Wits to host Ruth First fiesta

Bridget van Oerle
The Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust will hold its annual Ruth First Jeppe Fiesta at the Wits University’s Linder
Auditorium on 30 August.
Jeppe High School for Girls celebrate their 100th year and this musical treat comes to the party with an evening
of music that will delight audiences.
The annual music event aids the foundation created in memory of alumna Ruth First and currently sponsors 56
girls at Jeppe High School for Girls.
Under the masterful baton of the award-winning maestro Richard Cock this year’s line-up features World Choir
Games gold medalists Jeppe Girls’ Choir and Highland Cathedral, with a programme so diverse it takes audiences
from Grieg’s famous Piano Concerto in A minor performed by Jeppe High School for Girls’ head of music Elize
Kruger to a My Fair Lady medley of hits and the Can Can choreographed by Loryn Lewis.
This year’s fiesta sees the premiere of South African composer Franco Prinsloo’s commissioned work Cantate for
female voices, which specially celebrates the Jeppe High School for Girls’ centenary.
Pianist Elize Kruger will take to the stage with violinist and Jeppe High School for Girls’ strings specialist Mia
Björkman–Sun and soloists Dominique Deysel and SAMA-nominated Timothy Moloi who returns to this special
event.
There will also be performances by the Jeppe Pipe Band, South Africa’s oldest school pipe band, under master-in-
charge Damien Pitman. Specialist vocal coach and choir master Johan Bester conducts the Jeppe Girls’ Choir and
Andrew Parfitt will bring out the best of Jeppe Girls’ Orchestra. Jeppe Hlabelela and Marimba ensembles are also
lined-up to add their captivating sounds to the evening.
All performances will be accompanied by the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra who tirelessly work towards
building the performers and audiences of the future.
Jeppe old girl Carolyn Steyn, of the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela campaign, will make a guest appearance
along with other Jeppe luminaries Dina Gonçalves and Di Thompson in the Toy Symphony.
The Ruth First Jeppe Memorial Trust was established in 2010 to pay tribute to anti-apartheid activist and
journalist First, who was killed in a letter bomb explosion in 1982.
She matriculated from Jeppe High School for Girls in 1941 and, in 1949, married South African Communist party
stalwart Joe Slovo. They had three children, Shawn, Gillian and Robyn.
Using First as a role model, scholarship recipients are provided with full tuition to enable them to obtain top-
quality education at Jeppe, one of South Africa’s leading schools.
For more or email ruthfirstevents@jeppegirls.co.za.

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