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Newsletter December 2019

Newsletter Dec 2019

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Home » Cultural » Choir

There are three choirs in the school catering for a diversity of interests.

The main School Choir comprising about 80 learners plays a leading role in school ceremonies and participates in festivals, concerts and competitions. Their repertoire is wide and ranges from difficult and challenging classical works to popular songs and songs from musicals. In July 2018, the choir competed against choirs from all over the world in the World Choir Games held in Tshwane. They were awarded a GOLD DIPLOMA – LEVEL 1 in the Open category Youth Choirs of Equal Voices and a SILVER DIPLOMA – Level 6 in the Open category Music Sacra with Accompaniment. A fantastic achievement and a wonderful experience for the girls. The Jeppe choir previously took part in the 2008 choir games in Austria.The second choir is for grade 8 learners.

After their camp in January 2019, the choir performed at numerous school functions.  They then went on to perform at “The Last Night of the Proms” on Saturday 25 May and Sunday 26 May at the Linder Auditorium. The programme directed by Richard Cock was a great success and the matinee performance was sold out.

During the month of August the choir performed at the third annual Ruth First Jeppe Fiesta in the Linder Auditorium, along with Mr Richard Cock and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra. Here they performed the Cantata for female voices for the first time – composed by Franco Prinsloo, the choral work was especially commissioned for the school’s centenary.

On 13 September, the Jeppe Centenary Concert took place in the school hall. It was a brilliant evening, where the audience were enthralled and uplifted by the choral works which included the top-class Drakensberg Old Boys Choir and the Mosaick Male Voice Choir. The two major works performed were the Misa Criolla, for which renowned guitarist James Grace, tenor Sibusiso Simelane and percussionist Magdalena de Vries played key roles and the Cantata for female voices – composed by Franco Prinsloo.

To end off the year the Choir (without our Grade 12 choristers) performs at our school’s annual Festival of Lessons and Carols.

The choir is conducted by Mr Johan Bester and accompanied by Dr Elize Kruger and Mrs Lauren Pallett.

Choir Leaders 2019

Head Chorister – Sinqobile Mbuto

Voice leaders – Kirsten Dickinson, Ella Marriott, Natasha Mwilambwe and Wande Nduna



The third choir is a traditional voice ensemble called Hlabelela which means “to lead with the voice”. Hlabelela sing African music and broaden their knowledge of the language and cultures of South Africa. They are assisted by Ms Nkabinde. One of their highlights this year was to welcome the Minister of Education, the Honourable Mam Angie Motshekga to Freedom Park in Pretoria for the Ministerial Task Team report on History on 31st May 2018. The Minister took the opportunity to wish the girls well for the exams.

singing at sunrise

Hlabelela Leaders 2019

Head: Sinqobile Mbutho; Deputy Head: Abongile Zwane and Secretary: Natasha Mwilambwe

The following girls were recognized in 2019 for their contribution to the choir:

Full Colours: Sinqobile Mbutho and Chiara De Mello Koch

Half Colours: Kirsten Dickinson, Micayla Goncalves, Y’lang Krishna, Wande Nduna, Kyla Taylor-Broun, Mandisa Yende, Nandi Zulu, Keisha Molloy, Anita Muzorewa, Andisa Nzimande, Kaylyn Pop

Merit Award: Natasha Mwilambwe, Ella Marriott, Talia Chetty, Erin Dodgen, Alexandra Frey, Dhiya Garach, Raissa Kambale, Anele Ntombela, Melissa Aitchison

Team: Kirsten Dickinson, Martinique Hlabangani, Sinqobile Mbutho, Natasha Mwilambwe and Courtney Pillay


The Experience of a lifetime

Jeppe High School for Girls brought home 2 silver medals from the 5th World Choir Games which  took place in Austria in 2008.

The Jeppe choir took part in two categories – Popular Choral Music (Open) with 20 other choirs and Gospel and Spiritual (Open) with 16 other choirs. They were selected to go through to the final round for both categories and performed in the finals on Friday 11 July and at midnight on Saturday 12 July.

The results of the Games were announced at a huge prize-giving ceremony at midday on Sunday 13 July in an indoor theatre that was larger than a soccer stadium. Most of the choirs that had participated attended the ceremony in their national dress and were bearing their national flags. It was a wonderful experience. The certificates for each category were awarded first and then the medals: bronze, silver and gold. After cheering heartily for our fellow South Africans and choirs we had met on the tour, the Jeppe contingent awaited the results of their categories with bated breath. The competition was really stiff and the excitement mounted as the choirs who had been awarded certificates were announced and then those that had won bronze medals and Jeppe’s name still hadn’t been called out. When Jeppe Girls was awarded silver, the learners and staff alike leapt to their feet with ecstatic cheering.

 “I am really thrilled with our results” said Mrs Morrick. “We were honoured to be invited to participate in the games and were incredibly excited when we qualified in not one category, but two. I would have been happy with one bronze medal, but two silvers! I’m ecstatic! As first time participants, we have done ourselves and our country proud. Our girls worked extremely hard and they deserve this honour. Bravissima!

The South African choirs attending the games did exceptionally well, winning more gold medals than any other country (15 out of the 74 gold medals that were awarded) and numerous silver medals. Ms Slabber, Headmistress at the time, had this to say: “What a wonderful experience for Jeppe Girls to be able to compete against the best choirs in the world. The fact that the choir received two silver medals for the first time they participated in the games is quite an achievement at this level of competition. The girls also participated in a friendly concert that took place in Haüplatz – in the middle of the city and drew the biggest crowd of all the choirs that participated. It was an amazing experience for everyone. Well done and congratulations to all involved.”