Newsletter (November 2012)

November 2012
Hi Everyone!

As we say goodbye to 2012 it’s great to be able to look back on a year that was an unprecedented success in so many ways:

Live Events 2012
Our mid-year Grade 12 dinner and show at the Yellowwood Café was a fantastic success. Thank you to everyone who came along to this superb event. By Invitation showcased the talents of our 8 matric students: Abi Nelson, Ashleigh Reitz, Nikki Mayne, Shannon Harvey, Tanna Blumberg, Tshepo Motaung, Tyla Nurden and Yann Ngameni and featured some acoustic numbers, some beautiful duets and songs from the musical Moulin Rouge.

As dawn broke the following day, we welcomed the rest of the school and their families and friends to our annual Winter Festival at The Yellowwood Café. A number of performers made their debut and we are especially proud of all those who conquered their nerves and took to the stage for the first time. A lot of parents travelled a long way to be with us and we thank them for their support. Charlene and Mike Vos thank you for supporting Steve and I with the huge task of staging these back to back events. Just transporting and setting up all the equipment was a vast undertaking and took all of Friday and went on until the early hours of Saturday morning. Then we had to strike the set up of By Invitation late on Saturday night and reset for the Sunday festival.

We ended the year with Mike’s Open Mike Night hosted at Charlene and Mike’s home in Hilton. Although we were few, we had a great evening and once again showed the depth of talent here at Songworks. It was great to share the stage with all the young musicians and great to welcome Gershon back from Johannesburg for a “one night only” performance. As I looked around I couldn’t help but notice the smiles and happiness radiating from our performers and our audience and I feel truly privileged to be able to share the gift of music.

rockschool / Trinity Rock and Pop Examinations
As you are no doubt aware by now these two institutions have parted company after a 5 year association and are now operating independently. Both rockschool and Trinity Rock and Pop have local and international recognition and can be used to gain access to higher education institutions in South Africa, Europe and the U.S.

Our examination results for 2012 (both sessions) were excellent.
Everyone who entered the examinations achieved either a high merit or a distinction.

Trinity Rock and Pop Results

Holly Soderlund Grade 1 Distinction (97%)
Julia Soderlund Grade 1 Merit
Jessica Nunes Grade 3 Merit
Tatenda Mbanje Grade 3 Merit
Seamus Hennessy Grade 4 Distinction
Shannon Harvey Grade 5 Distinction

rockschool Results

Brandon Jones Grade 1 Distinction
Erin Price Grade 1 Distinction
Ashleigh Vos Grade 2 Distinction
Gemma Parsons Grade 3 Distinction
Jessica Pinnell Grade 3 Distinction
Seetsele Setlhomo Grade 3 Merit
Sarah Walker Grade 3 Distinction
Olivia Jonsson Grade 4 Distinction
Cassandra Lotze Grade 4 Distinction
Lizaan Pelser Grade 4 Distinction
Sipho Gule-Davidson Grade 5 Merit
Daniel von Hoesslin Grade 5 Merit
Julia Church Grade 6 Distinction
Georgina Borros Grade 6 Distinction
Ndzelani Mamba Grade 6 Distinction
Tanna Blumberg Grade 7 Distinction
Tanna Blumberg Grade 8 Distinction
Nicola Mayne Grade 8 Distinction

I am sure you will agree that these results are nothing short of spectacular! Well done everybody!

Additional Awards for Excellence
Tanna Blumberg
Received an additional award from rockschool for achieving the highest mark nationally for her vocal examination at Level 3 Grade 7 and 8 (95% and 93% respectively).
Julia Church
Received an additional award from rockschool for achieving the highest mark nationally for her vocal examination at Level 3 Grade 6 (95%).
Tracy Stark Songworks
I am delighted to report that I too received an award from rockschool for achieving the highest standard of examination results nationally.

We have set the bar very high and we are going to have to work very hard to maintain such a high level of achievement. It is a challenge I look forward to.

The 2013 exam sessions for rockschool and Trinity Rock and Pop are round about the same time and will be held in April/May and September/October. Candidates may enter either or both of these sessions.

I have been outlining the respective offerings from both organisations to the students here in the school and have made my recommendations regarding what path each of them should follow. Please discuss this with your child over the holidays confirm whether or not he/she will be taking exams next year and what session/s you wish him/her entered for. Please feel free to contact me after new year if you need additional clarification or guidance regarding this.

Visit or for more information.

IEB Matric Music Practical Examinations
I have pleasure in letting everyone know that both Nicola Mayne and Tanna Blumberg achieved distinctions in their final IEB Matric music practical examinations with contemporary voice as their major instrument. Tshepo Motaung also included a classical contemporary crossover vocal piece in his final IEB Matric music practical examination and achieved a distinction. Abi Nelson included a musical theatre piece in her repertoire for her IEB Matric drama final and earned herself a superb result.

New Studio/Ensemble Room
We have already made great use of the new studio/ensemble room and cannot imagine how we ever got along without it! is Steve’s permanent seat of residence and he has a number of exciting recording projects underway. We’ve used it for rehearsals, exam workshops and a number of social get-togethers. At the moment Tanya Nicolson and I are in rehearsal for a Christmas cabaret which we’ll be performing on December 20th at Nicolson’s Café in the Garlington estate. Tickets are R195 for dinner and the show and if last year is anything to go by it is going to be a knock-out. In case you don’t know Tanya, she is a professional performer with numerous credits to her name having worked at the Jo’burg Barnyard Theatre and with popular showbiz personalities like David Kramer, Ian von Memerty and Thaliep Petersen. I will be providing the entertainment for Nicolson’s New Year’s Eve again this year. We planning to celebrate the dawning of 2013 with a classy dinner, lots of bubbly and some adult contemporary, light jazz standards and soft lounge tunes. Anyone wanting to join the party should call Tanya at Nicolsons.

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.

Songworks CDs
Steve is currently working on a compilation CD featuring the recordings of our Matric leavers. I will keep everyone posted as to how this develops. He is also working on my latest recordings and on a Christmas CD featuring Tanya and myself.

The Collection (R120), Reflections (R120) and Live at Brookfield (R140) and Gershon’s CD Hometown Story (R120) are all still available. Extracts of all of them can be heard on my website and the full CDs ordered online or purchased from the studio. Thanks to all of you who’ve already bought copies.

It is with a very heavy heart that I say farewell to Abi Nelson, Ashleigh Reitz, Nikki Mayne, Shannon Harvey, Tanna Blumberg, Tyla Nurden, Tshepo Motaung and Yann Ngameni. We have had the best of times with all of you and Steve and I wish you every success as you make your way in the world.

We also say farewell to their exceptional parents, many of whom have become our good friends: Wendy and Willie Reitz, Gill and Owen Nelson, Des and Joanna Mayne, Brigid Harvey, Paula and Daryl Harvey Bridgitte and Jeff Blumberg, Mandy Tyrer and Kingsley Nurden, Sello Motaung, Marie and Jean-Paul Ngameni. All of you will be sadly missed and Steve and I wish to thank you sincerely for being so supportive over the years.

Steve and I wish of you a happy and wonderful festive season and look forward to welcoming you back in 2013.

Dr Tracy Stark

Songworks Music School
Email Tracy at