The Music Department is a thriving and enthusiastic department that aims to inspire by:
- Promoting excellence
- Embracing creativity
- Exploring variety
- Nurturing an appreciation of music
Subject Music in the GET band (Grades 8 & 9) is offered as one of the specialised learning pathway courses in Arts & Culture, so that the transition to subject music in the FET Band (Grades 10-12) is more easily accommodated.
Five full-time staff members and a further 10 part-time teachers offer tuition in the following instruments:
We encourage learners to participate in the Cape Town and Kaapse Afrikaanse Eisteddfods, and to enrol for the external Music Practical examinations offered by ABRSM, Trinity, Rockschool, and London College of Music.
In subject music, the learners receive exposure to different sections of music education such as Music Literacy (music theory), Music History, Aural training, Improvisation, and Music technology. This exciting component of Music consists of composing and arranging, which uses the Sibelius, Cubase and Garage Band computer software programmes. 2018 saw the Music Department introducing the Jazz stream to the Grade 10 Music class. Music students will therefore have the choice of furthering their music studies in either Jazz or Western Art Music.
Extra-Mural Music Activities
The Music Department flourishes in an environment that is supportive of the Arts. Music has a long and rich heritage at the school, with the School Song dating from 1910. It was written by Dr Thomas Barrow-Dowling, a music master at the school, who was also the organist and master of the choristers at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town from 1888-1926.
We offer a wide range of extra-mural groups, including two Choirs (Chamber and School), an Orchestra, Concert Band and Jazz Band. Various small ensembles include Flute, Saxophone, Guitar, Clarinet, Brass, Percussion, Recorder, and String ensembles, a Jazz Combo, Rock Band (Blue Quavers), and the Savuyisa Senior & Junior Marimba Bands. Girls are encouraged to be involved in at least one ensemble.
Our activities include an annual outing to a CPO rehearsal at the City Hall, a Music Workshop, Sunset Picnic Concert, Lunchtime Ensemble Concerts, a Combined Concert with Rustenburg Junior, the Musical Showcase concert, and various other concerts and competitions. The Jazz Band and Rock Band perform in the Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival at the Baxter Theatre, as well as the V&A Waterfront Band Slam Competition. We also have a Choral event in which the Choirs, Concert Band and Orchestra collaborate with Rondebosch Boys’ and SACS High School, with a guest conductor. The Annual Awards’ ceremony recognises senior learners’ achievements and their commitment and dedication to music. We also encourage our students to partake in various holiday programmes such as the Franschhoek Chamber Music Workshop and the Grahamstown National Youth Jazz Festival. Our Chamber choir is competing in the World Choir Games, to be held for the first time in South Africa, this year.
Our annual Festival of Carols continues to raise funds for disadvantaged communities. We also have a very active Music Society run by a small committee of learners that is co-ordinated by a music teacher.