FULL-TIME STAFF: SENIOR SCHOOL
Director of Music: Diederick Basson (Music Theory and Church Organ)
Diederick Basson studied under Danie Smit, Wim Viljoen, Boudewijn Scholten and Pieter de Lange at DF Malan High School in Bellville and the Universities of Pretoria, Stellenbosch and South Africa. He obtained his BMus, BMus Honours (cum laude) and MMus degrees and holds licentiates in Performance, Teaching and Church Music (organ) all obtained cum laude. He has also passed UNISA’s Grade 8 Music Theory examination successfully. In 1997 he furthered his studies under the late Ewald Kooiman, then professor of organ at the Vrije Universiteit (Free University) in Amsterdam, specialising in the interpretation and performance of French and German Baroque organ music. In May 2016 he received his PhD from the North-West University (Potchefstroom campus).
Previously, Diederick was Head of Music at Stellenberg High School in Durbanville. He regularly performs as a soloist and accompanist, and lectures on a part-time basis at Stellenbosch University. He is the former editor of the journal Vir die Musiekleier, former Chairman of the Stellenbosch Eisteddfod and member of the South African Academy of Science and Arts. In 2013 Diederick co-authored three school textbooks published by Oxford University Press. He also presents the programme Sunday Concert on Fine Music Radio 101.3.
Simon Chapman (Music History, Saxophone and Clarinet, and Senior School Jazz Band)
Simon Chapman obtained a BMus degree (University of Natal) and a Higher Diploma in Education (University of Cape Town). He started teaching music at Plumstead High and was Director of Music at Herschel Girls’ School for 11 years. He came to Somerset College in 2002 as the second Director of Music.
Simon is currently a practical music examiner for the IEB.
Patrick Cordery (Music Theory, History, Trumpet, Choir Master, and Chaplain)
Patrick Cordery studied Music at Exeter University and was awarded a choral scholarship to Exeter Cathedral, where he sang the daily services for three years. After graduating, he taught Music in a secondary school in Reading, was a deputy Lay Clerk at Winchester and Southwark Cathedrals, and sang with the Chorus of the Academy of St Martin-in- the-Fields. After arriving in Cape Town, he co-founded True Voices (an acappella vocal ensemble) in 2000 and starting teaching music at Somerset College in 2002.
FULL-TIME STAFF: PREPARATORY SCHOOL
Laurika Steenkamp (HOD: Music, Arts & Culture; Class Music)
Laurika Steenkamp graduated in 1992 with a BMusHons degree (Music Education) from the University of Stellenbosch under Prof Jack de Wet.
She was the Youth Development and Education Manager for the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, building their programme to a standard of excellence and managing their youth orchestras. She was head of the Music Department at Rondebosch Boys Preparatory School, where the province acknowledged her abilities by presenting her with an award for Excellence in Primary School teaching. She was the CEO of Music@Work Recording Studio (and launched a record label for young artists). Music@Work was nominated for a BASA award for Cool Classic Kidz (a programme on Fine Music Radio 101.3) and Laurika was a finalist in CEO magazine’s “Most Influential Women in Government and Business” for arts and culture. In 2014, the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (Western Cape) acknowledged her work with its Contribution to Performing Arts: Music in the Western Cape award. She also worked with the Correctional Services Military Band as chief musician (saxophone) and trainer (theory, musical form, accompanist and preparation for examinations) as well as Physical Training Instructor (first female) at the Correctional Services Training College in Kroonstad. Laurika received her First Dan Black Belt (JKA) and was nominated as Sports person of the year in 1998 in Kroonstad.
She is married to saxophonist and sound engineer Henk Steenkamp and they have a son in Grade 11.
Eileen Putterill (Piano and Class Music)
Eileen Putterill studied violin at Stellenbosch University under Lona Antoniadis and Professor Jack de Wet, and piano under Simone Kirsch. She was awarded a bursary with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and worked for them for a number of years, as well as the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. She was also a member of the Cape Town Baroque Ensemble. Eileen has taught at Springfield Convent, Rustenberg Junior School and the Hugo Lamprechts Music School, before moving to the UK, where she taught privately and at St Peters. She was also a member of the Sussex Symphony Orchestra. She started at Somerset College in 2008 in a part-time capacity, and full time since 2013, teaching class music and individual piano lessons.
Sjoerd Alkema (Senior School: Orchestra Conductor)
Sjoerd Alkema was awarded a PhD by UCT in 2012 for his research on “The Conductors of the Cape Town Municipal Orchestra, 1914-1965: A Historical Perspective”. During this period he was a founding member and conductor of the Winelands Symphony Orchestra, and established a professional service to Allmusic for the import of printed music.
Alkema has had a lifelong career as performer, teacher, examiner and adjudicator. For the completion of his conducting degree in Salzburg, he conducted Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro and a symphony concert with the Mozarteum Orchestra. As assistant conductor, choir master and repetiteur at PACOFS, some memorable productions included Il barbiere di Siviglia, Aida; La traviata, Fidelio, La bohème; Lucia di Lammermoor, Nabucco and Showboat. He conducted numerous performances of Der Fledermaus, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Camelot, The Sound of Music and Evita.
During his 18-year stay in Bloemfontein, he started the Bloemfontein Philharmonic Choir and conducted Mozart’s Requiem; Handel’s Messiah; Haydn’s The Creation; Rutter’s Gloria and Requiem and Fauré’s Requiem, among others. For the production of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio he was a finalist nominee for the ‘Bloemfonteiner of the Year’. As departmental head at the Free State Musicon, his responsibilities included accompanying students and lecturers at regular concerts, conducting the Free State Youth Symphony Orchestra (with which he toured the country annually), and giving piano and music theory lessons.
Apart from accompanying many instrumentalists, he performed Schubert’s Die Schöne Müllerin, Winterreise and Dichterliebe, and works by Wolff, Rachmaninoff, Brahms, Dvorak, Lourens Faul and Arnold van Wyk with various singers.
Jeané Combe (Prep and Senior School: Drum Kit and Marimba)
Jeané Combe matriculated from Parel Vallei High School, achieving 98% for Subject Music, majoring in both Piano and Drums as first instruments. She also passed the Grade 8 ABRSM piano examination. Since 2008 she has been teaching drums at Somerset Montessori and Oak Tree Montessori schools and since 2012 at Somerset College. She has extensive experience as a drum facilitator for the Western Cape Education Department and as corporate team builder, working closely with companies such as Tri Active Events in Grabouw, FNB, Capitec, Woolworths and Pep Stores.
Jeané’s performing career has featured her in many shows: Rodrigues’s Sugarman 2009 S.A. Tour, Guitar Legends, Tribute to the Shadows, and the musicals Footloose, Slick, Fame and Grease.
Carin de Beer (Prep and Senior School: Piano, Singing and Keyboard)
Carin de Beer matriculated from Hoër Meisieskool Hugenote in Gauteng in 1982 with music as a subject, majoring in both voice and piano as her first instruments. She then went on to obtain her HED (Music) at the Pretoria College of Education with voice, piano and recorder under the tutelage of Anna Elizabeth Pohl and Ria Nel. She taught piano, singing, class music and choir at various schools in Gauteng for eight years, while furthering her singing studies under Lorraine du Toit Havemann of the Opera School in Pretoria. She also performed regularly with Ms Havemann’s music studio.
She then moved to Belgium, where she studied singing with Margaret Lyzac for a year, before moving to London with her husband and daughter. Her son was born in Guildford and after being a stay-at-home mom for 3 years, she joined Danesfield Manor House School as Head of Music, where she taught piano, voice, and keyboard while conducting the choir, school band, and overseeing the musicals Bugsy Malone, Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz. Back in South Africa, Carin started teaching piano, keyboard and sometimes voice at Somerset College as a part-time teacher. She enters pianists, singers and keyboardists for ABRSM as well as for Trinity examinations, as well as eisteddfods.
Lindsay de Kock (Senior School: Flute and Recorder)
Lindsay de Kock is a music teacher of many years’ standing. While she had a young family, she interrupted her full-time music teaching to run a nursery school from home, moving into more formalised Pre-primary and Junior Primary education for many years. Having a passion for athletics and swimming, she coached both, as well as hockey (and rugby) for years.
Lindsay has returned to formal music teaching for more than 15 years and loves the personal relationships that develop with individual teaching. She still has contact with most of the pupils she has taught through the years.
She is an avid reader and an ice water swimmer; in addition, she has run the Comrades ultramarathon and also completed several Argus cycle races.
Nick Kuiper (Prep and Senior School: Guitar and Bass Guitar)
Nick Kuiper has been teaching guitar and bass guitar for 14 years and at Somerset College since 2007. He has Grade 8 qualifications in both Classical Guitar (Trinity College) and Electric Guitar (Rockschool). Nick is also an active performer and session musician for many local bands and is also an experienced live sound engineer.
Koos le Grange (Prep and Senior School: Piano)
Koos le Grange matriculated from Hottentots Holland High School and graduated from Stellenbosch University with a BMus degree (Performers). He obtained his Teacher’s licentiate in Piano from UNISA in 1990. He was Head of Music at Calvinia High School from 1983-1984, and Head of Music at Franschhoek High School from 1985-1996. In 1997 he started a framing business, but returned to teaching music when he joined Somerset College in 2004.
Sarah le Roux (Prep and Senior School: Brass instruments and Piano)
Sarah le Roux (née Calver) is the Principal Trombone player of the South African Army Band, Western Cape. She graduated from UCT with a Performance Diploma in 2008, and in the same year acquired her ATCL, which she passed with distinction. After qualifying as a military musician by successfully graduating from her basic military training, she went on to work on her LTCL, which she successfully obtained in 2013. Sarah has had an ear for music since an early age – at age 3, she would be listening to theme tunes of movies and playing them in her own medley on the piano.
Whilst studying at UCT, Sarah taught at numerous institutions, namely Bishops Diocesan College, Sans Souci Girls’ High, and Frank Pietersen Music Centre, where she had the opportunity to conduct the wind ensemble and the junior and senior brass ensembles. Sarah has also played numerous times with the Stellenbosch University Orchestra and ensembles, as well as UCT’s Orchestra and Wind Ensembles. She has attended numerous International Chamber Music Festivals held in Stellenbosch. Sarah has also had the opportunity to have lessons under Weston Sprott, the sub-principal trombonist of the New Metropolitan Orchestra, and successfully organised a masterclass in 2012 with Jorgen van Rijen, the principal trombonist and well-known trombone soloist of the Concertgebouw Orchestra.
Reinhardt Liebenberg (Senior School: Singing)
Reinhardt was schooled at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School and Florida High School in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, matriculating in 2003. He then went on to study a BMus, specialising in voice at the North-West University’s Potchefstroom campus under the tutelage of Professor Werner Nel. During this time, Reinhardt participated in numerous productions, such as Le Nozze di Figaro, and became a member of the Boulevard Harmonists in 2006. In 2009 he was selected to be a member of the World Youth Choir that was hosted in Belgium, which went on to tour France, the Netherlands and Germany. Through this experience Reinhardt was granted the opportunity to study in the Netherlands under the tutelage of Xenia Meijer and became a member of various professional choirs: The Bach Choir and Orchestra of the Netherlands under the direction of Pieter Jan Leusink, Cappella Amsterdam under the direction of Daniel Reuss, as well as Opera Zuid, an opera company situated in Maastricht. Reinhardt is on occasion a proud member of the Cape Consort for larger productions as well as a permanent member of the Cape Soloists Choir.
Jolene McCleland (Senior School: Singing)
South African mezzo-soprano Jolene McCleland studied music and voice at Stellenbosch University and completed her BMus cum laude. She followed this with an opera post-graduate diploma at the Konservatorium der Stadt Wien (completed with Distinction) in Austria.
Jolene’s European debut was in the role of Cain’s lamb in the European premiere of Tsippi Fleischer’s Cain and Abel in 2005 in the Semperdepot, Vienna. Since then she has performed many roles including Dorabella in Cosí fan tutte, Cherubino in Le nozze di Figaro, Zweite Dame in Die Zauberflöte (Japanese tour), Nancy in Britten’s Albert Herring, Dido in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas and Hänsel in Humperdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel. Jolene is also becoming a specialist in the field of modern opera, having performed Die Spinne (the spider) in Max Nagl’s world premiere of the opera Camilo Chamäleon and a soloist in Titus Hollweg’s interpretation of Milhaud’s Minute-Operas at the Carinthian Music Festival (Austria) in 2011. In the same year, she recorded with the great contemporary American composer, Nancy van de Vate, performing the role of Queen Gertrude in the opera Hamlet with the Moravian Philharmonic.
An acclaimed Lied interpreter, she recently performed a Liederabend together with the Schubertbund Choir in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, Vienna. Since 2012, she regularly tours as soloist with the Johann Strauss Ensemble, performing in Austria, Turkey, Croatia and Algeria.
In the field of oratorio, Ms McCleland is a sought-after alto soloist, performing regularly in the big cathedrals of Vienna, Austria. In December 2013 she had the honour of performing the alto solo in Handel’s Messiah with the Slovenian Radio Orchestra in the Cankarjev Dom in Ljublana.
In October 2014 she performed the role of Elektra in the Austrian debut of Michael Trojahn’s proclaimed opera Orest at the Museumsquartier in Vienna. In January 2015 she was appointed as singing lecturer at Stellenbosch University.
In 2015 she was invited to perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Brandon Phillips and the NAC Orchestra and Choir. She sang three world premieres at the Komposimposium, works composed by Antoni Schonken, Keith Moss and Hans Roosenschoon. Her show Mood Swings – Roles of a Mezzo debuted at the Endler Hall. She also performed with Niel Rademann and Paul Loeb van Zuilenburg and the Stellenbosch City Orchestra at Lourensford Wine Estate.
2016 will include: a solo recital with Niel Rademann and Paul Loeb van Zuilenburg with the Stellenbosch City Orchestra at Oude Libertas Amphitheatre, a solo recital called To be loved… with acclaimed pianist Ilse Schumann in the Endler Concert Series in February, and her show, A Viennese Affair, with Wilken Calitz and Elna van der Merwe at the Woordfees in March.
Steph Nortjé (Senior School: Drum Kit, Djembe and Drumline)
Steph Nortjé has been playing drums for the past 20 years. He has more than 15 years’ teaching experience and his passion for music education has landed him teaching positions at some of the country’s top private schools as drum teacher. These include Somerset College, Bridge House School (Franschhoek) and St Mary’s School (Johannesburg). He obtained his BMus (Hons) at first class level through the University of Chichester (UK), facilitated by COPA Johannesburg, with his thesis rooted in music education. He received the Victor Ludorum award for academic achievement after completing his studies in 2013. In 2014 Steph accepted the post as Drum kit and general music subject lecturer at COPA Johannesburg where he taught at graduate level. Furthermore, Steph specialises in drum kit recording and live performances, and has recorded and toured South Africa with many recognised artists.
Steph currently plays for some of the country’s top blues/rock outfits: Raoul & Black Friday and Dan Patlansky. 2015 saw him accompany Dan Patlansky on three international tours to the UK, Poland, Germany and the Netherlands.
Pieter Rooi (Senior School: Piano)
Pieter Rooi is a concert artist whose performances continue to receive great acclaim. He studied piano performance at the Universities of Stellenbosch and Cape Town, as well as at the prestigious Royal Academy of Music in London, where he also obtained a Teacher’s Licentiate in piano. He is a past winner of the Lionel Bowman Beethoven Competition and the Laura Searle Concerto Competition. Mr Rooi is in popular demand as a chamber musician and accompanist. He has been on the music staff at Somerset College since 2009.
Raoul Roux (Senior School: Guitar and Ukulele)
At 20 Raoul Roux started his career by playing with the internationally successful metal band, Never Machine Forever. He later studied Music (Jazz) at Pretoria Technikon and received his BMus degree in 2004. During this time he worked as a session musician and performed around South Africa touring. These bands include Bryan Adams, 3 Minute Solution, Hands down, Movie 55, Van Coke Kartel, Maz D, Nianel etc. He also formed the following bands: Jazz trio Triplicat, Hugo and Raoul jazz guitar duo, Jazz quartet with Marc Duby, Wessel van Rensburg, Marius Appelgrein and Acoustic Moods with David Houghton.
Roux has also performed in Hairspray the Musical, and Saturday Night Fever – both at The Lyric Theatre, and for international star Patrizio Buanne live at Carnival City.
Raoul Roux is a well sought after guitar teacher.
Pieter-Adriaan Stofberg (Prep and Senior School: Cello)
Pieter-Adriaan Stofberg graduated with a BMus performance degree at the University of Cape Town under Marian Lewin in 2013. In 2012 and 2013 he received the Stephanie Grannet Memorial prize from the South African College of Music (UCT). In June of 2014 he passed the Licentiate of the Trinity College London (LTCL) and finished his Post-Graduate Certificate in Education. He is currently busy with his MMus in teaching methodology at Stellenbosch University under Dr Anzél Gerber.
Mariëtte Schumann (Prep and Senior school: Flute and Violin, Prep School String Orchestra)
Mariëtte Schumann was born in Cape Town and matriculated from Bloemhof Girls’ High School in Stellenbosch. She continued her violin and flute studies at Stellenbosch University with Eric Rycroft and Eva Tamassy where she received her Licentiate in Music Performance for both instruments. Working at what is now known as Artscape, she was a member of the CAPAB Orchestra for eleven years, including the amalgamated Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, where she had further lessons with Thomas Moore and Jurgen Schwietering. From 1990 till 1992 she was an English teacher at the Berlitz Language School in Vienna, Austria. She started teaching at Eikestad Primary in 2008 and is now the organiser of the Eikestad Orchestra, teaching violin, viola and flute. She enjoys chamber music, plays as an ad hoc member in orchestras, and has two sons aged 14 and 16.
Helga van der Merwe (Prep School: Violin)
Helga Hofmann van der Merwe began with piano and violin lessons at the age of 9 and 10 respectively, but violin soon became a firm favourite. While still at school, she appeared twice on the UNISA Roll of Honour for Outstanding Achievement in Violin. From an early age, she played in ensemble groups and joined the USSO (University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra) at the age of 13.
She studied under Professor Jack de Wet and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Music at the University of Stellenbosch, majoring in Orchestral Studies and Chamber Music. During her time as a student, she was an ad hoc member of the National Chamber Orchestra. Helga was the principal violinist of Asylum Letters String Quintet and later joined the Afro-Jazz Band TRACE, gaining experience in the freedom and creativeness that the jazz medium has to offer. She also regularly plays at weddings and corporate functions.
A keen violin, ensemble and string orchestra teacher, Helga started her teaching career at Herschel Girls’ School in Cape Town, where she taught from 2000 to 2007. Between 2004 and 2007 she also taught part-time at both Eikestad Primary and the Kayamandi Trust Centre in Stellenbosch, as well as privately. Since 2008 she has been teaching at the Johnman School of Music in Stellenbosch. She joined Somerset College in 2016.
Marisa van Wyk (Prep and Senior School: Piano, Clarinet and Saxophone; Prep School: Marimba band and Jazz band)
Marisa van Wyk completed her BMus Honours (cum laude) at the University of Stellenbosch as well as the UNISA Teacher’s and UNISA Performer’s Licentiate in clarinet. She majored in clarinet, piano, ensemble work, orchestral studies and mathematics. During her tertiary education, Marisa was the principal clarinettist of the USSO (University of Stellenbosch Symphony Orchestra) as well as an ad hoc member of the National Chamber Orchestra and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.
Marisa started working as a part-time clarinet teacher at various schools, as well as the University of Stellenbosch. She started working at Somerset College Senior School in 2001 as a part-time clarinet teacher and was the Head of Music at Somerset College Prep School from 2003-2016.
Zelna van Zyl (Prep School: Piano and Recorder)
Zelna van Zyl joined the Somerset College Preparatory team in 2004. With over 25 years of experience as a music teacher, she has developed a great passion for musical education and child development as she teaches piano, recorder and theory to students on a one-on- one level. Zelna holds an Advanced Diploma in Intermediate Phase Teaching and obtained her Teacher’s Licentiate in Music (Recorder) through UNISA in 1988. She enjoys performing and still participates in eisteddfods to challenge herself personally. She loves children and her teaching style is revered by teachers and parents alike.
Ronel Viljoen (Prep School: Piano, Singing and School Choir)
Ronel Viljoen graduated from the University of Stellenbosch with a BMus Ed degree in 1991. She specialised in voice, piano, class music and choir conducting. After completing a Montessori Early Childhood Education Course, she also obtained a Kindermuzik Diploma specialising in music development of the pre-school child.
Ronel has a strong passion for music with the emphasis on motivating and inspiring students whilst creating a fun and challenging learning environment. She is also very committed to social responsibility programmes that involve music education and participation with schools from disadvantaged areas as she believes the following quote by Sarah Dessen to be true: “Music is the great uniter. An incredible force. Something that people who differ on everything and anything else can have in common.”
Gerda von Mollendorff (Senior School: Keyboard)
Gerda von Mollendorff was born in the Eastern Cape and matriculated from Framesby High School in Port Elizabeth. She received piano lessons from Angelina Scholtz while at school. She studied piano under David Muller and organ under Pieter van der Westhuizen at Stellenbosch University and obtained a BMus Ed and HLMP.
Previously, she taught piano, keyboard and singing at Worcester High School, Hottentots Holland High School and Hoër Meisieskool Bloemhof. During her tenure at Bloemhof, she conducted the choir and they won the National ATKV Applous competition, as well as an international competition in Katwijk aan Zee in the Netherlands. Since 1992 she has taught piano, keyboard, singing, music theory and arts and culture at Parel Vallei High School. She has also directed various musicals and productions, including Footloose, Salute Broadway, Dudes and Divas, Back to the Eighties and Beatles. Gerda has been married for 36 years and she has two married children and one grandchild.