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Centre for the Performing Arts


The Centre for the Performing Arts (CPA) was opened in 2005 by the now retired Rector and Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Brian O’Connell and the late Emeritus Prof. Nicholas Basson. Both were instrumental in opening the CPA as a performance space for UWC.

The process of creating the CPA and acquiring a venue took place four years after the closure of the UWC Music Department (under the Arts Faculty), as a result of the severe financial constraints UWC suffered in 2001.

The late Emeritus Prof. Nicholas Basson was the first director at the UWC Centre for the Performing Arts, a unit under the Rector’s Office or Rectorate.

Henriette Weber, a UWC Music alumnus, succeeded Prof. Basson in 2011 when he retired as director after 35 years of service at UWC, due to deteriorating health, at the age of 70. Prof. Brian O’Connell retired as Rector and Vice-Chancellor in 2014, and from 2015 to 2019, the CPA continued its reporting line under Prof. Tyrone Pretorius.

In July 2019, the CPA’s new reporting line moved to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Academic, Prof. Vivienne Lawack, while working closely with the Community Engagement Unit and the Director, Prof. Priscilla Daniels and her team.


The CPA’s transformation and extended strategic focus provides an opportunity to define its role in the learning and teaching environment, both academically and for students as performers on stage.

Academically, the Intermediate and Advanced Programmes in Music are due for review in order to meet the needs of music education, community music and inclusive education, as the CPA prepares for the changing learning and teaching environment, research-led interventions and the Fourth Industrial revolution along with all its new emerging technologies. In addition, the CPA wishes to include the other performing arts activities such as dance, movement, drama and theatre-in-education to the performing arts portfolio on offer.


The Intermediate Programme in Music & the Advanced Programme in Music 

The two accredited Music Courses offered are the Intermediate Programme in Music and Advanced Programme in Music. These courses were designed to facilitate the training and development of community music practitioners, including:

  • Learners completing music as a matric subject and wishing to register at UWC faculties while pursuing music studies
  • Learners still attending school or any other higher education institution

The programmes are extracurricular and accredited under Continuous Education.

Course Work:

Programme in Music Course Work Music Grade Subjects
Intermediate Programme Practical 1 - 4 Instrumental or Vocal, classical or jazz genres
Technical (Scales, studies and excerpts)
Aural training
Ensemble – instrumental or vocal
  Theory 1 & 2 General Musicianship
History of Music and Form
Advanced Programme Practical 5 – Diploma (Teachers’ or Performers) Instrumental or Vocal, classical or jazz genres
Performers Diploma includes a recital
Aural training
Ensemble – instrumental or vocal
  Theory 3 & 4 General Musicianship
History of Music and Form

In July 2020, these two courses were added onto the iKamva platform with assistance from the UWC Centre for Innovative Education and Communication Technologies.

Director Henriette Weber
Co-ordinator Nathan Lawrence
Administrator Soraya Hofmeyer
Learning and Teaching – Bellville Campus  
Reeds Anel Galvin
Brass Sean Kierman
Percussion Stephan Galvin
Steelpans David Wickham
Jazz Guitar Alvin Dyers
Jazz Piano George Werner
Voice Marvin Kernelle
Andy Matima
Theory & Aural Anel Galvin
History of Music & Form Noelene Visagie
Improvisation & Jazz Combo George Werner
Learning and Teaching – Kimberley Campus  
Brass Mervyn Solomon
Reeds, Voice, Theory Anne Solomon
Violin Anna van Niekerk (Bloemfontein)
Music for Special Needs Learners  
Athlone School for the Blind, Glenhaven  
Music Programme – Early Childhood Development learners Anel Galvin
Oasis Special School, Belhar  
Music Programme – Primary and Senior Phase learners Anel Galvin

Student Assessment Team

Assessments takes place twice a year, in June and November and the panel remains constant for each assessment schedule. The examiners are all active in the music education sector including universities, music centres, professional orchestras, education departments and respected community music practitioners.

Moderator and Examiners  
Moderator Noelene Visagie (retired Music Curriculum Advisor)
Examiner – Reeds John Rojas (Head: Reeds, Beau Soleil Music Centre)
Examiner – Brass Pamela Kierman (Head: Brass, Stellenbosch University)
Examiner – Percussion Eugene Trofimczyk (Percussionist, Cape Philharmonic Orchestra)
Examiner – Steelpans George Werner (Director: Indigenous Musical Arts Development (IMAD)
Examiner – Jazz Guitar & jazz Piano Keith Tabisher (Director: Music Curriculum Advisor, Western Cape Education Department
Examiner – Voice Arno Jones (Reeds, piano and Voice: Frank Pietersen Music Centre)


Umsaep-Uwc Partnership (University Of Missouri South Africa Education Project

  • UWC-UMSL 25th Anniversary Celebrations – Arianna String Quartet from the University of Missouri St. Louis (2011)
  • UMSAEP Grant – Arianna String Quartet Workshops and Concerts (2013)

Dcas Partnership (Department Of Cultural Affairs & Sport (Western Cape Government)

  • In 2015, UWC entered a 3-year partnership agreement with the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS). The funding made it possible for 20 community musicians to register at the Centre for the Performing Arts for the Intermediate or Advanced Programmes in Music. DCAS selected students from the West Coast (Saldanha, Riebeeck Kasteel), Ocean View, Khayelitsha, Gugulethu and Hermanus to participate in these programmes. Due to travelling time from Hermanus, a teacher from Hermanus was contracted to teach voice. The partnership agreement was extended beyond the 3 years and concluded in December 2019. We thank the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport for providing the financial support to enable community musicians to improve their skills and share these skills in their communities.  

Partnership Agreement Between UWC Centre For The Performing Arts, Department Of Cultural Affairs And Sport And The Athlone School For The Blind Association

  • In 2017, a music programme for blind and visually impaired learners in the Early Childhood Development class at the Athlone School for the Blind was started.

UWC Chamber Choir (2011-2015)
UWC String Quartet (2011-2012)
UWC Jazz Combo (2011-present)
UWC Wind Orchestra (2014-2016)
UWC Brass Quintet (2014)
UWC Saxophone Ensemble (2014-2016)
Chamber Ensembles
UWC String Trio (2016)
UWC Community Chamber Choir (2020)

2011 UWC Chamber Orchestra with Calvinist Church Choir performed the King of Glory Cantata at the Artscape Theatre.
2012 UWC Chamber Choir performed Via Crucis, Liszt’s Easter Cantata at various Anglican Churches 2013: UWC 
Jazz Combo participated at the National Youth Jazz Festival, Grahamstown.
2013 Launch Concert of Chamber Music Institute & Music Courses with the Arianna String Quartet from the 
University of Missouri, St Louis.
2014 Various UWC CPA ensembles perform at Jazz Vespers at St. George’s Cathedral at the end of every month.
2015 Members of the UWC Wind Orchestra performed in concerts with the University of Stuttgart Academic 
Orchestra at St. George’s Cathedral, Cape Town and the Oude Libertas Amphitheatre, Stellenbosch.
2016 & 2018 UWC Jazz Combo performances at The Crypt, Cape Town.
2017 UWC Jazz Combo performance at the Montague Library, Montague & Awards Ceremony at Bishopscourt, 
Cape Town.
2019 Hosted Wonderkinders - seven young, talented international pianists – who attended masterclasses with world renowned pianist and pedagogue, Prof. Wolfrard Schmitt-Leonardy from Germany in February 2019. This project was initiated by Qden Blaauw, a piano prodigy from Cape Town and Arts Capital’s Colin Daries.
The UWC Jazz Combo performed at the IEASE Conference, NRF Awards Ceremony (Lord Charles Hotel, Somerset West), Jellyfish Symposium (Two Oceans Aquarium, V & A Waterfront) and at the return of the Carols by Candlelight.
2020 First virtual concert during UWC Academic Week hosted by the DVC Academic, Prof. Vivienne Lawack. The Carols by Candlelight will also be done virtually this year and plan is in place for lunch hour concerts once or twice a month in 2021.

2011 The Arianna String Quartet, USA (May); National Taiwan Normal University, Taiwan (July) and Boston City 
Singers, USA (August), University of Namibia Choir, Namibia (September)
2012 Williams College Choir, USA (January); Harlem String Quartet, USA (April); Brigham Young University 
Choir, USA (May); Viva La Symphony Concerts with CPO and South African soloists conducted by Prof Victor Yampolsky, USA (June); Taiwan Youth Ambassador Programme, Taiwan (July)
2013 Arianna String Quartet, University of Missouri, St Louis, USA (August); Village Harmony, multi-national choir (August), Greifswald Choir, Germany (September)
2014 University of Stuttgart Academic Orchestra, Germany (October); Steinkjer Choir, Norway (October)
2016 Malmo University Choir and Orchestra, Sweden (June)
2017 Ulm Wind Orchestra and Boston City Singers (July-August)
2018 Rik Guesquiere, trumpeter and conductor from Belgium & Prof. Victor Yampolsky, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA (June); Tory Gilligan student internship at the UWC CPA and the Athlone School for the Blind (August)
2019 Prof. Victor Yampolsky, Northwestern University, Chicago, USA (February); Prof Kinh Vu and three students, Boston University & Christian Kohler, conductor from Germany (July); Rik Guesquiere, Belgium, donating trumpets to the UWC Centre for the Performing Arts for use at the Athlone School for the Blind, Oasis Special School and the UWC CPA; the Harvard-Radcliffe Collegium Musicum Choir.

2015 The Department of Cultural Affairs Ministerial Award for Outstanding Achievement for Youth in the Arts acknowledging the achievements at the UWC Centre for the Performing Arts (2015))
2016 The Department of Social Development Ministerial Award for Service and Leadership for developing the accredited courses for community music practitioners, offered at UWC Centre for the Performing Arts.
2018 The Athlone School for the Blind Association received the UWC Deputy Vice Chancellor: Academic’s Excellent Community Engagement Partner Award for the Early Childhood Development Music Programme initiated by the UWC Centre for the Performing Arts.
2018 The UWC Deputy Vice Chancellor: Academic’s Excellence in Community Engagement Award for an Individual.

2014 Pan African Society for Musical Arts Education (PASMAE) Conference (Southern African Region) at Cornwall College, Centurion, Pretoria. Critical Insights in Music Education. My presentation on Christmas Bands: A community music phenomenon unique to the Christian tradition within the Coloured Community of the Western Cape.
2018 At Disability Week programme at the Wits Centre for the Deaf on the UWC Centre for the Performing Arts activities with special reference to the music programme for special needs learners.

2017 The Early Childhood Development Music Programme at the Athlone School for the Blind.
2018 This was expanded to include Grade R and Grade 1 learners as well as reeds (clarinet and saxophone) and brass (trumpet, trombone and French horn) tuition. The student numbers increased from 20 learners (2017) to 53 learners (2018) and the staff complement increased from one to three teachers including a music therapist and brass teacher.
2019 Started a music programme for special needs learners at the Oasis Special School in Belhar and received a donation of instruments from Rik Ghesquiere (Belgium for use at these schools and the CPA.

2019 Three of the students, in Kimberley, are music teachers at St. Patrick’s CBC and Kimberley Boys’ High Schools who wish to improve their qualifications. As we were unable to find a suitably qualified violin teacher in Kimberley, the violin student travels to Bloemfontein every two weeks for her lesson. The South African Police Service members in the Northern Cape (SAPS) Band have registered for the Advanced Programme in Music in order to improve their qualifications which will enable them to progress in rank within the police services.
2020 This registration of SAPS members into the Advanced Programme in Music expanded to include members of the Western Cape SA Police Service Band located in Belhar. This cohort will be receiving full bursaries from SAPS.

We wish to acknowledge the following donors who support our students’ artistic development. They are:
  • The Myra Chapman Education Trust
  • The Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport
  • Mrs. Wendy Ackerman
  • The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic Office
  • Rik Ghesquiere
  • South African Police Services

iKAMVA (UWC Online Platform)

Practical and Theoretical subjects





DVC Academic Reflective Report 2019

Weber: Taking Back Cape Town: Music Education in the Townships, a chapter in the book, My Body was Left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement edited by Prof Kinh Vu and Andre de Quadros (Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden 2020) 

A chapter for publication, The book, My Body was left on the Street: Music Education and Displacement, by Prof. Kinh Vu, will be available from June 2020.


  • Social Work and the Arts in collaboration with UWC Social Work Department and international university collaboration (2020)
  • Performing Arts Research Project with Wits University for the Department for Higher Educations and Training, funded by the National Research Foundation (2020-2022)


Infrastructural changes to meet the new programmes to be offered.

Download the Inclusive & special needs Workshop 2018 Guidelines here:

Henriette Weber - Taking back Cape Town: Music Education in the Townships - Chapter 27