A Tafelsig primary school choir has performed in the preliminary rounds of the Tygerberg International Eisteddfod.
At the performance, at Parow High School, on Thursday May 11, Yellowwood Primary School’s choir sang The Rhythm of Life by Cy Coleman, Jesus Is King by Kanye West and Glorify Your Name, a song written by Trevor Benson, who teaches creative arts, languages and social sciences at the school.
The choir was sponsored and chosen to perform by the eisteddfod’s chairman, Francois Lubbe, who had met the school’s choir director, Chesray Sauls, during a previous music workshop.
The eisteddfod is an international one although there are no choirs from other countries this year – the furtherest hails from Upington, said Mr Lubbe.
Sixty-nine schools are due to perform in this year’s competition, which will be whittled down to about 12 schools in the final round in September.
The school’s principal, Donovan Senosi, said that making it to the eisteddfod was quite an achievement.
“We are the first Mitchell’s Plain school to participate in this eisteddfod,” he said.
The pupils and Mr Sauls performed in the “senior choir” category for pupils in Grade 4 to 7.
Teacher and choir assistant Liam Macauley said the 50-member choir and about 60 parents had been bused to the performance in Parow.
“We are one of the smallest choirs, the others have about 100 members,” he said.
The choir’s administrator, Lakeichah Moses, said they had performed at other prestigious events, such as the Schools’ Art Festival at the Artscape theatre, in Cape Town.
Pupil Kauthar Gabriels, 12, said it was “nice and fun” to be a member of the choir. “I love to sing. It makes me feel relaxed,” she said.
Mr Sauls said the choir created opportunities for pupils who weren’t necessarily academically strong and it offered an escape from their daily struggles.
Music was also an alternative way to teach numeracy and literacy, he said. “They learn the consonants, vowels and you need to count in music.”
The first rule of the choir was discipline closely followed by leadership, he said.
“The children are very excited about the choir and we are looking to extend the programme, to keep it for many years, for children still to come.”