It didn’t take the quietly enthralled learners at Curry’s Post Primary School long to start grinning, wiggling their shoulders and tapping their feet once the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra started playing this week.
Louis Armstrong’s classic ‘What a Wonderful World” set the tone for an enchanting hour of music set in the rolling hills of the truly wonderful Midlands.
With funding from the NLDTF, the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra is able to include concerts at rural schools when it goes on tour. “Our outreach programme is vital to keep classical music alive” said manager Paul Rodgers, “These kids are our future audience. I came from an under privileged background, and am certain that if the orchestra had never come to my school when I was little, I would have been a labourer just like my dad, rather than a musician.”
After introducing each family of instruments in the orchestra to enthusiastic applause, the trombone, in particular, had everyone bouncing in their seats! Nondumiso Ndlovu, who loves singing and dancing, could not contain her delight, swirling her arms through the air in time to the music. The conductor, Richard Cock, reminded everyone that they could make music with their bodies and soon everyone was clicking their fingers, swishing their hands and tapping their knees to create the sounds of a rain storm.
Afterwards, Grade 7 learner, Nigel Kalibongwe said happily “That was the best music I have heard in years.” Principal Patrick Ndlovu, thanked the Orchestra for visiting their school, adding “While we were enjoying ourselves, we were learning too.”
Other educators echoed these sentiments. Arts and Culture teacher Simphiwe Dube, was pleased that learners would now know what she was talking about when she mentioned a violin (an instrument she would love to learn to play herself). Ntobeko Msondo, leader of the newly formed Eco-School Committee was also thrilled. “Our theme for the year is Healthy Living and music is definitely part of that.”
Sarah Allen, Chair of Curry’s Post Conservancy and member of the Curry’s Post Education Trust, was really pleased, commenting: “To see the way the kids got involved in the different pieces music, jiving in their seats and joining percussion was marvellous! Music is a fabulous way to get the kids united in appreciation for their environment, providing food for the soul and inspiration for their futures. We are delighted at the links between the Orchestra’s visit and the School’s recent enrolment in the WESSA Eco-School programme with the enthusiastic support of the Midlands Meander Association Education Project.”