Newsletter (June 2012)

June 2012
Hi Everyone!

We’re halfway through the year and have welcomed a number of new students and their parents to Songworks. It’s been an eventful year so far with the most unsettling news being the split between Trinity and Rockschool. Fortunately it’s all water under the bridge now and we’ve managed the transition with no casualties. I’m happy to say that at Songworks we teach both offerings, students can either choose one or do both if they so wish. We have maintained excellent relationships with the Trinity and the Rockschool management both locally and in London.
Visit or for more information.

Rockschool Examinations
We had an extremely enjoyable examination session in May and I’m delighted to report that all of our candidates passed their exams. Congratulations to:

Ashleigh Vos Grade 1 (Merit)
Cassie Lotze Grade 3 (Merit)
Daniel Von Hoesslin Grade 4
Julia Church Grade 5 (Distinction)
Lizaan Pelser Grade 3 (Merit)
Ndzelani Mamba Grade 5 (Distinction)
Nicola Mayne Grade 7 (Distinction)
Sibusiso Gamede Grade 3
Sipho Gule Davidson Grade 4 (Merit)
Tanna Blumberg (Grade 6) (Merit)

We would like to thank Jerry our Rockschool examiner for making everyone’s exam experience so relaxed and enjoyable. In addition to a very satisfactory overall exam result, we had excellent feedback about the calibre of our candidates and the quality of the teaching offerings, facilities and equipment here at Songworks.

Good luck to the 7 candidates who will be performing the first session of Trinity Rock and Pop Male and Female Vocals in August.

By Invitation …
You will be missing a fantastic opportunity if you pass up the chance to come to our Dinner and Show – By Invitation.
This event will be on Saturday 28th July at The Yellowwood Café in Howick 7.30m. This is the evening before the main Winter Festival so if you are from out of town you might want to plan to stay overnight in order to catch both shows. The evening showcases the talents of our 8 Matrics: Tanna Blumberg, Abi Nelson, Shannon Harvey, Ashleigh Reitz, Nikki Mayne, Tyla Nurden, Tshepo Motaung and Yann Ngameni – all will be familiar to those of you who are regulars at our live performances. I’ve attached the programme cover to whet your appetite. Tickets for dinner and the show are on sale now and cost R165 per person. Email me at if you want to come along or phone Steve or myself and we’ll let you know how you can pay and get your tickets. I also have a limited number of show only tickets available at R45 per person. Please don’t leave your bookings till the last minute! Late June early July would be a good time to finalise numbers. Matrics need to let me know how many tickets they are likely to need.

Winter Music Festival
Our annual festival will take place on July 29th at Yellowwood café in Howick (see photo below) and will be the usual: bring a picnic but buy drinks at the venue. You can also eat at Yellowwood in the restaurant if you like (033 330 2461 for reservations). This is not the room in which the concert will be held though. The format will be slightly different this year as the volume of performers is so much greater. The morning session will be for Future Shock (young people) then there will be a lunch break and the older performers will take the afternoon and early evening sessions. This year we will be setting up tables of 10 in the venue so that people can wander around like they did at the year end show instead of having to sit in rows and feeling a bit too formal. If you want to book a table inside it’s first come first served! Anyone participating in the senior show is expected to stay until the end and take their place on stage for the finale. Those of you who do always stay know that I close the show myself – the reason being that am perfectly happy to sing to an empty room, but I will never let one of my students have to undergo the disappointment of watching the room empty while they are mid-song. Watching it on the video is excruciating …

Ticket prices will be R60 for adults, R25 for children under 10. Everyone in the school will have a festival staging fee of R120 added to their Songworks fees account. For this you will receive 2 tickets and a festival programme. You will be able to collect these during rehearsal week (Mon 25th – 27th July). In this way we ensure that everyone shares the considerable cost of staging this event and it is not left to the same few parents and their families and friends who turn up for everything. Because of this we have been able to reduce the cost of the tickets (last year they were R75) and hopefully people will feel that they are more affordable. If you need more tickets than the allotted 2 of course you can buy as many as you like, either in advance (from today!) or on the day at the gate. Let me know if you want to reserve one of the tables inside the venue (they seat 8 -10) morning show/afternoon evening or both. Otherwise seating will be first come first served. If you prefer to be outside you will need to bring your own seating and blankets to make yourselves comfortable. I have made up a roster of responsible students who I would like to help with ticket sales at Yellowwood on the day. It is on the rehearsal schedule so please factor it in when you are making your plans.

We will be re-opening the studio on Monday 23rd July for a week of rehearsals that take the place of usual classes. As in former years you will be charged for this week and normal classes will resume on 30th July. I have attached the rehearsal schedule and a festival schedule which as you see, features groups of performers. Of course it is impossible to please everyone so this is the one week where I insist that everyone be present and excuse themselves from other commitments which might clash. As it is the first week of school this is normally not an issue. If, however, you or yours is sick please don’t bring your illnesses along to rehearsal and infect everyone else. Just phone and show up on the day of the festival. If a performer is doing ensemble work he or she may have to be substituted.

What to wear – For the festival performances make sure you have civvies with you (those in boarding school). The girls of Future Shock – plus Tara P, Tara M, Jess P and Gemma P need to wear denim skirts, shorts or jeans and boots with a fun top. Everyone else needs to think about their song and dress appropriately. Please discuss it with me if you still not sure.

Just as an aside – if you phone, text or email Steve or myself on the day of a show we are invariably transporting and hauling equipment, connecting cabling, setting stages, testing and doing soundchecks. We need to be focused on the task at hand as it is very exacting and complicated work. We are therefore unlikely to be able take your calls or receive your messages. Everything you need to know about an event is normally laid out in my emails well in advance. Please plan ahead to make sure you know where, when and how to arrive.

Facebook Page and Website
If you haven’t already discovered it, we have a page on Facebook! Please visit Tracy Stark Songworks to view and download any new or current information or photos.

Have a fantastic holiday everyone I look forward to seeing you all on your return.

Dr Tracy Stark

Songworks Music School
Email Tracy at