St Mary’s has The Edge

| September 6, 2010
By Lynn Knowles

In August, St Mary’s School, Waverley, lifted the curtain on its newest facility: a state-of-the-art creative and performing arts centre, The Edge.


Increasingly, the 21st century corporate environment stresses that skills can be taught, but creativity and the imagination are the most sought-after qualities. To this end, the vision of this centre for the development of visual, dramatic and performing arts and music was conceived.

As the sun set, so the festivities began

Our gala opening began at dusk with drinks and snacks outside The Edge, where guests could enjoy the exterior of the building to the sounds of marimbas and the school rock bands. The Senior Rock Band – Life etc. – has produced its first EP, comprising original songs such as Butterfly. Drums, trumpet, bass guitar, lead guitars, keyboard and vocals entertained the guests as the sun began to set. Drama groups performed site-specific presentations in the gardens, the corridors and other venues, and charmed those who viewed them.

Inside the Concert Hall, djembe drums provided an African atmosphere as the lights dimmed and the 530-strong audience settled for an evening’s entertainment. The Edge was officially opened by Nigel Carman, Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Headmistress Deanne King welcomed guests to the auspicious occasion. Well-known actor and dialogue coach, Fiona Ramsay, one of our alumni, compéred the event with hilarious and witty quotations from William Shakespeare’s writings.

Quality song and dance did justice to this world-class facility

We were enthralled as the stage filled with the Junior and Senior School choirs, comprising about 250 girls, and the orchestra struck the first notes. Musical entertainment, ranging from delightful Disney medleys to the haunting music from Sophiatown – the Musical, filled the Concert Hall. Dance styles from hip hop to modern ballet were showcased, and the Drama girls presented some haunting movement pieces. A Harold Pinter duologue, performed by Zara Julius and Olivia King, provided great hilarity and awe at the girls’ superb comic timing. The lighting, sound system and acoustics were magnificent and truly fitting of a world-class facility.

During the evening, art displays and installations were on view upstairs in the art studios and on the open mezzanine level, while English presentations on wide-ranging issues entertained in the classrooms. The Grade 8 English girls displayed their fantasy meal menus, place settings and goodie bags, ranging from Harry Potter to Russian tearoom themes.

The Edge promises to be the fountainhead of creative education for the St Mary’s girls and will equip them for the lateral thinking needed to succeed in our everchanging
world. As Albert Einstein said: “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” What better point of departure than The Edge?

Lynn Knowles is the Director of Student Affairs at St Mary’s School. Contact her at lynnk@stmary.co.za

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Category: Featured Articles, Spring 2010 Edition

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