The Centre for the Performing Arts is a unit which falls under the Rector’s Office and is housed in what used to be the Theology Building. Currently the Centre has a performance venue, the Recital Hall; 3 larger rehearsals venues for choral training, dance and drama and a recording studio. Structurally, we hope to expand the performance space to include a small theatre and an amphitheatre.
There are various instrumental rehearsal spaces catering for voice, vocal production, piano, clarinet and saxophone and percussion. These instrumental teaching subjects will increase as dictated by the demand.
The various ensembles include the UWC Chamber Choir, UWC String Quartet, UWC Jazz Combo and will expand to a clarinet choir, saxophone ensemble and ultimately a wind ensemble.
The Centre for the Performing Arts has a twofold vision of being a Centre for Higher Learning as well as establishing a presence in local communities where talented young musicians will be given the opportunity to received instrumental tuition from highly skilled and qualified professional musicians.
The reality in the Western Cape is that music graduates from neighbouring universities gravitate towards private schools or schools which are able to employ music teachers in governing body positions. Community schools in coloured and black townships still lack resources, mainly instruments and qualified arts teachers. The Centre therefore becomes a unit where UWC students studying in any faculty can gain an arts qualification during his/her 3 or 4 year study period on campus, thereby creating arts minded practitioners in these township schools and communities.
In order for these students to enter a tertiary institution with the minimum requirements, we need to prepare them while still at high school. This is where the Centre’s community engagement aspect is vital and where the Centre for the Performing Arts twofold vision meet – of being a centre for higher learning as well as providing grassroots arts education in music, dance and drama in the marginalised communities of the Western Cape.