Classical music is alive and well at Saints Music Academy

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Classical music is alive and well at Saints Music Academy

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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”

“They did very well,” Inez Ferreria, who heads up the classical arm of the Saints Music Academy, said this week.

“Alvin Yuan, for instance, did his grade four exam in three months. He got 91 percent for grade three in May and three months later he did grade four! That’s really something. I don’t think he will do it again,” she laughed. “It’s very seldom I get someone doing two exams in one year.”


Junior school music standouts: (back, left to right) Reuben Swart, Jimmy Sun, Joshua Butler, Howard Wang, Thlotlang Ntwaeaborwa, (front, left to right) Nabeel Seedat, Jean Watson, and  Roelie Rossouw

At the St Michael’s Music Festival, Saints Music Academy violin pupils achieved results of two A++, three A+, and one A. On the recorder, there were five A+++ and three A++ scores, while among the piano pupils the achievements included five A++, 13 A+, four A, and one B+ results.

“It’s a lot of hard work”

As was recently noted, the Saints Music Academy began eight years ago with 11 pupils. Today those numbers have exploded to 300. “We’re coping well, but it’s a lot of work,” Ferreira said.

“I would love for music to be introduced as a subject at the school, because the children have progressed so far with their exams. By grade 12, they need to have only done grade five exams, but my boys are already playing grade five exams in grade nine. They are way ahead. It would be nice if they could do it as a subject.”


Jimmy Sun entertained parents and boys alike at the Intermediate Prize-giving

The merits of classical training

Discussing the merits of classical training against the more popular ‘band” selection of many of the boys, she added: “There is always a debate about what approach to take to music. [I believe] if a person wants to do music well they need to do three to four years of classical training.”

Your options are greater if you have a classical background, she said. “You are definitely a better performer if you have a classical background. Music as a subject would normally be classical.”


Earlier this year, a classical concert was held in the Saint Andrew’s Chapel. It was a big success and very well supported by parents. “It was very good. I think it was one of the best concerts that we have had,” Ferreira said.

However, the popularity of classical music made it a very long concert and consideration is being given to rather putting on two concerts in future. Consideration is also being given to holding the concerts at an outside venue, like the Odeion or the Planetarium.



Matthew Brown (Gr 5) violin initial 88%

Howard Wang (Gr 5) violin initial 94%

Joshua Butler (Gr 5) violin initial 97%

Chenlin Chuang (Gr 7) violin grade 2 85%

Yu-Po Wang (Gr 8) violin grade 2 70%

Alvin Yuan (Gr 8) violin grade 3 91%



Roelie Rossouw (Gr 3) initial piano 76%

Jean Watson (Gr 4) Initial piano 93%

Nabeel Seedat (Gr 5) piano grade 1 84%

Thlotlang Ntwaeaborwa (Gr 6) piano grade 1 84%

Jimmy Sun (Gr 6) piano grade 2 76%

Jimmy Sun (Gr 6) violin grade 4 82%

Alvin Yuan (Gr 9) violin grade 4 79%

Garry Chuo (Gr 9) violin grade 4 75%

Feng Mao Chuang (Gr 9) piano grade 6 87%

Feng Mei Chuang (Gr 6, SMS) piano grade 4 87%

Renée Ferreira (Gr 11, Fichardt Park), piano grade 8 88%




Luke McLachlan A+

Jimmy Sun 2 x A++

Keneilwe Motaung (SMS) A+

Chenlin Chuang A+ and A



Andrew Beelders A+++

Renier Naude A++

Joshua Berlyn A++

Howard Wang A++

Renée Ferreira (Fichardt Park) 4 x A+++



Ismaeel Seedat 2 x A+

Harry Marangellis A+ and A

Roelie Rossouw A++ and A+

Joshua Butler A

Nabeel Seedat A+ and A

Ryan Beelders A+

Jean Watson A++, 2 x A+ and A

Jimmy Sun A++ and A+

Thlotlang Ntwaeaborwa A+

Feng Mei Chuang (SMS) 2 x A++ and 2 x A+

Renée Ferreira (Fichardt Park) 2 x A+ and B+

SaintsAdmin November 25, 2016
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