On Friday, October 4, Epworth School in Pietermaritzburg will open its new state-of-the-art Performing Arts Centre, a substantial investment in the continued growth of the school’s performing arts and their role in connecting with the broader community.
A festival-style event, Fusion: Under African Skies, designed to explore the various performance spaces in the new centre, will take place before an official opening of the centre.
Fusion: Under African Skies aims to celebrate culture with a uniquely South African twist. The programme will feature art, drama, dance, marimba playing, the musical ensembles, the High School Choir and a massed school choir.
Located centrally on campus, in easy reach of both the Preparatory and High Schools, the new centre includes a renovated and enlarged school hall that will accommodate the annual theatrical productions. Next to the hall is a magnificent double-volume dance and drama studio with a sprung floor, which houses the school’s three dance companies.
Marimba bands have found their home in a well-insulated percussion room, alongside which is a 100-metre square ensemble room that comfortably seats 100 people for chamber concerts. It also provides a rehearsal space for the school’s choirs and ensembles. There is a further music studio on the upper level along with 10 sizeable music rooms for teaching and instrumental practice.
Modern classrooms and offices complement the performance spaces, providing an ideal environment for teaching and learning.
“Epworth is cognisant of the powerful role the visual and performing arts play educationally in nurturing creativity, critical thinking, understanding and an appreciation of different cultures. An ever-evolving and diverse cultural curriculum in South African schools adds profound value to our pupils’ development,” said the school’s head of music and high school head of culture, David Orr.
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