Curro HCA's foundation and intermediate-phase choirs are conducted by Mrs Judith Hawthorn, assisted by Ms Jeanine du Casse on piano. Mrs Shylo Pereira conducts the high-school choir. We are passionate about providing a full range of opportunities for learners to learn to sing in a fun environment, encouraging creativity and self-expression.
There are three main choirs at Curro HCA – a foundation-phase choir (Grades 1 to 3), intermediate-phase choir (Grades 4 to 7) and a high-school choir (Grade 8). Any and every learner is encouraged to join the choir. Singing is a learned art and so no learner is excluded from the choir.
In 2011 we introduced a chamber choir. Membership is by audition, as this is the equivalent of a first-team choir that tackles more challenging material and requires a high level of skill from the learners. All members of the chamber choir must be members of the IP choir, and to be selected for the chamber choir is a huge honour for these learners.
The learners are constantly preparing for performances that are held throughout the year. These performances cover a wide variety of opportunities to share music with the school as well as the wider community and are a valuable tool in training the learners in the art of performing. Popular concerts in which we participate are Music in the Hills at Makaranga, Thomas More's Rhythms of Africa Concert, outreach concerts to hospitals, orphanages and old-age homes. We also enter the Queensburgh Eisteddfod and the Ethekwini Eisteddfod.
Curro HCA is very proud to host three annual choral events in the City Hill Auditorium. Highway Harmony is a concert for senior primary-school choirs from the Highway area and is usually held in May. The Nearly Christmas Concert is for junior primary-school choirs and is held every November. The annual Festival in the Hills (in conjunction with Kloof Rotary) Children's Arts Festival sees us host up to 20 visiting schools who participate in showcase concerts and enjoy spectacular performances by professional performing artists.
From 2014, this will be the school uniform.
The FP choir rehearses on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 07:00–07:30 in the AV room. Rehearsals begin in the third week of the first term and continue until the last week of term. Thereafter rehearsals begin immediately school starts after holiday breaks.
The IP choir rehearses from 06:45–07:30 on Mondays and from 06:45–08:00 on Wednesdays in the AV room. During some terms the chamber choir rehearses during this Wednesday slot (see term calendar for details).
The IP choir has an annual choir camp in February each year. This is a compulsory camp that runs from a Friday after school until Saturday evening on a weekend in mid-February.
The IP choir undertakes a tour every second year. Previous tours have been to the KZN Midlands in 2009, Johannesburg in 2011 and to the Drakensberg in 2013. The next tour will be in 2015.
Mrs Hawthorn chooses the repertoire, assisted by Ms du Casse. Songs are chosen for their musical and artistic merit and need to represent a variety of styles, including classical, sacred, pop, musical theatre and folk, as well as a variety of languages. In the past two years these have included English, Zulu, Shona, Afrikaans, Latin, Hebrew, Italian and French.
A well-balanced programme is essential both for the audiences and the children's enjoyment, while still providing a sound choral education.