Grassy Park siblings on stage with Arno

2015-11-10 06:00
Grassy Park siblings Shannon and Megan Thebus will be performing with the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at this year’s Nederburg Picnic Pops concert.  PHOTO: Michael Pace

Grassy Park siblings Shannon and Megan Thebus will be performing with the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra at this year’s Nederburg Picnic Pops concert. PHOTO: Michael Pace

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Two Grassy Park siblings are looking forward to sharing the stage with Arno Carstens at this year’s Nederburg Picnic Pops concert.

Shannon and Megan Thebus will perform on stage on Saturday 21 November as part of the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and will be accompanying Arno, jazz singer Adelia Douw, award-winning soprano Goitsemang Lehobye, tenor Lukhanyo Moyake and choristers from the Boland Community Choir.

The annual benefit concert aims to showcase young and emerging musicians on a platform where they get the opportunity to share the stage with more recognised names.

Shannon and Megan are both rising stars in their own right. Shannon, who plays the French horn, recently won the Michael Masote prize at the National Youth Music Competition.

While she may be Shannon’s little sister, Megan, a double bass player, was only 14 when she was selected for the SA National Youth Orchestra. She also played, as an ad-hoc cadet, for the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra last year.

Both brother and sister started their musical journeys at Muizenberg Junior School, where the principal suggested Shannon learn to play the recorder after noticing that he was struggling with his schoolwork.

He mastered the instrument in three months, so his music teacher encouraged him to pick up an orchestral instrument. They chose the trumpet, as it was an instrument his teacher knew, but it wasn’t long before he suggested to Shannon’s mother that she should enrol him at the Beau Soleil Music Centre.

Despite the pressure to match the skills of her brother and older sister (a pianist), Megan joined Shannon at Beau Soleil shortly after also mastering the recorder in Grade 2.

While she auditioned for the school on violin, the head of the strings department encouraged the seven year old to “pick up” the double bass.

“My mother said it was too big, but I pleaded and when I had my first lesson, I knew it was the perfect instrument for me.”

When the school was short on lower brass players, she added the tuba to her repertoire.

It was also at Beau Soleil that Shannon changed instruments, opting for a French horn which his teacher said would suit him better in the future.

Megan and Shannon agree that being able to perform with a sibling is “great”.

“We can rely on each other. If my brother or his friends need a bass, tuba or electric bass, they insist I play for them.” Megan is also happy about always having an accompanist in her brother. “Accompanists are always in great demand because there are so few of them.”

They both credit their mother as their biggest inspiration but add their music teachers at Beau Soleil, their teachers at Westerford High and Bishops, the CPO and their music conductors at the New Apostolic Church to the list.

Besides performing with Arno, Shannon and Megan are also looking forward to accompanying the other soloists at the Picnic Pops concert. “The atmosphere is always amazing, as is the camaraderie of the members in the orchestra.”

The concert starts at 18:00 but gates open at 16:00 and families are encouraged to bring snacks and enjoy the afternoon sun.V Tickets cost R100 each from and children under 12 enter free. Tickets will also be on sale at the gate on the day. Visit or call 021 809 8412 during office hours for more information.WIN! WIN! WIN!V Three families can each win a set of four tickets to enjoy the show. SMS the word “picnic” followed by your email address to 45527 before noon on Monday to enter. SMSes cost R1.50.

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