‘Music is the manifestation of the human spirit, similar to language. Its greatest practitioners have conveyed to mankind things not possible to say in any other language. If we do not want these things to remain dead treasures, we must do our utmost to make the greatest possible number of people understand their idiom’ Zoltán Kodály
St Mary’s School has a very active extra-curricular music programme with a wide variety of instruments taught by a group of dedicated and professional musicians. The Music Department is headed by Dudley Trollope, four full-time members of staff and twenty five part-time instrumental teachers. Their philosophy is to provide a nurturing and caring environment in which the girls can enjoy music and flourish.
Tuition is offered in piano, classical guitar, violin, cello, flute, clarinet, saxophone, recorder, trumpet and voice. If other instruments are requested, teachers can be sourced. The Department subscribes to the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and enters girls in the May and October examination sessions. Programmes are structured to suit the individual and entry into examinations and Eisteddfods is carefully considered taking into account personality and ability.
Contemporary Music is alive and well on campus. The girls relate readily to contemporary genres and enjoy performing it. It provides the girls the opportunity to express their creativity through song-writing, improvisation and performance. Tuition in Contemporary Music is offered in piano and keyboard, voice, drums, saxophone, electrical and acoustic guitar and bass guitar.
The Jazz syllabus of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, Rock School and Trinity Rock and Pop syllabi are also offered at the School. St Mary’s is the examination centre for the ABRSM Jazz examinations in Gauteng. The bands and ensembles perform regularly at School and external functions, competitions and festivals. Original music is encouraged and musicians are provided with the opportunity to record their work.
St Mary’s Music Department runs a dynamic ensemble programme. Girls playing instruments are encouraged to play in groups to develop their sight-reading skills and ensemble techniques. The Senior School orchestra, marimba bands, jazz band, rock bands, R&B band and keyboard ensembles perform regularly at important school events, external functions, competitions and festivals.
On various days of the week The Edge resounds with the exquisite sounds of the various choirs on campus. Vocal ensembles in the Senior School include the Middle School Choir, Senior School Choir, Chamber Choir and Traditional Choir. No Eucharist, Patronal Festival or Old Girls’ Day would be celebrated quite as successfully without the strong and confident sounds of the choirs. Our choristers form strong friendships which last long after the last song is sung at school.