Carinas Musici Music School was established in 1996, and the Carinas Musici Orchestra during 2006. This first orchestra were merely more than a huge mixed ensemble, but Carina had the ability to arrange a variety of works for them. They took part at the West Boland Eisteddfod; were awarded gold, and won the Ensembles trophy.
During 2007 the Ensemble grew bigger and besides the West Boland Eisteddfod, they also took part at the ALMSA (Academy for Contemporary Music of South Africa) Festival in Cape Town where they received 2 gold awards and a trophy. They also performed at the annual Carinas Musici Prize-Giving and by 2008, more students took interest in taking part in the orchestra.
Various Workshops were held to improve the orchestral, ensemble and instrumental skills of the orchestra players.
By 2009 the orchestra were ready to expand and took part at the Paarl Valley and West Boland Eisteddfods; achieving several gold awards. By the end of that year Carinas Musici Music School recorded a 13 track CD at Arkstudio, Langebaan, featuring the Carinas Musici Orchestra and various other Ensembles.
Due to the success of this small country side music school and orchestra, 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.
Up to this stage, Carina arranged the entire repertoire herself, and to make use of the best possible combinations of instruments available. Due to the growth of the Music Academy, her responsibilities became more time consuming, and she had to look for someone to assist her in this. From 2010, Lara Block joined the WCMA Staff, and took over the arranging task to keep up with the pace and standards of arranging for all the different combinations.
The surrounded towns and especially Cape Town became aware of this growing Music Academy, and by 2011, the West Coast Music Academy Orchestra were invited to perform at the Hugo Lambrechts Orchestra Festival in September 2011, for the first time.
The Orchestra had a very exciting and successful Practice Camp at Wellington in March 2011; won the Primary- and High School Categories at the West Boland Eisteddfod, and had various successful performances.
The WCMA Orchestra had a very successful 2012. Highlights and achievements included:
- Trophy Winners at Artscape School Arts Festival: selected as overall winner of all Music and Orchestra items. Also invited to play at Gala Event where award was received.
- Share a Note Concert with Cape Town Opera: The Orchestra performs with the Cape Town Opera Vocal Ensemble (24) and a Mass Choir with more than 200 children from surrounding schools. The Choir and Orchestra, conducted by Marvin Kernelle (CTO) and Carina Brown (WCMA) gave 2 successful performances and this was by far the most successful Outreach Program of the CTO.
- Achieved 3 Cum Laudes and 2 Gold at the Wes-Boland Eisteddfod and was also awarded the High School and Primary School Trophies.
- Successful performance at the Hugo Lambrechts Ensemble Festival in September at the same event as the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.
- Langebaan Country Estate: Congress of Curro Principals: successful performance
- Workshops and Masterclasses: The Orchestra were privileged to be tutored by members of the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, twice in the second term. The Percussion section especially has benefited from this tremendously and some were selected to receive further training by these professionals.
In 2013, the West Coast Music Academy Orchestra, conducted by Carina Brown, consisted of 70 players and consisted of a Strings section (Violins, Violas, Cellos, Double Bass); Woodwinds (Piccolo, Flutes, Clarinet, Saxophone); and Percussion (a large variety of percussion instruments from the Bass drum to Glockenspiel).
The Orchestra performed a variety of genres and highlights including Viva La Vida (Coldplay) performed in 2012, and Mamma Mia (ABBA). All repertoire were arranged by the WCMA Staff to suit the standards of students and instrument combinations of the Orchestra. Repertoire of 2013 included Classical hits as well as modern pieces such as Teddy Bears' Picnic (Bratton); March of the Toreadors (Bizet); Toy Symphony (Mozart); Dance of the Little Swans (Tchaikovsky); Glockenspiel Show-pieces: Rumba, Tango, Flamenco; Calypso Carnical; The Lion Sleeps Tonight; and Swinging Safari.
The Orchestra started the first term of 2013 with an annual Practice Camp at Club Elani (Misverstand Dam) at Moorreesburg from 10-12 April, where they have practiced for 18 hours. Weekly Orchestra practices were Fridays for 2.5 hours, during school terms.
This was once again an outstanding year for the Orchestra, achieving 89% (A+) at the Stellenbosch Eisteddfod Orchestra Festival in May, and 3 Cum Laudes and 1 Gold at the Wes-Boland Eisteddfod in August.
On 20 July, the Orchestra performed at the West Coast Mall and also did a flash mob, as preparation for the very successful South Cape Tour which they undertook from 8-11 August.
On the tour, performances were held at the Garden Route Mall (George); Denneoord Dutch Reformed Church (George) collaborating with the South Cape Children's Choir (conducted by Jan-Erik Swart); and the Dias Museum (Mossel Bay), collaborating with the South Cape Children's Choir again as well as the highly acclaimed Cape Town Youth Choir (formerly known as Pro Cantu, conducted by Leon Starker). Orchestra members enjoyed the Tour immensely and the performances exceeded all expectations, with the Orchestra receiving standing ovations. Click here to view Tour photos.
The Orchestra once again had the privilege to be part of Cape Town Opera's Outreach project in 2013. Together with their Voice of the Nation Opera Ensemble; various soloists; and school choirs of less fortunate schools, concerts were held on Friday 16 August at Diazville Primary School, Saldanha (featuring choirs of High and Primary School Diazville) and on Sunday 18 August at Masiphathisane Primary School, Vredenburg (featuring primary school choirs of Masiphathisane, Panorama, Eden, Laingville, Weston). Cape Town Opera gave choir training on Saturdays for choir members of participating schools over a period of 6 months prior to the concerts. We deeply appreciate Cape Town Opera for reaching out to our community and letting the Orchestra be part of it. We also thank the Western Cape Provincial Government for funding this project. Click here to view Concert photos.
On Sunday 15 September, the Orchestra was invited to play at the Hugo Lambrechts String Orchestra Festival, where school orchestras are given a platform to perform. They entertained the audience with Teddy Bear's Picnic and the Glockenspiel Concerto, with the Glockenspiel part played by Grade 12 Music Subject student, Marlon van Rooyen. Once again an excellent performance by the WCMA! Click here to view photos.
WCMA Orchestra made a DVD in November, which included the Tour- and CTO Repertoire. Although not Studio quality, it will be a souvenir for all the players and parents.
The WCMA Orchestra became more in demand, and was invited to play at a Christmas Service in Wellington on 1st December. The songwriter and composer Neil Buchner requested that the orchestra accompany him with one of his Christmas songs, Karoo Kerslied during the Service. The orchestra also accompanied the congregation and played various Christmas hymns and repertoire.
Due to the success of the performance in the West Coast Mall in Vredenburg, earlier this year, they invited us for another performance on 14 December 2013.
In 2014, the West Coast Youth Orchestra officially started to function under their new name. The NPC was officially registered in August 2013 and a new logo and website were designed. The WCYO consisted of the Junior Strings-, Senior Strings-, Wind-; Percussion-, and Symphony Orchestras with rehearsals for each orchestra held on Friday afternoons.
In March, the Symphony Orchestra performed at the Curro Directors Congress held at Langebaan Country Estate and the West Coast Mall’s Birthday Celebration. The annual Orchestra Camp took place on 11 - 13 April at Club Elani (Misverstand Dam), which included a tight rehearse schedule with a braai, swimming and lots of fun woven into the schedule.
On 11 May, WCYO performed at a Mother’s Day Concert with Phax Trio, featuring Andrea Fisher-Jeffes (Euphonium), Levi Alexander (Tenor Sax) and Liam Burden (Alto Sax). All the WCYO Orchestras performed and it was truly a memorable day!
The following weekend, the WCYO Symphony Orchestra achieved Cum Laude at the Stellenbosch Eisteddfod Orchestra Festival on Saturday 17 May. The Orchestra played In the Hall of the Mountain King and Radetzky March. Besides their performance, the adjudicators were very impressed with the discipline, behaviour and dress code of the orchestra. WCYO also won the Alet de Vos Trophy for Best Youth Orchestra. Excellent indeed!
The Symphony Orchestra did many collaboration concerts in 2014. On 26 June they performed in Hopefield with local singer and songwriter, Jo Folscher. It was an ecstatic, unforgettable evening with people attending from far! On 2 August they had a spectacular concert with singer Tobi Jooste. The orchestra complimented Tobi’s rich baritone voice with a variety of songs - a perfect match. WCYO performed Classical & Jazz Repertoire such as Quando, Quando, Quando and Starry Starry Night, and the audience was surprised by the Longacres Private School and Vredenburg High School Choirs with Orchestral accompaniment. A very successful evening!
On Friday 12 September, the WCYO performed with guest artist, Steve Hofmeyr, at the Curro Langebaan School Hall. With a packed hall, and the orchestra accompanying Steve's hits such as I am I said, Sweet Caroline, Pampoen and Liefling, it guaranteed a night that will never be forgotten.
All WCYO Orchestras also participated at the West Boland Eisteddfod in August, and achieved the following: Junior Strings (Silver); Senior Strings (Gold); Wind Orchestra (Gold); Percussion Orchestra (Gold); Symphony Orchestra (3 Cum Laude, 1 Gold). The Symphony Orchestra also won the Trophy for Best Orchestra.
The Symphony Orchestra was once again invited to play at the Hugo Lambrecths Orchestra Festival on 21 September. They performed Radetzky March, In the Hall of the Mountain King and Billy Jean. It was a superb performance!
WCYO successfully launched a new Outreach project on Saturday 8 November at the WCYO Centre in Langebaan. 40 Children from surrounding schools attended the launch and were tested for String, Percussion and Brass instruments. Tuition will start January 2015.
We are also proud of 3 WCYO players that were chosen for the South African National Youth Orchestra (SANYO). Darius Becker (Double Bass), Pieter Strydom (Double Bass) and Anika Keuck (Violin).
WCYO ended the year with a Christmas Carols performance in the Dutch Reformed Church in Vredenburg on 23 November.
Executive Director, Carina Brown, received 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 on 9 February in the Baxter Theatre.
The first successful West Coast Festival for Musicians was held on 6 & 7 March at Curro Langebaan Private School and presented a wide variety of workshops such as Ukuleke, Guitar, Brass, Strings, Drum-kit, Bands, Songwriting, Djembe, Boomwackers, Body Percussions, and Arts & Culture training for teachers.
A successful fundraising concert and Auction was held on 20 March at Curro Langebaan, with the WCYO Junior Strings-; Senior Strings-; Wind-; Percussion-; and Symphony Orchestras that performed.
The annual WCYO practice camp was held on 17-19 April at Club Elani, Misverstand Dam (Moorreesburg), and rehearsed for 18 hours.
WCYO Symphony Orchestra provided live accompaniment for the Curro Langebaan Revue concerts, entitled Movies through the Ages. The shows were truly electrifying with WCYO performing covers from Austin Powers, Mission Impossible, Pirates of the Caribbean, Despicable Me, Hairspray, Grease, and many more.
On 15 May, WCYO performed with Manuel Escorcio & Belia Lourens at Curro Langebaan, accompanying hits such as Any Dream Will Do, Love Changes Everything and Memories. Choirs from Longacres, Topolino and Curro Private Schools, as well as Vredenburg High School also performed and touched the audience with a final mass choir item, You Raise Me Up, with Manuel and Belia.
The Symphony Orchestra excelled once again at the Stellenbosch Eisteddfod on 16 May by achieving 2 Cum Laudes for both their Classical and Jazz programmes. They also won the Alet de Vos Trophy for Best Youth Orchestra, for the second consecutive year, as well as a special award for one of the most outstanding items at the 2015 Eisteddfod.
A successful fundraising concert was held at the D’Aria Function Venue in Durbanville for Danielle “Didi” Didlof to attend the Mittenwald International Double Bass Masterclasses in Germany.
Four WCYO players were chosen for the Wind- and String Orchestras of the South African National Youth Orchestra (SANYO).
All WCYO Orchestras (Junior Strings, Senior Strings, Wind, Percussion, Symphony Orchestra) achieved Gold and/or Cum Laude at the Wes-Boland Eisteddfod on 21 August. The Outreach Project Ensemble Groups from Diazville Primary School (Strings & Brass) also participated and achieved Gold and Cum Laude. The WCYO Junior Strings, Percussion-, and Symphony Orchestras were also category winners at the Wes-Boland Eisteddfod.
WCYO gave successful performances in September. They performed with the Cape Welsh Choir in Langebaan and performed at the Hugo Lambrechts Orchestra Festival in Parow.
The Outreach Project expanded to Jurie Hayes Primary school, with tuition that started there in the 4th term. WCYO Outreach tutors were also involved at the Siyabonga Care Village (Pikanini ECD Centre) to assist with their year-end concert.
The year ended with the annual WCYO Prize-Giving and a Percussion Workshop presented by Dominic Swartz.