Music is seen as an integral part of the life of RBHS, and the school has a proud tradition in this field with many Old Boys having continued into prominent musical careers.
The fully-equipped Music and Performing Arts Centre, which adjoins the Reeler Centre, features a Band Room together with classrooms, practice and teaching rooms. The Reeler Centre was upgraded as a small theatre for concerts. A digital recording studio allows pupils to learn the basics of music production.
The Department has magnificent facilities including a “state-of-the-art” Apple Mac Music Technology Lab.
• 4 Full-time teachers / 12 Part-time staff
• 182 boys taking instrumental lessons - playing everything from classical music to rock and jazz
• nearly 120 boys doing music as a full subject
• 2013 Matric Music Class:
Achieved a class average of 83% in their final exams with 5 out of 7 candidates scoring “A” symbols, and one of the candidates scoring the 9th highest mark for Music in the Western Cape.
• National School’s Jazz Band - 2013:
Eight of our musicians were selected for the 17-piece band. It is an outstanding achievement and honour to be selected for the National Schools Big Band which is part of the National Youth Jazz Festival held in Grahamstown annually. Over 350 musicians attend a course as part of the Festival and of that group approximately 100 musicians audition for this 17-piece band. In 2013 RBHS had no less than eight musicians selected as part of this band.
• Wide variety of instruments offered:
Piano, violin, ‘cello, voice, saxophone, clarinet, flute, trumpet, trombone, tuba, french horn, euphonium, classical guitar, electric guitar, double bass, bass guitar, orchestral percussion and drums.
Two Concert Bands, two Jazz Bands, 10-piece Gig Band, String Orchestra, Chamber Choir, Main Choir, a Saxophone Quartet, Clarinet Ensemble and Guitar ensembles.
Many concerts during the course of the year:
The department has a busy schedule of concerts and engagements throughout the year both in and outside of the shcool. Particularly high profile ones are the RBHS Gala Concert and the Cape Town Big Band Festival in May. An annual highlight is the joint presentation with SACS and Rustenburg Girls’ High Schools of a major Choral Concert in the City Hall in August, and the Cabaret in October.
The Concert and Jazz Bands have undertaken successful tours and have won critical acclaim. The annual Cape Town Big Band Jazz Festival is a major event on the jazz calendar and the RBHS Jazz band has performed at this prestigious event for the past ten years. Solo performances are encouraged and nurtured by the provision of numerous concert opportunities and participation in annual Eisteddfods and external exams. The Prestige Concert in August features recitals by our matric students and top soloists. The Music Department also plays a central role in the annual rock revue known as CABARET, which is produced by the Grade 11 boys.
RBHS Music Department has the following ensembles :
The Chamber Choir
The Main Choir (50 members!)
A Concert Band
A Jazz Band
A String Orchestra
A Saxophone Quartet
Numerous Rock Bands
150 Music students studying a wide variety of instruments, with nearly 100 boys doing music as a full subject
RBHS has an annual scholarship which is awarded, by audition, to an exceptional young musician in his grade 7 year who wishes to attend RBHS.
Music as a subject
Content of the syllabus
The study of an instrument, and the performance of a repertoire covering a variety of musical styles and genres, in both a solo and group situation. The planning and execution of a performance event, including the production of a management plan, programme notes and marketing material.
Improvisation, composition and arrangement of own and existing music.
The development of competencies in Aural, Visual and Music Writing skills that are applied in the performance, reading, writing, transcription, analysis and documentation of music.
The study of Music History, Harmony, Form and Analysis, compositional techniques and interpretation in a variety of musical genres and styles. Basic research and presentation of critical reports on aspects of music practice.
Music technology – recording equipment, software applications etc.
An introduction to the functioning of the music industry.
Skills required of a learner
Learners enrolling for subject music should have some background in the theory and practice of music and must demonstrate good aural skills and general musical aptitude.
Students must be self-motivated, able to work individually and in a team, and have the necessary physical aptitude for the technical demands of their chosen instrument.