The St Mary’s Singers is the official school choir of the St Mary’s Diocesan school for Girls in Pretoria.
Here are some of their highlights:
In 2008 the choir reached the finals of the ATKV choir competition in Cape Town and was awarded the “Best performance of an African piece by a choir”. The choir continuously strives to make choral music part of school life by performing at school and by representing the school at numerous festivals. To contribute to the choir, St Mary’s DSG Pretoria established the “St Mary’s Singers Choral Programme” which entitle girls, who pass an audition, to be taught singing at a very high level. The girls of this programme form part of the choir and their singing tuition is mainly focused on Italian opera arias.
In 2012, year the choir’s year started off in the previous September last year with a bang. The girls had their eyes focused the one thing and that was to be the best girls’ choir in the country. With that goal in mind, together with amazing discipline and hard work, the girls put in many hours. At every concert they realized what it means to sing and make music on stage, something that other school choirs rarely get to do.
At the finals of the 2012 ATKV competition the choir sang three Afrikaans works by South African composers and one traditional African piece. In true St Mary’s Singers tradition the choir mesmerized the audience with their subtle musicality and wonderfully mature sound. At the nail-biting prize giving, the choir exulted in loud yells of joy when they were announced as the “BESTE MEER ERVARE DOGTERSKOOR” (Best more advanced girls’ choir). The girls also won the certificate for the best rendition of a traditional African work. We are very proud of each and every girl in the choir for their achievement in being the top girls’ choir out of 200 Afrikaans choirs.
In December 2013 the St Mary’s Singers traveled to Thailand to participate in the 10th Celebration of the “VOYAGE OF SONGS INTERNATIONAL CHOIR COMPETITION”. After winning their category, they were also awarded the adjudicators’ prize for finishing second overall out of all the participating choirs.
This year the St Mary’s Singers will be participating in the annual ATKV APPLOUS national choir competition.
The Chapel Choir, which is conducted by Mr Mbuso Ndlovu, and which consists mainly of the boarders of the school, primarily sings during the Services that are conducted during the week and on Sundays. The choir is in high demand for performances around Pretoria and has been invited to perform at the Voortrekker Monument, the Union Buildings, and at various churches. The Chapel Choir has been on an amazing journey. The choir’s performance has improved drastically over the past few years and the girls’ drive and passion for the choir is visible in their performances. They remain determined to be consistent in raising the standard of music in the Chapel, in the school and wherever their services are required.
During the past six years St Mary's DSG presented a musical every second year. We started small in 2009 with Roald Dahl's Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf.
After that production we joined forces with St Alban's College in two successful productions in 2011 - All Shook Up - and 2013 - Copacabana -.
The St Mary’s DSG Orchestra affords our students the opportunity to share their love for music with their peers. The orchestra consists of musicians at the school playing a variety of instruments: violin, viola, clarinet, recorder, saxophone, trumpet, cello, drumkit, auxiliary percussion and timpani – all of which are offered at the school by specialist teachers.
The Orchestra starts off every year with a camp, where we work on the repertoire for the year and spend time getting to know each other.
This year we are going on a tour to the Western Cape, mainly to perform with Paarl Boys’ High and Windworx, a semi-professional wind band from the University of Cape Town. Another highlight of 2014 is our performance at the opening ceremony of the National Tourism Convention. We are constantly working on expanding the Orchestra and on setting ourselves higher goals.
One of the biggest events every year at St Mary’s DSG is the Inter-House Play Competition. Every year the month of March vibrates with competitive suspense as the Grade 12 Drama learners stage four one-act plays as part of their portfolio tasks for the year. Producing a play is a challenging task for the girls as the director must understand and make sense of the sometimes inexperienced actor’s subjective internal experiences while creating a character, know how to get the actor into a resourceful state for interpreting a part, and be able to distinguish between dramatically effective and ineffective performances.
The Music Recitals and Centre Concerts continue to serve as platforms for our girls to perform where they display a wide variety of talents and genres. A generally high standard of performance is the hallmark of these events and seems to increase every year. To ensure that these evenings are enjoyed by all present, we combine performance opportunities for both individuals as well as groups, such as orchestras, choirs, ensembles, etc.