Founder

 

        

Carina Brown was born in Johannesburg and matriculated at Nico Malan High School in Humansdorp, Eastern Cape. She studied B.Mus at the University of Port Elizabeth, with Flute and Piccolo as majors. During her years at University she played flute and piccolo in the UPE Symphony Orchestra; Port Elizabeth Symphony Orchestra; PAG Wind Band, and were chosen for the South African National Youth Orchestra in 1981.

Due to her orchestra experience and her love for orchestral works, school orchestras were one of her strongest interests, and in her early teaching career she had several years of various successes with the Bellville High School Orchestra. After bringing up her children, Hopefield High School asked her to teach music at the local school.

In 1996, Carina started off as Carinas Musici (musici meaning musicians in Latin) at the local school, Hopefield High School. There were not more than 20 music students initially, but numbers grew each year. In 2003, parents in the nearby town heard of the success of her students and the quality of her teaching, and have asked her to expand her teaching area.

She has then moved out to teach in Langebaan as well as Vredenburg, one day a week. In 2005, the first additional tutor was appointed, and in 2006, the second. As more staff members were appointed, the time were right to change the name of the music school to a more national and international recognisable branding name. Carinas Musici officially changed and was registered as The West Coast Music Academy in 2008.

The Academy has expanded since then and is currently operating at schools in 4 different towns, with 13 tutors on the staff. What started off as a single tutor at a small school has grown into one of the largest Private Music Academies in the West Coast, and also in South Africa.

Since these beginning years at Hopefield High School Carina was very active with various Ensembles. These groups took part at the Eisteddfod; winning trophies, performed at weddings, functions and concerts. The more advanced ensembles took part at the South African National Championships of Performing Arts and achieved gold medals and National colours.

By 2006 the Ensemble grew up to the point where it became the Carinas Musici Orchestra and by 2008 changed to the West Coast Music Academy Orchestra. Due to her passion, musical expertise, enthusiasm and more than three decades of teaching experience, the WCMA became well-known in the Western Cape. As a result of her conducting and orchestral experience, she became the conductor of the West Coast Music Academy Orchestra, and now the WCYO Wind- and Symphony Orchestra.

In 2015, Carina was awarded The Minister's Special Award for Outstanding Achievement for Women in the Arts and Culture at the Western Cape Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) Awards.