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School Video

Big Band

Founded in January 2015.
Consists of ±15 members.

Who takes part:
Boys and girls from grade 8 – 12.

Activities throughout the year:
Stellenbosch Eisteddfod
Helderberg Eisteddfod
Performances at big events for example: sports days, concerts, prize-givings, Open Day.

Stellenbosch Eisteddfod Trophy: For Jazz Band (High School, Students, Open) – 2016 and 2017.

To build self-confidence and to encourage group participation.
Individual and group training in various jazz instruments, in a Big Band style.

How to sign up:
Per invitation from a Music staff member.

Rehearsal times:
Practice sessions take place every Tuesday, directly after school.

Contact details:
Mr D. Combe

Twelve Parel Vallei learners, who form our awesome Big Band, attended and participated in the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival 2017, part of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

The festival is one of the most significant jazz development programmes in the country, bringing together over 300 learners and students, 40 teachers, as well as about 90 professional jazz musicians and educators from all over South Africa. The festival runs for a week and includes innovative jazz performances, rehearsals, workshops, lectures, networking and an opportunity for South Africa’s future jazz musicians to interact personally and musically with their peers and the country’s top performers. Listening to the best of what national and international jazz musicians have to offer was a pleasure!

The purpose of this festival is to “set the stage for a national search for the finest young jazz talent in the country”. Our own Matthew Marais and Luke Verrezen were selected and auditioned for the National Youth Jazz Band. They played their hearts out for a prestigious place in this national band. Although they were not chosen in the end, the experience of being part of this process was in itself the opportunity. The other PV Big Band members took part in the mixed-ability bands and performed on two occasions during the week. Everyone returned with renewed enthusiasm and passion for their music, inspired by this fantastic event. A big vote of thanks to the eight matrics who formed the core of the band this year, elevating it to its present excellence; and let’s not forget Mr Combe for his continued inspiration.



In 1997 we had a very important strategic session during which the staff, management and Governing Body plotted the future of our school.

After very meaningful discussions and deliberation, we came to the conclusion that we were entering a time of huge change. We were on the threshold of introducing OBE (Outcome Based Education) and realised that the one constant going into the future would be change!

We were very proud of our academic excellence and were working hard at bringing sport and culture up to the same level as the academics. Around the table we penned our Vision for the future: "EXCELLENCE IN A CHANGING WORLD"

Since those very important discussions we are very proud to be able to say that we really do achieve excellence in our ever changing environment.

Some 10 years ago my wife and I attended a stage production of the musical ‘Evita’ which depicted the life of Evita Peron, wife of the Past President of Argentina.
During the show, Evita says, in a very defiant moment: "I’m proud to be and Argentinian."

At school at the time, I was thinking about ways in which I could spark off some pride in the school. Although many of our pupils had tremendous talent, they were often lacking in confidence and were almost scared to show pride in themselves or their school. I took Evita’s words and entered our own name and got: "Proud to be a Parel Valleier". I motivated and encouraged pupils to buy into the concept of having pride in themselves and in what they do but without being arrogant.

We also started to use this slogan on the foot of all our outgoing mail and on our letterheads. Interestingly, some of the grade 8’s, when they answer the question in their little test about the motto of the school, say that, “Proud to be a Parel Valleier” is the school’s motto instead of the real motto "Sapientia et intellegentia."

Long may this slogan live in the hearts and minds of our learners and may they always be "Proud to be a Parel Valleier".

Ettienne Gouws