Soweto String Quartet tugs at Merrifield’s heartstrings

SURPRISE VISIT: The Soweto String Quartet performed with Merrifield pupils students during their visit and workshop on Monday
Picture: MATTHEW FIELD

Merrifield Preparatory School and College received a big surprise on Monday when none other than the world-famous Soweto String Quartet (SSQ) arrived to host a workshop and perform with the school’s young string players.

There’s a good reason why the visit was such a surprise: it was only confirmed on the Monday morning.

Merrifield music teacher Una Driver-Boom first spoke with SSQ’s East London manager on Saturday after investigating possible music workshops for the school. SSQ were in town for the Umtiza Arts Festival.

Driver-Boom then spent Sunday evening planning the event with the SSQ team.

“It was only confirmed this [Monday] morning at about 8:30am,” she said.

The band arrived at the school at 11am.

“What was amazing was that they did the workshop with the kids. They sat in a circle and the kids played for them and then they played for the kids. They were very encouraging towards the students,” said Driver-Boom.

After the workshop, SSQ performed for the Merrifield pupils students alongside their new protégés, playing songs they had learned in the workshop.

“I have a big passion for string instruments. , for string playing, and I just felt like this would be a life-changing experience for these children and mostly an inspiration for them, to see what they can achieve. It was important for the kids to see the passion these guys have,” Driver-Boom said.

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