Thursday, April 30, 2009

In St John the Baptist’s Garden

- Ailsa Tudhope -

Gardens was a grand theme for the first 2009 Words and Music programme at St John’s. Musicians, readers, actors and a story-teller wandered down garden paths or peered over garden walls to share their experiences with an enthusiastic audience. We were particularly delighted to have children from Victoria Akademie, Hoërskool Zwartberg and Patchwork Theatre taking part alongside familiar troupers Hugh Forsythe, Chrisna Smit, Gudrun Toelstede, Carol Tissiman and Jeanette de Lange. Linda Jaquet and Michael Brunner joined us for the first time too. Our youngest performers were Bobby Swanepoel and Hané Smit who are both in Grade 1.

The talent in our village is quite amazing. It is wonderful to see the confidence of the children, whether singing or delivering poetry, congratulations on your renditions Bobby, Hané, Carli Nel, Sarah and Abigail Modra and Joshua Swanepoel.

Lisa Esterhuizen and Lucille Steyn both performed at the piano, Lisa, to everyone’s delight, playing a duet with Chrisna. Lucille accompanied Chrisna as she played To a Wild Rose on the clarinet. Accompanying another performer is a challenging task – well done Lucille! Carol Tissiman and Chrisna both entranced us with their beautiful voices. Erica Phaal accompanied the trio of Niel and Louis van der Nest and Matthew van Heerden in that well-loved classic I come to the Garden and we were pleased to welcome Chandrė Schoeman, who sang Edelweiss.

Gudrun’s reading of extracts from The Little Prince was much appreciated by the German speakers in the audience and added a philosophical touch to the programme continued by Michael in Soul, Spirit & Place and Linda’s Garden Philosophy. Creativity came to the fore in Jeanette’s delivery of her own poetry and we look forward to the publication of her book. Hugh entertained us with his witty verse and wildly floral attire as he chatted to the vegetables in his garden.

The Patchwork Theatre children stole the show, opening with Morning has Broken and closing with my local version of An English Country Garden and a grand finale which spoke of roses rising triumphantly out of the ashes.

Sincere thanks to all the performers and audience and to Jeanette, Renee Finn and Dawn Viljoen who decorated the foyer and served tea. Over R1000 was raised for ongoing maintenance at the church and a donation later inflated that to R1400. We hope to stage a similar event in August.

How many bright Karoo flowers grow in St John the Baptist’s garden?
We'll tell you now of some that we know, and those we miss you'll surely pardon
Duiweltjies, botterblom, spekboom, pelagonium and mesembryanthemums
There are olives, aloes and daisies too, in St John the Baptist’s garden!

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