Saints Music Academy shines at Battle of the Bands

The Saint Andrew’s Music Academy travelled to Johannesburg and Pretoria on the weekend of 24-25 May to play some gigs, learn a lot, and participate in the Saint Mary’s Waverley Battle of the Bands. It started slowly, but ended with a bang, which had everyone on a high.

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SaintsAdmin June 3, 2019
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Saints Music Academy is about much more than music

7 August 2018 – Music is, simplistically put, about sound, but the reasons why we play music, love music and share music are much deeper and more diverse. The Saints Music Academy is about music, but it is also about so much more than that, so we sat down for an in-depth discussion with two matric boys, Martin van Rooyen and Pranav Poken, both veterans of the Academy, to find out more about the role it has played in their lives.

Meaning and reason are important drivers in our lives, so why did they pursue music?


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SaintsAdmin August 7, 2018
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Much-loved Petro de Villiers steps into retirement

13 December 2017 – Accounting teacher Petro de Villiers retired at the end of the 2017 school year, having taught at Saint Andrew’s since 1997. During her time at the school, she made a very positive difference as an excellent teacher and overseer of the Senior Interact Club.

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SaintsAdmin December 13, 2017
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Saints Music Academy tour a fun, fulfilling experience

25 July 2017 – Enjoyable, rewarding, exciting. Just three words of many positive ones that described the Saints Music Academy’s tour of the Eastern Free State at the end of the July holiday.

The origins of the idea to go tour are a little unclear, Saints Music Academy teacher Elize Swart admitted on Tuesday: “Gerrie [van Heerden] and I tend to have these ‘great’ ideas when we sit and have a coffee. It potentially happened there. It is a continual thinking process about the next step and how to take it a step higher. The tour was the obvious next step.”

Different venues, different experiences

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SaintsAdmin July 25, 2017
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Steve Jourdan takes canoeing Beyond the River

16 May 2017 – “Beyond the River”, a movie about canoeing and how two men from completely different backgrounds team up to chase gold in the world famous Dusi Canoe Marathon, has been making a very positive impression on movie-goers and critics alike. What few realise is that it is strongly linked to an Old Andrean.

Steve Jourdan (class of 1965) was a driving force behind the movie and, even more so, he has been a massive presence in South African canoeing, helping it become arguably the most integrated sport in the country, and helping South Africa become number one in the world in marathon paddling after serving for 14 years as the manager of Team SA.

The question, therefore, had to be asked: “How did a boy from Saint Andrew’s in Bloemfontein become so involved in canoeing?”

How it began

He shared the story: “In one of my many marketing careers, I ended up as the Commercial Director for a large liquor company and a bunch of canoeists came to me about 20 years ago and wanted me to sponsor them to go and compete in the Zambezi Whitewater Festival. They were just the nicest bunch of blokes I have ever met. They wanted R2 500 to cover the cost of their petrol. I said ‘Let’s do this thing properly. Instead of R2 500, I gave them R10 000 and went up with them and got some amazing branding and ambush marketing. It got amazing coverage and I got totally locked into the sport.

“Then we came back and there is a big canoe marathon in Cradock, the Fish River Canoe Marathon, and they had just lost their sponsor and they said ‘Steve, won’t you please sponsor it?’ Once again, it was for nothing. I said ‘We’re in’. Then they said to me there is no way that you are sponsoring this without paddling it. I ended up getting into the boat.”

The bug had bitten and in 2002, Steve was included in the South African Masters team to compete in Spain. “Then I became manager of the Protea team, which I did for 14 years. I paddled in 14 World Marathon Championships and got a couple of medals for myself.

Steve Jourdan (right) proudly wears the green and gold of South Africa at the ICF Canoe Marathon World Championships

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SaintsAdmin May 16, 2017
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Dan Patlansky inspires Saints Music Academy duo

19 January 2017 – Saints Music Academy members Jesse Berlyn and Chesare De Abreu made excellent use of their holidays by travelling to beautiful Clarens to spend a weekend with South African guitar virtuoso Dan Patlansky.

“It was about him teaching us new ways of playing the guitar, how we can approach the guitar, how we can approach soloing, about different techniques we can use, and different ways of playing chords,” Chesare explained.


“It was also to help us with our creativity on guitar, and to help us find new ways of learning,” Jesse added.

Creativity, he continued, was what he loves about guitar. “There’s no point in playing other people’s music if you can make your own.”

Jesse Dan Chesare

Jesse (left) and Chesare (right) hang out with Dan Patlansky

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SaintsAdmin January 19, 2017
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Mizanne Connan: being deeply involved was very rewarding

12 December 2016 – Although Saints’ junior school teacher Mizanne Connan spent only three years at Saint Andrew’s, she made a significant impact at the school, which, in turn, made its mark on her.

During her time at Saint Andrew’s she became a familiar, very active presence at the many events held by the junior school, often sharing her experiences and the joy she gained from them on Facebook, and often being a driver of those happenings. She exhibited incredible energy.



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SaintsAdmin December 12, 2016
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Classical music is alive and well at Saints Music Academy

25 November 2016 – Saints Music Academy pupils have achieved very good results in Trinity College Music Exams this year and were also top performers at the St Michael’s Music Festival.

In the recent October/November Trinity College exams, 11 pupils passed, achieving four distinctions (which in music is 87 percent), while in May six pupils passed the Trinity exams and also registered four distinctions.

“They did very well”

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SaintsAdmin November 25, 2016
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Saints Music Academy does more than teach music to children

21 November 2016 – The Saints Music Academy began eight years ago with only 11 pupils, but today that number has grown to an astounding 300. It’s a success story that is delivering not only good musicians, but happy children too.


A jovial group of Saints Music Academy pupils put on a superb performance at 59 Plenty at the end of October, together with Mrs Elize Swart (front) and Mr Gerrie van Heerden (back)

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SaintsAdmin November 21, 2016
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