Orchestra Week 2024: Out of this World

Last week, around 135 music-loving and talented learners accompanied by their music teachers met at the German International School in Cape Town (Deutsche Schule Kapstadt, DSK) for the biennial Orchestra Meeting of German schools in Southern Africa.
In addition to the musicians from the German schools in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, around 30 learners from the Deutsche Höhere Privatschule Windhoek (DHPS) also took part. Under the direction of Chad Hendricks, conductor of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the young talents rehearsed from 11 to 15 March, concentrating on register, choral and ensemble performances. They worked closely together, sharing techniques and experiences, and fostered an environment of mutual learning, respect and appreciation.

The highlight of the event was the packed final concert “Out of this World” on 15 March 2024, where the 600 guests were swept off their feet by classical masterpieces from Handel and "Carmina Burana", as well as film melodies from "Pirates of the Caribbean" and "Aladdin," and timeless classics like "Adiemus," "Conquest of Paradise," and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". The young musicians were rewarded with thunderous applause from the enthusiastic audience.

Beyond the intense rehearsals and collaborative preparation for the concert however, the main focus was on the encounter between the schools, serving as a platform for cultural exchange. The diverse supporting programme, including a visit to the Two Oceans Aquarium, a picnic in Green Point Park, and spontaneous attendance at a band slam on the waterfront, provided an exciting and enriching experience.

"It was wonderful to see learners from the four German schools in southern Africa coming together to make music and deliver an outstanding concert. They had a lot of fun and made new friends during these few days," remarked Annika Paulus, music teacher and orchestra director at DHPS.
For Martina Visser, Head of Music at DHPS, it wasn't her first orchestra meeting, but it was the first time the school choirs participated. "We have so much talent among the young choir singers and musicians; it was truly impressive. The exchange with music teachers from other German schools abroad was also unique and important. We returned from Cape Town not only with wonderful musical memories but also with many new ideas and inspirations," she added. The concept of involving various musical groups from the schools will be further developed, including orchestras and choirs in the future.
Special thanks go to the music department of DSK, under the direction of Harlene Veotte, as well as to all the organisers and host families from DSK, who warmly welcomed our musicians from Windhoek.
We are already eagerly anticipating the next orchestra meeting in Johannesburg in 2026!


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