Says Gary Balarin, head of department: culture, senior primary phase at Thomas More College in KwaZulu-Natal: “Allowing children regular opportunities to perform on a school stage is a vital educational tool and a key component in building their confidence as future leaders. The success of cultural events often goes beyond the simple performance itself.”
Balarin illustrated his comment with this brief story sent to Independent Education:
“Highlighted by the spotlight’s eye, he stood nervously toying with the microphone. This was Luke’s first performance in a formal setting — the annual Cultural Showcase at the primary school at Thomas More College. He sang, but not as he’d done months prior around a campfire where the sports tour party marvelled at his talent. Now, the audience sympathetically applauded his nerve-wracked offering as the lone figure quickly disappeared behind the curtain.
“Four years prior, this same boy was unable to present his English oral publicly. With his back to the class, his teacher attentively marked his whispered attempt, barely a metre from her! Was history now repeating itself with this shy, yet talented young man who was trying to overcome past insecurities?
“Backstage he tearfully clung to our music director, Roberta Ramasamy, whose compassion masterfully fanned back into flame what staff had seen burning in Luke and he chose to courageously return front stage. This time, he was not alone. A heroine class mate, Anele Mdladla, had quickly been coached to support him — singing a song she’d never sung! After just a few short minutes, Luke courteously bowed to the rapturous applause of an appreciative audience. They were both heroes!
“This highlights one of the aspects so typical of the ethos of Thomas More College in developing every individual to his or her full capacity, acknowledging and celebrating difference and the empathy and camaraderie which espouse what we stand for.”
Category: Autumn 2016