New Choristers at Grahamstown Cathedral


Anelisa Kelemi, left with the new choristers, Siyolisa Sandi, Khazimla Gedze, Sixolile Mafani, Alizwa Tom, Ambesa Cagwe and Kutlwano Kepadisa. Photo: Peter Stockwell

Anelisa Kelemi, left, and Kutlwano Kepadisa, right, with Head Chorister Avile Sonyamba. Photo: Peter Stockwell

By Maggy Clarke

Five new choristers were robed and formally inducted into the Choir of the Cathedral on Sunday 3 September. Ambesa Cagwe, a Grade 6 pupil at Graeme College, Sixolile Mafani and Alizwa Tom, both Grade 10 at Victoria Girls High School, and Khazimla Gedze and Siyolisa Sandi (Grade 5 at Victoria Primary School) have all served as Probationers in the choir during the earlier part of this year. At the end of this period they were re-auditioned, and accepted as full members of the choir. They were inducted by the Dean of Grahamstown, Andrew Hunter during a Sung Eucharist service.

Full Junior Choir members are eligible to apply for scholarships from the Makana Choir School, a Public Benefit Organisation (PBO) which provides grants towards school fees.

At the same service Avile Sonyamba was inducted as Head Chorister of the Choir. Now in Grade 11 at Victoria Girls, Avile has been a member of the Choir since Grade 7, and was elected to this position of responsibility by her fellow Junior Choristers.

At present there are 21 Junior Choristers, most of whom receive scholarships, and one probationer. In addition there are about a dozen adult choristers. The Choir School was founded in 2009 by Barbara and Wilf Stout. Dr Andrew-John Bethke took over in 2012, and left after Easter this year. While the Cathedral is waiting for his successor to arrive from the UK, the Choir is being trained and conducted by Kutlwano Kepadisa. The Choir generally sings at one choral service every Sunday, and maintains a high standard. Members of the public are welcome to attend. Details of times can be found on the Cathedral website at

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