EPWORTH School opened a new Performing Arts Centre on Friday, which was the realisation of a dream that has been incubating for many years. A festival-style event, Fusion: Under African Skies, which showcased the centre’s performance spaces and the diversity of cultural talent in the school, marked the occasion. Art, drama, dance, marimba playing, the musical ensembles and the school choirs were part of the programme. Speaking at the opening ceremony, head of school Laura Bekker expressed her excitement about the new centre and the opportunities it will present: “This new facility not only allows for the growth and advancement of the subjects and activities that will be taught and performed in the venues, it also allows for further development in other areas of the school,” she said. Chairperson of Epworth’s Board, Peter Keyworth, marvelled at how well the new centre blends in with the rest of the school. He congratulated the architects, FGG, on their vision and their preservation of the architectural integrity.He also thanked the Epworth parents for their contributions to the school’s Development Levy — the source of funding for this new facility. The Performing Arts Centre is a substantial investment in the school’s continued growth of the performing arts — music, dance and drama — and their role in connecting with the broader community. Five marimba bands have found their home in a well-insulated percussion room, alongside which is a 100-metre square ensemble room that comfortably seats 100 people for chamber concerts. It also provides a raked rehearsal space for the school’s choirs and ensembles. There is a further music studio on the upper level along with 10 sizeable music rooms for teaching and instrumental practice. “Epworth recognises the powerful role the visual and performing arts play educationally in nurturing creativity, critical thinking, self-understanding and an appreciation of different cultures. “An ever-evolving and diverse cultural curriculum in South African schools adds profound value to our pupils’ development,” said Epworth head of music and high school head of culture, David Orr.— Supplied.