Wednesday 19 May 2021: It is a very strange prospect to know that you are the performer, in the spotlight for all to hear and see, but to play to an empty hall except for a cameraman and a teacher or two in the background assisting with stage set-up.
Your audience could be in the suburbs of Perth or in a penthouse in New York – strangers you have never met – who might have stumbled across a live stream concert from a school in South Africa while browsing on YouTube. But more than likely it was your supportive family and friends, not surrounding you as usual just a few meters away, but rather far away, at the other end of a screen in a different location. You walk onto the stage in an empty hall, you perform your piece surrounded by the furniture and you bow to silence. We are living in very strange times! [View the full evening’s programme – Ed]
So! A huge congratulations to all of our pupils who participated in the concert held in the Nussbaum Auditorium on Wednesday evening. The evening opened with a spirited rendition of Kwangena – a traditional Xhosa song, complete with choreography – sung by our Vocal Ensemble. This close-harmony group only recently formed – filling gaps left by last year’s matrics – has produced work of a high standard. Mrs Karg can be proud of the sound and commitment of these boys. Eleanor Rigby and Java Jive completed their offering. Both of these pieces were extremely energetic and musically rendered.
The solo performances displayed the full spectrum of age range of the boys as well as musical levels achieved. From beginners new to performing to seasoned and confident soloists strutting their stuff, it was a very eclectic programme. It was good to see collaboration among two grade 8 pupils, where Lukho Mtwana on the Tuba was ably accompanied by Damian Philander on the Piano. Our Flute Ensemble, under the training of Mrs Holder played two pieces. The highlight for me was the Bourrée by Faber which saw a tight ensemble between the boys – not easily achieved after being unable to rehearse for so long. It was refreshing to hear a new ensemble on the scene, our Saxophone Sextet. Mr van Wyk conducted a slick performance of Taylor’s Stormy Weather. The group consists of six Saxophonists (honourable mention to Seth Hermanus for holding his own as a grade 8 pupil among the other saxophonists who are all in Grade 11 and 12) and a rhythm section of drums, piano, guitar, and bass! One item in this concert, the Siciliana by Telemann for Oboe, stood out above the rest. The beauty, sensitivity, long musical lines, and expression captured by Anthony van Eyssen displayed both talent and commitment to behind-the-scenes preparation.
I’d like to thank my colleagues, both full-time and part-time staff, in the music department for their commitment to our boys and always pushing them to produce the best of their abilities. We look forward to more online concerts over the course of the year.
Mr Richard Haigh
Head of Music