South African Boy Choir Costumes

Figure 1.--The Drakensberg Boys' Choir School is unique in South Africa. The boys' distictive costume includes a lacey jabot

Many European countries have a long tradition of church boys' choirs dating back to the medevil era. Southa Africa has inherited both the Dutch and English tradition. Since the end of Apartheid in 1992? the African music tradition has been incorporated into the choir repoirties. I have to date, however, acquired little inofrmation on the South African choirs.

I do have information on one choir. The Drakensberg Boys' Choir School is unique in South Africa. Founded in 1967, the choir has earned local and international fame. The choir school is situated in the heart of the Kwa-Zulu Natal Drakensberg mountain range near the town of Winterton. The Choir notes that nature and culture are closely interwined in this idyllic surrounding--the majestic peaks of Champagne Castle and Cathkin Peak in harmony with the sweet clear sounds of the young voices of the more than 106 boys enrolled at the school.

The Drakensberg Boys' Choir School's Mission is to prepare boys for life and leadership through excellence in music, academics and social enrichment in a Christian environment. Situated in the heart of the Central Drakensberg of Natal, the Drakensberg Boys' Choir School has been awarded many accolades for its musical achievements since its inception in 1967.

The school boasts a unique, fulfilling and comprehensive educational experience which extends beyond music to include academics, sport, culture and worldwide travel. The school caters for between 100 and 115 boys from Standard 2 to Standard 7 in a compulsory boarding establishment, and offers an excellent pupil/teacher ratio which enables staff to fulfil a caring and personal role in keeping with the school's mission statement. Academic classes are presented as current and challenging opportunities to boys of sound academic background and ability. A skills-based approach is followed and is aimed at the development of personal discipline and leadership. Subjects taught include English, Afrikaans--Language across curriculum, Mathematics, Science, IT, Accounting, Guidance, Divinity, Art, Music, Music Technology, Physical Education and Book Education. Extramural activities include the usual sports such as Rugby, Cricket, Swimming, Athletics, Cross-country and Tennis, and extend to 'Berg Hiking, Horse Riding, Golf and Trout Fishing. Music achievements are based on a rigorous and comprehensive foundation laid at the school.

Boys are auditioned at venues throughout South Africa and, if successful, are accepted into the school after further academic evaluation. A further 17 music tests have to be passed before pupils form one of the school's two equal choirs as fully-fledged choristers, with the inherent rights to touring locally and internationally. Individual instruments and voice lessons are offered at the school, and many of the boys enter and excel in their annual Unisa and Royal School examinations. All boys study Unisa music theory and write the relevant examinations.

Christopher Wagner

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Chronologies] [Style Index] [Biographies] [Bibliographies] [Biographies] [Activities] [Countries]
[Boys' Clothing Home]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web choir costume pages:
[Return to the Main choir page]
[Return to the Main national choir page]
[Australia] [Austria] [Belgium] [Bulgaria] [Canada] [Denmark] [England] [France] [Finland] [Germany] [Japan] [Netherlands] [Poland] [South Africa] [United States]

Navigate the Historic Boys' Clothing Web style pages:
[Short pants suits] [Blazers] [Collars] [Lace collars]
[Ruffled collars] [Eton collar] [Fauntleroy suits]
[Sailor suits] [Ring bearer/page costumes] [First Communion suits]

Created: November 2, 1998
Last updated: November 2, 1998