Culture

2021 an odd year for the arts.

JEANINE SIRSAWY

The stars of the SMS Arts & Drama Festival. From the left Taylor Coetzee, Ms Amanda van Eeden and Jasca de Abreu. Taylor and Jasca both obtained A+++ symbols for their respective items. Photo E Ndwere

Since 2000, St Michael’s has hosted its Music, Arts and Drama Festival (or ‘MAD festival’, as Dr Cromhout likes to call it) every other year, alternating with the Afrikaans festival. Participants usually come from neighbouring schools and other provinces to perform in the festival. Unfortunately, due to Covid 19, last year’s festival was postponed to this year, an unimaginable disappointment.

This year’s Art Festival, the 11th of its kind, was a much-needed stimulus after the tiresome term that had passed, and it reminded everyone that, despite all the pain and stress of the pandemic, the girls still had much to give.

Many artists came to perform, including many talented St Michael’s girls. The SMS girls’ conduct impressed parents from outside schools. For a week, the school bustled with life: there were artists handing in their paintings last minute, keeping Mrs Faber and the judges on their toes; dancers practised their routines in the quad, and at any time of the day one could see parents sitting in anticipation outside the hall. Dr Cromhout was in and out of the chapel, along with the music learners. The balance between school and extramural activities tipped, making for a chaotic week. 

Even though there were no audiences to stimulate the participants, they performed with gusto, as if the whole world was there to see it. It’s possible (perhaps even likely) that some girls preferred the quiet to the crowded hall.

All the girls, performing or not, displayed a perfect example of what a St Michael’s girl was to all the guests, whether it be by talent or impeccable manners. A special nod to the educators, even to those who did not take part directly in the planning, for keeping the school functioning throughout all the mayhem.

This year’s MAD Festival was a resounding success and the St Michael’s community looks forward to next year’s festival with more enthusiasm than ever.

The St Michaels Arts and Drama festival made it to the front page of the local newspaper – Courant. Photo by R du Toit