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Cape Town

Children's Choir

The Cape Town Children's Choir enables young singers to develop their musical skills in a positive, stimulating environment and provides a place where they are surrounded by musically talented friends who strive for excellence. Being part of this dynamic new choir creates an opportunity to develop a life-long love for music. 

We are in the processing of registering for NPO and PBO status. 

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Bronwen Leith

Director

Bronwen has a BMusEd degree (UCT) majoring in Piano and Organ and has been teaching for over 30 years. She has taught music in many shapes and forms during this time and has had the privilege of  conducting the Senior School Choir at St Cyprian’s School, the Senior Choir at Herschel Prep School, and a choir for home-schooled children.  Bronwen currently teaches the piano at Beau Soleil Music Centre and from home.  She has always had a particular love for children’s choirs and is passionate about giving children the opportunity to sing together while working to a high standard.    

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Anne Meyer

Co-Trainer & Accompanist

Anne has a BMusEd degree(UCT) and obtained distinctions in Recorder, Piano and Music Education. She also holds a UPLM in Recorder from UNISA.

She is a passionate musician who has been teaching instrumental lessons, class music lessons and choir for the last 30 years at all levels from Grade 1 to University Level.

During her youth she was a member of the Tygerberg Children's Choir and it has been a lifelong dream of hers to see a similar choir established in the Southern Suburbs. 

She is also  a composer, arranger and singer who loves children and building their love for music.

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Helen Stabrey

Secretary

Helen studied at Stellenbosch University where she graduated with a BMus(Ed.) in 1992. She started her teaching career at Camps Bay Primary and then moved to Mountain Road Primary in Woodstock where she established and ran the Music Department.  After this she was appointed as HOD at Rondebosch Boys’ Prep school. After the birth of her first daughter she gave up full-time teaching to move to a part-time teaching position, establishing and running the Music Department at Auburn House Montessori School where she remained until the end of 2014 when she decided to take a sabbatical from teaching to be at home with her youngest daughter. She has always loved Choir music and is excited to be part of the Cape Town Children’s Choir as secretary.

CHOIR management TEAM

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Fritz van der Lecq

Chairman

Fritz has an academic background in commerce and theology, and has worked in faith-based youth development for two decades. He is the Director of the Student YMCA at the University of Cape Town and is passionate about the holistic development of university students.

While he doesn’t have any formal music training, singing in choirs has always been a part of his life. Being a member of both the Stellenbosch University Choir and Stellenbosch Libertas Choir were particularly enriching and transformative experiences for him. He is grateful and excited to be involved with the Cape Town Children’s Choir in his capacity as Chairman. 

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Geoffrey Meyer

Social Media & Technical

Engineer, Photographer and general computer / technical guru.

Loves music and children. 

He is responsible for all our social media, website design and technical expertise for live concerts and A/V design.

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Craig Leith

Treasurer

Craig qualified as a primary school teacher, and after teaching younger children for a number of years, moved on to working with teenagers as the first principal of a small private high school in Claremont. He then moved into the language travel industry, where he was the Centre Director of an Austrian-owned English language school.  After that he took up the position of Founding Head of two new privately-owned high schools in Hout Bay and Gardens, before returning to the language travel industry in 2017.  He is currently the Centre Director of an international English school in the CBD.  He married Bronwen in 1992 and, in one way or another, have been part of the story of CTCC since it was but a seeded thought in Bronwen’s mind several years ago.  It has been a joy and privilege to have walked alongside Bronwen on this journey, and to be a part of the choir’s first management team.

HISTORY & INFORMATION

We began auditions in November 2019 and continued at the start of 2020.  We had our first rehearsal on 7 February with 28 boys and girls, ages 9 to 16.

 

FOUNDERS

The choir was started as an independent project by Bronwen Leith (Choir Director), Anne Meyer (Co-trainer and Accompanist), and Helen Stabrey (Choir Secretary), but is operating under the auspices of Beau Soleil Music Centre.  The Music Centre primarily focusses on instrumental lessons and ensemble training, and the choir is a new venture based at the Centre.

OBJECTIVE

 

The main objective of the choir is to provide children from the Southern Suburbs and the wider Cape Town area the opportunity of being part of an excellent choral program; for children from diverse communities to come together and sing in a choir that will enable friendship, develop musicianship and provide the challenge and joy of singing to a high standard.

COMMUNITIES

The children are between the ages of 9 and 16.  They come from a wide diversity of areas and communities in the Southern Suburbs and wider Cape Town metropole.  We have choir members who live in areas such as Rondebosch, Observatory, Plumstead, Kenilworth, Claremont, Constantia, Pinelands, Bergvliet, Lakeside, Gugulethu, Wynberg, Southfield, Crawford, Parow, Goodwood and Belhar.

COSTS

Although the choir is in the process of registering as an NPO, choir members pay an annual fee.  Fees are necessary to cover costs such as honorariums, sheet music, special projects, venue hire, etc.  The fees are kept as low as possible in an attempt to make it affordable.  A limited number of bursaries towards the annual fee are available for those who need and qualify for financial assistance. 

SPONSORSHIP 

 

The choir relies on sponsorships to assist these members.  We would love to have more people and businesses supporting us in this way so that many more children in our communities are able to benefit.

HOME BASE

Beau Soleil Music Centre is our base for rehearsals under normal circumstances.  However, since COVID-19 restrictions, the choir began rehearsing online and has recently started in-person rehearsals outdoors following all COVID health regulations and protocol.

We had 6 weeks of in-person rehearsals before lockdown.  During this time choir members were able to get to know each other and lay down some foundation in vocal technique and choral singing. 

COVID-19

COVID-19 has had a huge impact on most choirs around the world.  Because the virus is spread primarily through airborne droplets and aerosols, most choirs, including the Cape Town Children’s Choir, had to stop in-person rehearsals, and move online for the foreseeable future.  The plans we had for the year (concerts, tour) had to be cancelled. We have had to think of creative ways of doing things together.  Our first major project was to record a virtual choir performance which was released on our YouTube channel in August. We are currently working on a second virtual recording which will be released in the next few weeks.  Because we have been able to start rehearsing together again (following all COVID-19 regulations), we are hoping to hold a concert at the end of November but are working on how best to go about this.

Cape Town Children’s Choir rehearsed online using Zoom since the start of lockdown.  Although online rehearsals can never be the same as being together in-person, it enabled us to keep building on what was started before lockdown and to keep the momentum going.  We began the year with 28 members and are ending the year with 31, for which we’re very grateful.  Parents have been very supportive and the children have been amazingly adaptable.  We have had excellent attendance most weeks.  Sometimes online rehearsals can be a challenge when internet connections are poor, and some children have had to be helped with data.  But, we are thankful that technology enabled us to continue.  Online rehearsals are very different to being together in person.  We are not able to sing together at the same time because of the lag.  Therefore, the children are on ‘mute’ for most of the practice.  They can all hear me as I instruct them throughout the practice, but the children can only hear each other if they unmute themselves to ask a question or to sing back a line of music we’re working on.  Nevertheless, online rehearsals enabled ongoing learning and progress despite the challenges.

The choir is fortunate to have recruited a wonderful group of children thus far.  Any new venture takes time to grow and establish itself.  We currently have 31 children but would eventually like to grow the choir to 80.