On Wednesday 7 August, Oakhill School hosted the long-awaited Choir Festival. This community project was initiated by Oakhill’s music department with the aim of getting as many local schools as possible involved in collaborating and sharing the joy of music.
Taking place at The Vineyard Church due to the large audience, the festival brought together nine choirs and vocal ensembles from six schools, including Concordia and Knysna primary schools, Greenwood Bay College, Percy Mdala High and touring guests from Bishops Diocesan College. It was a delight to experience the power of song uniting the entire spectrum of the Knysna community.
Oakhill was represented by four groups: the Foundation Phase Choir, the Intermediate Phase Choir, the College Choir and the boys’ vocal ensemble known as A Few Oaks. In total over 800 people were able to attend and enjoy this wonderful celebration of the arts.
On Thursday 8 August local audiences were once again treated to Bishops’ voice ensemble, Simply Blue, when they performed in Oakhill’s school hall. An appreciative audience lapped up the enormous variety of pieces, from solo and serenade to piano and guitar, and more. The standard was remarkable for schoolgoing pupils, reminding everyone of the fact that this group of young men manage to attain such excellence in their spare time, simply for the love of it. The Oakhill and broader Knysna community were grateful to Simply Blue for sharing their talent and passion with guests at both performances.
Oakhill’s director of music Laticha van Wageningen emphasised, “There are very few opportunities where choirs can perform without being marked or judged. The whole idea of this event was to set a platform where they could perform for the pure enjoyment of it in a relaxed atmosphere. Every choir that participated had its own audience cheering them on, and they all felt acknowledged and appreciated.”.