School applauds music centre

2017-09-05 06:01
Steenberg High School’s newly built music and art centre has been opened officially.

Steenberg High School’s newly built music and art centre has been opened officially.

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The much-needed new music and arts centre of Steenberg High School was officially opened on Friday.

Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Newlands, contributed to and managed the building project with a donation of R2.25m.

The centre will be a hub for cultural activities at the school and will also be used as a dance studio.

The newly built centre boasts a foyer, office, store room and plenty of space for two school orchestras to practise and perform in.

School principal Andre Kraak says it is a dream come true for the school to have its own music and arts centre.

“Previously the learners would have to squash into a small room for orchestra practise. Now they have their own cultural space,” he says.

Priscilla Urquhart, spokesperson of Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages, says: “We are thrilled to partner with Steenberg High School in providing a dedicated space for music, dance and arts to flourish. This is our big corporate social investment project of the year and believe it will provide learners with a space to thrive and excel. The level of talent amongst learners of the school is phenomenal and it is wonderful to see children thrive as they perform together. This building symbolises an investment in arts and culture. It is indeed a place that will inspire moments of happiness in the lives of many learners, their parents, the teachers at this school and the wider ­community.”

Kraak says playing music has been a significant turning point for learners who come from poor communities.

“The members of the two symphonic wind orchestras have been transformed. They have developed a positive self-image and have grown in confidence. There has also been a remarkable improvement in their work ethic and academic results,” adds Kraak.

He says one learner from a gang-ridden area who plays the tenor saxophone stayed in school because of the orchestra.

“In Grade 9 she was on the verge of dropping out of school because of bad choices. The orchestra gave her a reason to stay in school. She did not feature among the top learners in the junior phase but suddenly appeared as one of the top ten academic students in Grade 10. Her transformation was recognised when the teachers selected her as a prefect in Grade 11 last year,” he says proudly.

Some of the school’s most talented musicians are also part of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

“It is a privilege to be so invested in this school and its learners,” says Graham Finlayson, president of the Rotary Club of Newlands. “We look forward to seeing the learners flourish.”

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