From the Music Department

Subject music concert

On the evening of 29 July, the subject music concert of 2019 took place in the St Mary’s chapel. This beautiful venue provided outstanding acoustics and a warm, intimate atmosphere in which music was shared and appreciated. The pupils presented repertoire selected and tirelessly practised over the past two terms. The programme included Forms III to V performances on violin, clarinet, piano, guitar and voice, in a wide range of styles from contemporary to jazz and classical.

The concert undoubtedly demonstrated the rich variety of musical styles and pieces that the music students explore and expertly perform. The Forms III and IV girls captivated the audience and confidently delivered pieces representative of their individual talent and passion. This was followed by the matrics who concluded the programme, showcasing part of their repertoire for their final IEB practical examinations.

These performances were a definite highlight and it was a privilege to listen to their programmes. I can personally say my jaw dropped in awe too many times to count! Despite the cold weather outside, the chapel was alive and ringing with music enjoyed by the audience and the performers alike.

For a taste of some of the performances go to:

Emma Rogers
Form IV

Jazz band workshop

“I am always grateful I get to do what I love. Then there’s the listener. I create music for people. I create music to motivate, inspire and transport people.” – Benjamin Jephta

On Friday 26 July, the Jazz Band ended a busy term of music-making with an extremely fun and inspiring workshop with internationally acclaimed artist, Benjamin Jephta. Several band members watched him live at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival in 2017 when Jephta was the Young Artist for Jazz, and were thrilled to meet him and get to ask him about his music and career.

Born in Mitchells Plain in Cape Town, Jephta shared his personal story and how he came to choose music as a career. He has recently returned from the US where he has been studying a master’s degree in Contemporary Performance at Berklee College of Music’s Global Jazz Institute. This programme is open to top jazz artists who are specifically deeply motivated to advance the power of music as a tool for the betterment of society. Jephta shared his journey of using his music to explore and uplift his own community, and how music can capture the soul of a people in a celebratory way which also challenges and affirms identity.

He had us all on our feet exploring the polymetric and polyrhythmic essence of some of the African rhythms which underpin the origins of jazz. In turn, we stuttered and grooved, laughed and tried, as we danced and clapped and improvised, gaining an exciting and organic new perspective into how to approach music. Having the privilege to work with this young, humble, brilliant musician was an exceptionally inspiring experience for the girls.

Ceri Moelwyn-Hughes 
Head of Woodwinds Studies