Part of Jeppe High School for Girls’ annual initiative to provide scholarships to deserving young women to develop them into principled leaders, the “Ruth First Jeppe Fiesta” takes place at Wits University’s Linder Auditorium at 7.30pm.
Conducted by the much-in-demand Richard Cock, the programme includes Mozart’s “Piano Concerto No 21”; a “Star Wars” medley; repertoire from the recent World Choir Games, at which the school received a gold diploma; a tribute to Nelson Mandela, and a performance of bagpipe melody “Highland Cathedral”.
Artists performing include baritone Timothy Moloi, who has featured extensively in South Africa and abroad, and whose career highlights include performing the song, “Hope”, at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Fifa World Cup to an estimated global audience of 500 million viewers.
Moloi will be joined by classical crossover soprano Candis Angelene, whose 2009 debut album, “Ancient Light”, reached number 4 on South Africa’s Classic FM chart, and pianist and educator Elize Kruger, who recently obtained her doctorate in piano performance.
A sought-after accompanist in Johannesburg, Kruger has been head of music at Jeppe since 2009, having taught music there since 1996. She is also one of the founder members and organisers of the Philip H Moore competition. She has performed with cellist Carel Henn since 1998 and, in 2004, they recorded an award-winning CD, “Appassionato”.
There will also be performances by the Jeppe Pipe Band, under Damien Pitman, who have just returned from performing at the Basel Tattoo; the Jeppe Girls’ Choir and Orchestra, conducted by Johan Bester and Andrew Parfitt; and the Jeppe Hlabelela and Marimba ensembles.
Jeppe old girl Carolyn Steyn, of the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela campaign, will perform as a guest conductor. Steyn’s 67 Blankets charity recently achieved a Guinness World Record for the world’s longest scarf, at more than 27kms. Each kilometre crocheted represented a year of the 27 that Mandela spent in prison.
All the artists will be accompanied by the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra.
The Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust was established in 2010 to pay tribute to anti-apartheid activist and journalist First, who was killed in a letter bomb explosion in 1982. She matriculated from Jeppe High School for Girls in 1941 and, in 1949, married South African Communist party stalwart Joe Slovo. They had three children, Shawn, Gillian and Robyn.
Using First as a role model, scholarship recipients are provided with full tuition to enable them to obtain top-quality education at Jeppe, one of South Africa’s leading schools.
In addition to academic, extramural and leadership excellence, the young women are exposed to other role models and events that broaden their horizons and prepare them to address national challenges.
Those selected are recommended by primary school principals from 135 institutions in Jeppe’s broad feeder area.
There are currently 55 girls in the programme, 11 of whom will matriculate at the end of the year and join the 19 alumnae who are all involved in tertiary studies. Fourteen new recipients in Grade 8 have been accepted for 2019.
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