Grahamstown Symphony

By Tamzyn Degoumois

The Rhodes Orchestra performed in its second ever full symphonic concert in the Great Hall on Friday, August 30 to a completely sold-out venue. Rhodes students and Grahamstown locals alike were serenaded by the sweet sounds of the Orchestra as they performed Beethoven’s coriolan overture, Saint Saens’ violin concerto and Mozart’s symphony no. 30. Rhodes student, Brad Jansen described the concert as “something that [he’d] never experienced before” adding that it was an absolutely amazing experience.Prominent international violin soloist, Heidi Steiger, appeared as a guest performer and delighted the audience with her violin solo while her brother, cellist Peter Marters, also added to the Orchestra’s performance. Cambridge-born Steiger started learning the violin at a young age in Cape Town at UCT and also leaned to play the piano at age eight and the clarinet when she was just 13. 

The Orchestra was established three years ago in 2005, under the guidance of their conductor, Chilean Violin Lecturer, Juan Munoz. He started lecturing at Rhodes in 2004 and thought that the Grahamstown community would benefit from a local orchestra. The Orchestra meet every Saturday to play together, starting off with popular music, but have now met the challenges of a symphonic repertoire. The Orchestra’s youngest member is 12 years old and the members range from amateurs to professionals. The Orchestra has also collaborated with the East Cape Opera Company in their production of Mozart’s Magic Flute.

Jacques Du Plessis, a BMus student and viola player for the Orchestra, concluded by saying that the concert was “extremely successful”, with sold-out tickets and a much more impressive audience attendance than last year.

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