Teacher puts choir on first stage

2016-11-08 06:00
Germaine Leonard headlined his concert entitled “My favourite songs” at Ronde­bosch’s Reeler Theatre this weekend. PHOTO: Peter Herring

Germaine Leonard headlined his concert entitled “My favourite songs” at Ronde­bosch’s Reeler Theatre this weekend. PHOTO: Peter Herring

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Germaine Leonard hopes to unearth more musical talent on the Cape Flats.

Leonard headlined a concert at Ronde­bosch’s Reeler Theatre this weekend. The funds raised at the concert have gone towards his studies to complete his degree in Jazz Studies at UCT’s College of Music.

Leonard has been teaching at City Missions Educational Services in Bridgetown for the past three years.

He gave Grade 10 learner Mihanta Ratsimbajona a chance to showcase her talent in his My favourite songs concert, along with CMES’s school choir. The choir’s debut performance also featured soloists and a rapper.

“By having them on my programme I want to expose them to the opportunity to be heard and noticed as well but mainly to give them the opportunity to perform to a crowd,” says Leonard.

Leonard jumped at the opportunity to expand CMES’s musical programme after being approached by the school’s principal, Nathan Remedies.

“Our principal is a lover of music himself and always wanted to have a choir at the school but never really had someone to kick-start the process. Hence my appointment at the school in 2013 to start the creative arts programme, which in part was to start a choir,” Leonard adds.

He adds he has struggled to complete his degree due to financial constraints.

To raise money, he has also had to spend his own to make the concert happen, but he highlights the community’s contribution to helping him realise his dream.

“We were able to get some support from friends and family to see us through the process. Transport was the other challenge; to get people from and to rehearsals. Again extra money had to be spent on fuel.”

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