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School Video

National Youth Jazz Festival- Grahamstown

Parel Vallei has been attending the National Youth Jazz festival from 2001. This is an annual event for learners from schools who offer Jazz or Big Band music development and to participate and compete in this field at a national level.

2007 Awarded a place in the National Schools Big Band – Dean Bellingham.
2008 Awarded a place in the National Schools Big Band – Aldert du Toit.

Who takes part:
Learners from grade 10 – 12. 
Selected members should preferably take individual music lessons.

When does it happen?
A week-long festival in Grahamstown during the July holidays.

It is an ideal opportunity for learners to develop their jazz musical skills through interaction with 300 other learners and educators and experience jazz performances on an international level.

How to sign up:
Learners already taking lessons can be asked by the teacher to join.

Contact details:
Mr. D. Combe


Parel Vallei Jazz Band 

Eight PAREL VALLEI learners attended and participated in the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival, a part of the Grahamstown National Arts Festival for 2015.

The Festival has become one of the most significant jazz development programmes in the country, bringing together over 300 learners (high school and university), 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 Parel Vallei Jazz Band was given the opportunity to perform in a show and each learner also took part in either the mixed-ability bands or the vocal ensemble, and these groups performed on two occasions during the week.

Everyone returned with a renewed enthusiasm and passion for their music, inspired by their attendance at such a fantastic event.


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