Concert Band

Concert Band Report 2018

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” Plato

The Concert Band had a busy 2018 and was challenged to live up to its continuous musical growth. We welcomed new members and immediately took up the challenge to make Pearson proud. Sharps and flats galore, crescendos and fortes, all had their place in a fascinating new programme. The Band Camp, an idea introduced by Mrs Tania Leurquain-Steyn in 2016, has become an annual calendar event which allows the Band to practice without interruptions and to build on its unique character and togetherness. With zeal and zest we baked our Irish bread; we sighed and “Hoi’ed” with Fiddler on the roof while the monkeys were hopping on the roof of the little Chapel where we rehearsed. We waltzed our way through a tough but rewarding programme in true Olympic Spirit. The evening walks were “spokerig”, when Mr Leon Piron and Mrs T scared a few learners (and lots of nightlife) on their way back from the lookout point. Jenna Greeff en Kalene Botha se suggestie om met hulle mooi stemme by te dra, het die Phantom sommer ‘n dramatiese karakter gegee en het Mark en Marcell Müller gedwing om hulle stemme ook te oefen.

The Matrics made the Weekend all about bonding and “Gees”. Die swembad het ‘n “whirlpool” geword en speletjies is gespeel Diegene wat ‘n fout gemaak het,is  dadelik in die swembad gegooi klere en al. Lisa Venter and Kirsti Louw took charge of our new and seasoned members through team games and they even organised a talent show which revealed everyone’s individual, musical, magical and sporty talents – from karate to vocal trio, to jazz, to make up to rap and even impersonating Mrs T!. We ended our camp with a concert for the loyal supporters, namely the parents and were ready for our musical year.

The Annual Open Day [12,13 Feb] is as always our first performance. Olympic Spirit was our call to everyone’s attention and to show the Concert Band’s sound: Proudly and Powerfully Pearson. The Lion King, which stressed the importance of team work and trust, invited the young cubs to choose Pearson for their future education.

After months of practicing early mornings and late nights, our most exciting and nerve- racking moment had arrived: The Pearson Music Celebration! It’s always an overwhelming experience to perform in a big venue such as the prestigious Feather Market Centre. We shared the stage with various ensembles from Clarendon Park Primary and our own music department, all of them who would join us on stage at the end of the concert. We opened with the brassy “Olympic Spirit” which set the very percussionist tone for the rest of the performance. The Shostakovitch Waltz Nr 2 invited the audience to an imaginary dance, elegant and styleful; Irene Pitsiladi added an extra flavour to our Irish Baker with her Irish dance performance, an energetic balance of rhythm, music and …. funny shoes. We could all “Feel the Love Tonight” in a beautiful and sweet melody played by Lisa Venter. To keep the audience awake, we were joined by Prof. Albert Troskie on the organ; he didn’t hesitate to pull out all the stops; literally. A mystical introduction kept the audience wondering until suddenly, Erika Visser’s scream was followed by a powerful sound from Band and Organ. The audience was treated to a surprise interpretation as Kalene Botha sang a warm “All I ask of you”, later followed by Jenna Greeff’s stunning “Think of me”; Mark and Marcell Müller joined in the finale “Music of the Night”; our vocalists wowed the audience. Ex-Pearsonites then joined the Band, which continued on a lighter note, with “Fiddler on the Roof”. For our last piece, the band was joined by our Choir for “Baba Jethu” which means “Our Father” in Swahili; the lead singer Tsotso Moeng rendered a powerful praise singing moment. The Ceremony continued on the inviting, driving pulse of” Chariots of Fire”; this was the moment where grade 8 learners joined the matrics on stage to form a massive choir and the Clarendon Park Primary musicians as well as the Pearson String Ensemble joined the Band. The four candles representing the four pillars, were then lit after which the mass Band and Choir sang “The Pearson Birthday Song”, those were the days indeed… fondly remembering Mr Bubb; for the last chorus the audience was encouraged to sing along. The Prestige evening ended with the traditional “Ode to Joy” for which the trumpets heralded from beside the organ. A great ending to a great evening! The next morning it was all aboard for the Reunion weekend assembly. Despite a late night, the Band was up and ready to go!

A week later, the band was invited to perform at Interact’s Granny Tea. A traditional programme was performed and we even got the “grannies” to dance on the Shostakovitch Waltz! A Tea wouldn’t be possible without cake; so we performed “the Irish baker” and “Cake by the ocean”, which showed some improvisational talents. YMCA ended the afternoon with the understanding that the band plays the music, and the grannies do the moves!

“To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?” Michael Jackson

In June, the Band was invited for a last minute performance by the Department of Education. Quite a challenge as the Band hadn’t rehearsed for 3 weeks and had about 25 absent members; the dramatically reduced Pearson Concert Band nevertheless, managed to give an excellent performance thanks to a continuous rehearsal schedule. During the year, the Band also added a special touch to the Summer and Winter capping ceremonies.

At the beginning of August, we went on the much-anticipated “Parel Vallei” tour. This was a first for the Band and proved to be an exciting, challenging, tiring, thrilling experience. The Band had everyone’s attention and wowed the audience with “Phantom of the Opera”. Fiddler on the Roof created an easy vibe but we gave Parel Vallei a taste of our own with “Cake by the Ocean” where Rafael Sapere, Liaan Badenhorst and Matthew Perry showed what Pearson is capable of.

On 15 August, we were invited to Alexander Road High School; both Bands presented their own repertoire and joined forces for the finale: Tijuana Taxi; with too many trumpets, overwhelming percussion, more clarinets than ever, flutes galore, plenty of saxophones; trombones and horns had a section as well as the tubas and euphoniums. Everyone sitting at a different place confused the conductors. “Tuba or not Tuba….that’s the question”; Learners bonded and were very supportive of each other; it was a truly lovely evening. The end of August saw us saying goodbye to our Matrics; and the band dinner showed the strength of our togetherness, our bond as musicians. This is also the time when a new team is selected. The new bandleaders are Lindelize Bester (also Pearson deputy headgirl 2019) and Marcell Müller (again); deputy bandleaders are Marli Roulstone and TJ Thorne (also Pearson Headboy 2019). The concert master is Marli Roulstone with Matthew Perry as her deputy.

Prize giving and Valedictory Ceremonies were our last performances of the year. These are very special moments in our high school careers. For Prize giving we performed together with the matrics, “Tijuana Brass” in a distinct South African taxi style. For Valedictory, the Band played without the Matrics the newly rehearsed “Stevie Wonder in concert”; funky and lovely melodies lightened the mood. The emotional Matric piece was beautifully introduced by Lisa Venter in her speech as head girl: “A Million Dreams”in a powerful rendition by Erika Visser. So let’s dream, one dream or a million dreams.

”I live my daydreams in music” Albert Einstein

The Band has kept on going and growing over the past years and is looking forward to a fantastic 2019.

Granny Tea 10Capping Ceremony