"Our thriving Music Department and Music School offers girls a range of musical opportunities"
Belle and Bravado
On 1 August, our choirmaster, Jaco Dippenaar presented a programme of beautiful choral music sung by the GHS Chamber Choir and the Hilton College Choir. The McDowall Centre had been specially decorated for the occasion. The programme was varied and included, inter alia, such items as selections from Faure’s "Requiem" and Gilbert and Sullivan’s "Mikado" and African Music and Jazz items. The male and female voices combined to provide us with a wonderful evening’s entertainment.
Offering a range of musical opportunities
GHS Wind Band
The GHS Wind Band consists of approximately 35 members, comprising flutes, clarinets, saxophones, trumpets, trombones, euphonium, tuba and a percussion section. The Wind Band performs at school functions as well as in the broader community. The Band has regular practices during the week and they thoroughly enjoy every minute of it as they consider themselves one big family.
The year 2013 consisted of the traditional, yet exciting, schedule of performances. The Wind Band performed at awards ceremonies, gave a return performance at the Lutheran Church fete, where they were favourites once again, and enjoyed the much anticipated weekend tour to Underberg at the beginning of August. Besides the warm hospitality and friendly reception at all the concerts performed there, the weekend will be long remembered for the hours spent on the bus, owing to a 50 km road detour every time we had to get to a performance! (29/1/14)
Music as a Subject
At GHS we offer a variety of instruments. The learners are given the option of doing music as a subject instead of art and drama. In this music program learners are taught during school time. Once the learner has enough knowledge about their particular instrument they are able to join the GHS Wind Band.
Performers at Eisteddfod prize winners' concert - 28 August 2013
The Music Workshop
If learners choose to do art and drama as a subject instead of music and would still like to learn an instrument, they have the opportunity to take private lessons after school. The instruments on offer for private lessons include drums, guitar, piano, violin, saxophone and voice training. These lessons are also available to the members of the wider community.
The Gospel Choir
The Gospel Choir is an active group that participates in school functions like Speech Day; and publicly if so requested. They also take part in inter-school competitions.
We work together as a group to make the Choir a musical force to be reckoned with. Our music really heals the broken soul.
The Gospel Choir has had a productive and a successful 2013. We participated in school functions and awards ceremonies. We were excited to be invited to the Family Day tea party for Grade 11 parents, which was a fund-raising event.
The number of choir members has increased. The devotion and enthusiasm of the members helped the choir grow, and helped to improve the quality of the sound. We participated in our Inter-schools' Gospel Concert. It was interesting to see that entries were extended to students at tertiary level as well. We were excited to see Nellie Nxele, one of our past students, singing a solo.
GHS Choir and Chamber Choir
The choir has a membership of 60 learners. The aim is to develop first class choral singing through the medium of contemporary and classical music. The choir always performs at Speech Days.
The Chamber choir is a small choir of about twenty members. They focus on dense, more complex choral texture created by three and four-part singing. They perform at Speech Days, corporate functions, weddings and funerals.
The year began with a performance at the February Academic Awards Ceremony. Soon after, focus shifted to the Vocal Ensemble Festival which took place at Hilton College, and which involved the Chamber Choir. The choir also welcomed Mr Khaya Mkhize, who started to work with the voice groups to get through the repertoire they were required to learn for each occasion.
In April, participants from all over South Africa arrived at Hilton College for a three day festival of vocal ensemble
singing with the internationally acclaimed Nordic Voices. The aim of the group was to teach the ensembles to perform vocal music at a sophisticated level. Their warmth and connection with the groups also left a lasting impression on our girls. The Chamber Choir sang a work composed by Frank Havroy, one of the members from
this ensemble, and received a compliment from the composer for their musical execution of the piece. Other memorable moments included performances at the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School and the Gala Concert at the Hilton College Theatre.
In the second term, the choir performed with the Children's Choir from Halle, Germany, and the Pietermaritzburg
Children's Choir in a sold out concert in the St Mary's Cathedral in Pietermaritzburg. The choir's rendition of "Wind Beneath My Wings" and "Nella Fantasia", conducted by Mr Mkhize with violinist Brett Udal, left a lasting impression on all present. Other projects included the recording of a CD of favourite choir pieces.
A performance at the Reunion Day assembly, and a memorable tour to the Underberg area were other highlights.
Several members also sang in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands' Youth Choir. (29/1/14)