Lincolnshire and Norfolk. This was sometimes doing individual or small group lessons on woodwind and brass instruments but also doing Whole Class Ensemble Teaching. He was part of a small team who trialled mixed instrument class lessons in Lincolnshire. Whilst in Lincolnshire he added even more instruments to his list including Samba, Djembe and Taiko drumming, and Ukulele.

Since moving to Norfolk in 2018, as well as teaching, Dave has joined the excellent team coaching the Norfolk Wind Ensembles and is currently the conductor of the Schools (Intermediate) Wind Band and the Training Jazz Band. He has also added yet more instruments to his list.

He still plays in bands and orchestras and says that this keeps his musical skills at the highest level they can be. He enjoys the variety of being a multi-instrumentalist.

During the first lockdown, Dave kept up his writing skills by arranging and composing music for school lockdown projects.

Finally, he is extremely excited to be the Musical Director of Rapunzel The Lockdown Pantomime! Oh yes he is!