Bridgetown High pupils gear up for band slam

The Bridgetown High School crew competing in the band slam and their proud supporters are, from left, vocal coach Mzuxolile Fali, Jeandre Gabriels, Bridgetown Theatre Company marketing manager Zelda Hintsa, Zaon Hartnick, Sivenathi Mlonyeni, Nomahlubi Dike, Chelsea Dues, and Bridgetown High School principal, Andrew Windvogel.

Pupils of Bridgetown High School were preparing to compete at the 2018 High School Band Slam at the V&A Waterfront Amphitheatre this week.

The school has had an eight-year partnership with the Bridgetown Theatre Company (BTC), which has provided pupils with a platform to showcase their talent in music and performing arts.

Pupils Chelsea Dues, Zaon Hartnick, Jeandre Gabriels, Sivenathi Mlongeni, and Nomahlubi Dike were to perform the musical presentation, We Strive, on Monday.

It was their third time taking part in the annual band slam.

Singer Chelsea Dues, 14, from Bonteheuwel, said she was excited but nervous to perform.

“When you’re up there with a mic, it’s a different feeling. While it was very difficult to focus on music and academics, I learnt to balance it out and it went well. If something is your passion, try it out and see how far you get but always excel at your academics as well,” she said.

The musical presentation was choreographed and produced by Chelsea, while the musical direction was by Daniel Titus, and Mzuxolile Fali was the vocal coach and musical arranger.

Zaon Hartnick, 15, from Surrey Estate, said as the drummer it was his responsibility to keep the band in tune.

“It’s all up to the drummer, if you lose the beat the rest of the band will too. I am very nervous but excited mostly. My family is also very excited and they have supported and motivated me to attend classes. My family is musically orientated – my brother plays both the keyboard and the guitar and he sings as well,” said Zaon.

He advises other pupils who are also musically talented to attend music classes and surround themselves with people who support and motivate them.

BTC marketing manager, Zelda Hintsa, said by identifying young talent and developing it, the company is able to give back to the community.

“Their talent gets picked up and developed. It’s all about learning. It keeps them busy and away from falling into social ills. They do, however, need a strong support system and that is where their parents step in,” she said.

Bridgetown High School principal, Andrew Windvogel, said he was excited and felt positive about the performance.

“They have my full support. It is a blessing that so many individuals have volunteered to help them. It positively teaches them discipline and a good value system. When you work together as a community you can achieve more.”

Mr Windvogel said this was a proud journey to be a part of.

He thanked the BTC for investing in his pupils.

“I am looking forward to 2018 and what it has in store for our pupils. There are a lot of challenges in this community but we have and will overcome them together. The school must be open to possibilities. One day they will look back and say that BTC and this school has helped to develop them,” Mr Windvogel said.

“We are starting small but we have big dreams for them. They have real talent and we have to thank their parents for supporting them at home as well as their educators for motivating them and supporting them when they need it.”