Since 2015, CTO’s outreach department has travelled weekly to Masiphatisane Primary School in Vredenburg, on the West Coast where they have introduced the students to the wonderful world of opera and staged productions (Amabali Ethu, The Magic Flute and Hansel and Gretel) for the students and community.
To consolidate the students growing interest in music, in February CTO sent vocal coaches Siviwe Stofile, Ayanda Gcebetsha and Luyanda Zokoza to establish a choir at the school.
The children responded enthusiastically and only four months later, Masiphatisane entered the ABC Motsepe Schools Eisteddfod (previously known as the South African Choral Eisteddfod (SASCE), held on the 16th of May 2017 in the West Coast.
166 choir members were divided into 3 categories: Foundation Phase (Grade 3-4) singing Monyapetsi by Bonisile Gcisa; Intermediate Phase (Grade 5-7), singing Linden Lea by R Vaughan Williams (and including the recital of the Pre-amble of the Constitution of Republic of South Africa), and the Intermediate Phase Boys Choir, singing Song to the Mountain in treble clef by Toni Ortelli and Luigi Pigarelli.
Under the baton of Siviwe Stofile and Luyanda Zokoza all three choirs claimed first position and qualified for the Provincials level which was held in Kuilsrivier in Cape Town on the 10 & 11 June.
In a letter of thanks Masiphatisane headmaster Donovan Cleophas praised CTO for going the extra mile. In addition to coaching the choir members, CTO sponsored transport to the competition venues and provided light meals.
In addition, Cleophas commended CTO for contributing to the professional development of their staff members, noting that the “educators grew in confidence in their respective roles in the choir committee.”
He concluded, “You have transformed and given purpose to the majority of pupils in the choir. Pupils who otherwise were labelled as “bad apples” now enjoy the respect and envy of their peers and educators.”