Our cultural highlights of 2019

Marimba band

Jeppe prides itself on offering a holistic education to our boys, and on offering a wide range of extra-curricular activities, sporting and cultural. Here is our list of 10 top achievements by our cultural clubs and societies in 2019:

1 Take it like a man, Jeppe’s winning entry into the Gauteng Regional Amateur Dramatics (GRADS) festival, marked the school’s arrival as a serious player in the competitive world of school dramatics. It was the first time that a production made it to the final night of a major theatrical competition, and the first time that Jeppe has taken the best play prize.

2 Jeppe chose a musical as its major production in 2019 – Rock of Ages, inspired and adapted from the 2012 screenplay by Chris D’ Arienzo. The cast of 42 boys and girls – the girls were from Jeppe High School for Girls – along with a backstage and technical crew, a vocal coach and Ms Bronwen Kemp and Ms Elzanne Dietrich, the staff members who led the project, began working on it at the end of January and it was a resounding success.

3 The Jeppe Chess club is thriving. There were 20 regulars who take the sport seriously and compete in interschool competitions and a further 50-odd who play socially. The highlight of the year was when the under-15 team won the bronze medal at the Gauteng Provincial Chess Championship in Pretoria.

4 The senior debating team made it through to the quarter-final stage of the SACCEE competition and the 2nd team and the juniors did well in the Athenian league. Importantly, the numbers have been growing – from one senior team last year to three senior and junior teams in 2019.

5 The Jeppe pipe band was in a consolidation and rebuilding phase following its participation in the Basel Tattoo last year. Jeppe fielded a very big band – 32 musicians – which was the biggest of all the schools. The policy was that everyone should play in the competitions, to build up experience. Even so, we did well in the competitions, finishing in the top three most of the time.

6 E-Sport has become established as a fully-fledged activity at the school. We have competed in, and hosted, inter-school competitions this year. A highlight was the three-school competition that took place alongside the under-16 rugby Festival. Jeppe, Grey College and Cape Town’s Fairmont High School were involved and Jeppe was the only one of the three to win all of their games.

7 The school choir experienced a resurgence. Not long ago we struggled to get a decent-sized group of singers together. This year we had 32 members, under conductor, Ms Dalene Hoogenhout of the Wits University choir. She introduced structure to the activities and the boys were motivated and enjoyed themselves.

8 The Marimba Band competed in the International Marimba and Steel Pan Festival and came away with a 3rd place in the Proudly South African section and (together with Jeppe Girls) 1st place in the Large Ensemble category. The band is beginning to find its feet, and apart from this festival and a few eisteddfods, they are mainly a performance band, one that is becoming quite popular.

9 The Emergency Medical Care Club continued its dominance of the Provincial Interschools First Aid competition by winning the senior division and coming 1st and 2nd in the juniors. Jeppe has now won the competition’s Chris Hart Trophy, named after a former teacher at the school, every year since 2014, except for 2018 we didn’t enter and Jeppe Girls won it.

10 The senior public speaking team advanced to the regional finals round of the SACCEE competition. The juniors also competed in the recent festival. The public speaking society has grown rapidly. We now have three senior teams and two junior teams, each consisting of five members.