Music is an extremely important part of the life and worship of Grahamstown Cathedral.
Grahamstown Cathedral Choir and Makana Choir School
The Cathedral of St Michael and St George in Grahamstown is home to many treasures, given over the years to the glory of God and for the inspiration of those who come into the building to worship. One of the most exciting treasures of the Cathedral is not ancient, but very much alive, the music made by the Choir. The choir consists of some dozen adults and the young choristers of the Makana Choir School.
The Makana Choir School offers scholarships towards young people attending local government schools, who are members of the Cathedral Choir. This scholarship scheme is funded by donors, both corporate and individual. Read more…
Sponsorship appeal: Organ Lessons for Bayanda Mthetho
A little over a year ago, when the Grahamstown Cathedral Director of Music Dr AJ Bethke had left town, and a successor was expected to arrive soon, the Makana Choir School put out an appeal for funding in order that Bayanda Mthetho, a talented pianist then aged 14, might resume the organ lessons which AJ had begun with him. The happy result was a number of generous donations, which enabled Bayanda to receive organ lessons throughout 2018 with Jovan Heynsen, music teacher and Choir Director of St Andrew’s College and DSG Choirs.
Sadly the English musician who had been appointed to succeed AJ Bethke as Director of Music at Grahamstown Cathedral, had his application for a work visa turned down. One of the consequences of this situation is that we are again needing to raise funds for Bayanda to continue his organ lessons in 2019. Bayanda is now 15 years old, about to go into Grade 10 at Graeme College, and is a member of the Makana Choir School. He began piano lessons at the age of 11, and has recently passed the Grade 8 Trinity piano exam, with the astonishing mark of 97%!.. more
Makana Choir School on TV
Makana Choir School was featured in an episode of the religious programme Slice of Light, which was broadcast on SABC2, on Sunday 5 August 2018. This included short interviews with choir conductor Kutlwano Kepadisa, and two of the junior choir boys, Xolisa Foley and Junaid Douglas. The programme can be downloaded from YouTube.
For more than ten years groups of marimba players have performed regularly during Cathedral services. Penny Whitford, an experienced music teacher who retired to Grahamstown in, put a great deal of work into training a number of groups of marimba players of all ages. The present group of St Michael’s Marimba players, all young people, is trained and conducted by Asakhe Cuntsulana, a music student at Rhodes, and continues to go from strength to strength. The group has performed regularly on the National Arts Festival over more than a decade, and their performances are always popular.
The Cathedral organ was built by Bevington of London in 1860 and installed in a gallery at the west end of the nave. In 1893, it was moved to its present position above the chancel, and in 1905 “restored and enlarged.” More …
Listen to a variety of video clips of the Cathedral Choir and Marimbas, among others!