Shaun Bracey – The short Biography
Born to music-loving parents, Shaun is a versatile musician who composes, conducts, and performs a wide range of music on several instruments. His releases include instrumental and vocal works from the worlds of classical, jazz, world and popular music. He is a passionate educator with experience working in state, private and international schools as well as tutoring individuals. Shaun has been commissioned by indiviuals to write pieces for a variety of occasions including weddings, anniversaries, birthdays and charity auctions.
Shaun Bracey – The Long Biography
Shaun Bracey loves music passionately! An eternal optimist, his music is often joyous and uplifting. He plays many instruments, (some better than others!) and is currently Director of Music at Port Regis School and an Associate Lecturer at the University of Lincoln. He is very happily married to Carol, with three delightful children (according to his mother in law and many others), Rebecca, Clara and Theo. He loves life, people, food and nature, and looks forward to the future, whatever it may hold.
Born in 1967, Shaun was brought up on a strict musical diet of Italian opera and was effectively banned from listening to popular music. This ensured a determination to learn from every new listening experience, and as a result his composition portfolio is very eclectic, ranging from pop tunes and stage musicals through Arabic inspired compositions to serious pieces involving complex structural and rhythmic properties.
Encouraged to study mathematics and physics, Shaun naturally ended up studying music at Huddersfield University, specialising in composition. The annual Huddersfield contemporary music festival had a profound effect on his eager ears and planted the desire to compose professionally. Everyone else however seemed to think he needed to find a proper job and he spent a year on a Postgraduate Certificate of Education course, qualifying as a teacher of secondary music. Thankfully Shaun loves teaching, (especially the “difficult” children) and four years teaching in Peterborough were followed by two heads of department posts at schools in Dubai.
Just before leaving England’s green and pleasant land in 1995 Shaun launched an album of pieces inspired by his native Devon landscapes entitled “Sound Pictures of the South Hams”. In Dubai, the influence of Arabic music resulted in the haunting “Desert Song” for piano trio. “The World as One” followed, an ambitious work in eight movements for choir and orchestra drawing inspiration from the seven continents. At this time Shaun had his first experience of working twenty hours a day preparing orchestral parts. Thankfully soon after this the Sibelius music programme was launched, an historical event for which Shaun is eternally grateful.
Family life rightfully took priority with the birth of Rebecca in 1999 but Shaun has been composing regularly since then. Works composed in Dubai include Three Arabian Pieces for youth orchestra, chamber music and several piano works. He was the conductor for the Dubai Chamber Choir, Dubai Singers and Dubai Youth Orchestra.
In 2002 Shaun was a prize winner at the Concorso due Agosto in Bologna with his work for violin and orchestra entitled “From Tragedy to Hope“. This work was premiered in Bologna’s Piazza Magiore and Shaun was very pleased at the enthusiastic “bravo” from the Italian audience. He completed a work entitled “Fragments of Hope” in July 2003, commissioned by the Lebanese flautist Wissam Boustany, whose indefatigable pursuit of peace through his charity “Towards Humanity” has impressed Shaun ever since they met in 1997. On the 22nd August 2003 Shaun was involved in a serious road accident. While recovering at his parents’ house in Devon he composed twelve songs and arranged them for a 15 piece band. The songs are dedicated to everyone who has contributed to his life so far. A video of one of them, Chained Freedom, can be watched below.
Full recovery from the accident took over a year and during this time Shaun concentrated his efforts on rehearsing and recording the songs. In 2006 Shaun took up the post of Director of Music at the prestigious Port Regis preparatory school in Shaftesbury, Dorset. He continued to write musicals (which now total nine) including The Crystal Palace and Beneath the Stars, both performed at The Stables Theatre, Milton Keynes. In 2017 he collaborated with his brother Andrew, Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at the University of Lincoln, for Bummock; The Lace Archive which was exhibited at The Backlit Gallery, Nottingham, The Ruskin Glassery, Cambridge and the Constance Howard Gallery London.
Shaun’s commercial work has been used for television, featuring on Panorama, Good Morning Britain, When Bridges Collapse: The Genoa Disaster and Home Front Heroes among others. In 2019 the piano album Scene and Heard was launched at The Bowridge Gallery in Dorset consisting of 8 pieces inspired by the work of photographer Jamie Randall