Steenberg High School’s brand new Music and Arts Centre will be officially opened today, 01 September 2017. The much-needed Centre was made possible by Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages’ (CCPB) generous donation of R2.25 million, in partnership with the Rotary Club of Newlands who contributed to and managed the building project.  The Centre will be a hub for all cultural activities at the school, and will also be used as a dance studio.

As CCPB’s 2017 Corporate Social Investment (CSI) project, the newly built Music and Arts Centre boasts a foyer, office, store room and most importantly, plenty of space for two school orchestras to practice and perform in.

Steenberg High School Headmaster Andre Kraak said it was a dream come true for the school to have their own Music and Arts Centre. Previously the learners would have to squash into a small room for orchestra practice. Now they have their own cultural space.

“We are thrilled to partner with Steenberg High School in providing a dedicated space for music, dance and arts to flourish. This is our big 2017 CSI project and believe it will provide learners with a space to thrive and excel,” says Priscilla Urquhart, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at CCPB.

For children at the school, many who come from low income communities, playing music has been a significant turning point, says Kraak. “The members of the two Symphonic Wind Orchestras have been transformed. They have developed a positive self-image and have grown in confidence. There has also been a remarkable improvement in their work ethic and academic results,” adds Kraak,

Kraak mentions one specific learner from a gang-ridden area who plays the tenor saxophone. “In Grade 9 she was on the verge of dropping out of school because of bad choices. The orchestra gave her reason to stay at school. She did not feature among the top learners in the junior phase but suddenly appeared as one of the top ten academic students in Grade 10. Her transformation was recognised when the teachers selected her as a prefect in Grade 11 in 2016,” he explains proudly.

The school’s two orchestras are flourishing, and can boast that they have performed at the Baxter, Artscape and at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Some of the most talented musicians are also part of the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra.

“It is a privilege to be so invested in this school and its learners,” says Graham Finlayson, President of the Rotary Club of Newlands. “We look forward to seeing the learners at Steenberg High School flourish.”

Urquhart added: “The level of talent amongst learners at the school is phenomenal and it is wonderful to see children thrive as they perform together. This building symbolises an investment in arts and culture. It is indeed a place that will inspire moments of happiness in the lives of many learners, their parents, the teachers at this school and the wider community.”

For more information about Coca-Cola Peninsula Beverages (CCPB), visit http://www.peninsulabeverage.co.za/ or contact 021 936 5500.