Despite not having resources for a music department, Elsies River High’s jazz band has once again conquered the 2017 V&A High School Band Slam. Competing in the finals against Bergvliet and Rondebosch Boys’ High School’s, the band won the competition for the 2nd year in a row, having won the 2016 band slam. They are also the reigning High School Jam Champions for 2015 and 2016.
The band, which has been described as sensational, performed at prestigious events like the 2016 Cape Town International Jazz Festival and the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble (where they received a standing ovation). They also performed at the Jazz On The Lawn event which included Jimmy Nevis as the main act; they performed as guest artists Baxter Theatrefor the show, Cape Horns and they were the opening act for Emo Adams. They were also invited by Cape Town’s mayor, Patricia de Lille, to perform at an awards ceremony at Cape Town Stadium.
The band’s members are also known for their academic achievements. This year, we wrote about the band’s former lead singer, 2016 matriculant and head girl, Dehandre Kiewets, who achieved 6 distinctions. With a pass rate of 92%,the school as a whole has a proud of history of academic achievement. They are particularly proud of the fact that they are one of the schools that has produced the most chartered accountants in the country.
In addition to the band’s achievements, the schools choir is the provincial gold medallist in the mixed choir category, they are current national champions in the Afrikaans category and they achieved first position in the 2015 South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod.
The band’s next challenge will be to once again reclaim their championship title at the High School Jam Champions later this year.