MARK MITCHELL (Director of Music)
Subject Music and Organ Teacher - MMus, HDE, LTCL, FTCL, UPLM, UTLM, MBA
Mark Mitchell obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cape Town, graduating with the Polliacks Education Prize as the top student of his year. In 1996 he completed his Master of Music thesis on The Anthems of Herbert Howells. He holds several licentiates and a fellowship in organ performance, piano and teaching from UNISA and Trinity College, London.
In 1987 Mark was appointed Organ Scholar to Dr Barry Smith at St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town and in 1989 was appointed the Assistant Organist – a position he held until 2003. He has recorded both choirs and organ for the BBC and SABC.
In 1994 he went to England to take up an organ scholarship at Worcester Cathedral and the attached Kings Choir School, where he worked under Dr Donald Hunt. During his time there he gave several recitals and played the organ in numerous concerts including one with the eminent English conductor, Sir David Lumsden. During this time he also toured the United States, Canada and the Channel Islands with the Choir.
In 1998 Mark was appointed Musical Director of the Symphony Choir of Cape Town – a position he held until 2003. During this time he specialised in training the choir in oratorios and sacred orchestral works. His interest in South African sacred choral works, in particular, has resulted in the first performances and recordings of compositions by several local composers. Mark has extended this interest by promoting these works on Fine Music Radio as a presenter.
In 2004 Mark furthered his education by completing a Masters in Business Administration at the University of Cape Town during which time he was awarded a bursary to the Columbia University, Graduate School of Business in New York.
Sheila is in fact the true 'boss' of the Music Department, in that, without her, we would literally not be able to function. Ask her anything, she knows the answer or can solve your problem.
GLORIA BASSETT (Academic Head of Music)
Subject Music and Voice Teacher - MMus
Gloria has been on the staff at Bishops forever... actually since 1989. She is the Academic Head of Department and teaches subject work (harmony, history, aural and theory). She accompanies pupils for exams and oversees the extra-curricular theory programme. Gloria has a strong interest in music technology and is fully involved in all technology initiatives. She is also an Assistant-House Director in Birt. Gloria is married with three sons and in her spare time (once a term) enjoys watching the Reality channel on DSTV!
Subject Music and Piano Teacher - BMus
Stephen Carletti was educated at Bishops where he thoroughly enjoyed singing in the Chapel Choir and playing 1st trumpet in the Brass Band under the legendary Graham Coote. He went on to study music and obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Cape Town, majoring in Voice and Composition. After a stint in Natal with the NAPAC Singers he returned and completed his Master of Music degree in Composition under his mentor, Prof. Peter Klatzow. In the 1980s and 90s, Stephen worked as a professional tenor, specializing in oratorio and recitals, whilst freelancing as a voice teacher, a professional music notesetter and composer. His compositions and arrangements have been performed as far afield as the UK, USA, Australia and Russia.
After teaching at a local rival school, Carletti joined the music staff of Bishops in 2011. He teaches subject work (composition and orchestration, theory, history and aural) and voice. He is also involved in accompanying pupils, managing the Lunchtime Concert programme, assisting with the choir and the close-harmony group, Simply Blue. Outside of music, he is a tutor in Kidd House and the teacher in charge of the College calendar.
When not at work, Stephen enjoys nothing more than being with his family, known as “5S”; (Stephen), Susan, Simon, Samantha and Stanley the pug, as well as watching as much rugby as is humanly possible!
Subject Music, Clarinet and Piano Teacher - BMus(Hons), HDE, UPLM
Andrea teaches clarinet and subject work at the College and individual clarinet at the Prep. She is also the senior accompanist at the College.
On the ensemble scene, she runs the Senior Band and oversees the Concert Band.
Subject Music and Piano Teacher - BMus, BEd (Hons)
Joc joined the staff of Bishops in July 2002. He was previously the IT Director at Herschel, as well as teaching music there. At Bishops he teaches subject music (harmony, theory, history and aural) and piano. He is also involved in accompanying pupils and directs the Bishops Orchestra. One of his main focuses at Bishops is to develop the music technology programme and in this regard he oversees the SoundHouse and Recording Studio. He is currently the Housemaster of Gray House. Joc enjoys any sport on skis and is a very reluctant organist at Bishops.
French Horn Teacher - BA
Peter obtained a BA degree in music at York university, before going on to complete a Post-Graduate Diploma in performance at the RNCM. He was appointed principal horn of the CAPAB Orchestra in 1982, the CTSO in 1990 and the CPO in 2001. He presently freelances around South Africa.
Piano Teacher - BMus (Hons)
Erina Bezuidenhout was the subject head of music at Pearson High School in Port Elizabeth where she taught piano and music as a subject for 22 years. Achievements with pupils included participants and prize winners at the prestigious ABSA national music competitions, pupils selected to perform piano concertos with orchestral accompaniment and cash prizes awarded to pupils for excellent achievements in Unisa examinations. Erina composed the music to a hymn, “The Man of all Millenia”, on request in 2000 which was subsequently orchestrated by Sue Cock and performed by symphony orchestras in Port Elizabeth and Gauteng
Since 2004 Erina has lived in Cape Town where she was an accompanist for the UCT Opera School until 2008. In 2006 she was one of the accompanists at the Fifth Unisa International Voice Competition where she was awarded an accompanist’s prize. She currently teaches piano students at Bishops, as well as the Hugo Lambrecht Music Centre and Rondebosch Preparatory School, and Foundation phase Music Theory and Aural training to historically disadvantaged students at the South African College of Music (UCT). She also regularly performs as an accompanist for soloists and choirs and is an accompanist for Licentiate students of the Stellenbosch University’s satellite campus at the army base in Cape Town. Her piano students often reach the final rounds of competitions held in Cape Town such as the Pieter Kooij and Johann Vos competitions.
Erina's qualifications include a BMus (Hons) degree (cum laude) and three piano licentiates from Unisa, Trinity College, London and Royal Schools of Music. She is also a qualified church organist.
Piano Teacher - BMus (Hons)
Sarah started her musical adventure at the age of three. Since then, she has played piano, trumpet, violin, clarinet, flute, guitar, voice, and she is currently studying Electric and Double Bass at the University of Cape Town, majoring in Jazz Composition. She matriculated from Reddam House Constantia with a distinction in Music. Besides her studies, she is the double bass player for a successful and well-known Cape Town-based gypsy jazz band, Manouche, and ,on occassion, plays with the Palm Strings duo with Titia Blake and Mike Hoole.
When out of the classroom, Sarah can be found either swimming, surfing, dancing, or looking for something out the ordinary to do...
Violin Teacher - BMus
Music came with mother's milk: piano lessons at age 6 and the violin arrived when Titia was nine years old. It was only after attending her first orchestral course at age 14 that she realised the violin would be her profession, especially as she toured overseas with the SA National Youth Orchestra whilst still at school. Teachers such as Pierre De Groot, Nikki Necesanek and Peter Carter at UCT and Alan Solomon in Johannesburg guided her through her studies. She has a BMus from UCT and was in the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra for 16 years.
Since the birth of her now 20 year old she has devoted herself to Palm Strings, playing mostly violin/ guitar Duos with Mike Hoole as well as Trios and quartets ....and teaching. After years of experience working with children she is currently focused on working mainly with underprivileged children, teaching in groups .Her goal is to give children the tools to busk. She is married to trumpeter Mike Blake and has three grown-up children. When not involved in music you will find her in the mountains or in the sea.
Brass Teacher - MMus, MBA
Yvonne-Marié commenced her tertiary studies in 2002 at the University of the Free State, graduating with a BMus (2005) and a BMus (Hons) (2006), studying under Ron Gaché and Robin Finlay. In 2008, she graduated from the University of Cape Town with an MMus, studying under Sean Kierman and Mike Blake.
Yvonne-Marié has been a finalist in the major soloist competitions in the country, including the ATKV Muziq and UNISA bursary competitions. She was also awarded by the National Band Association of America for outstanding performance and leadership at the International Music Camp where she received master classes from Dr Larry Griffin (Ohio Weslyen University). She was the principal trumpet player of the National Youth Orchestra for several years and toured with the orchestra to the Beethovenfest in Germany during 2006. Other orchestral playing includes performing with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, Cape Festival Orchestra, Free State Symphony Orchestra and the Kwa-Zulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.
In 2012, Yvonne-Marié graduated with a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Cape Town.
Kevin Cook was born in Chicago, Illinois where he received his formal training in classical music. He studied under Almita and Roland Vamos at Western Illinois University of Minnesota, Minneapolis (1986-89). Returning to Chicago, he furthered his studies at the American Conservatory with violinist Elizabeth Matesky. Finishing his studies, Kevin received a position as principal 3rd violin in the famous Mantovani Orchestra where he spent two years travelling the United States and the Far East.
In 1994 he came to South Africa and played with the CTSO, CTPO and CPO (1994-2003). Since leaving the orchestra, Kevin has been working throughout South Africa playing with such groups as the Johannesburg Music Initiative, the Natal Philharmonic, Camarata Tinta Barocca, and is currently the Concertmaster of the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra (ECPO). Kevin is an active teacher and ensemble coach in South Afric. He is currently teaching at Bishops and Herschel, and also recently established the Cape Town String Academy. While in the Eastern Cape he teaches for the ECPO Music Investment Project.
LUCIA DI BLASIO-SCOTT
Violin Teacher - BMus
Lucia has been a part of the Bishops Music Department since 1994 as a violin teacher. Lucia started studying the violin at age six, and gained her degree in music from the “G. Verdi” Conservatoire of Turin, Italy, with honours in violin performance, at age eighteen. Lucia arrived in South Africa in 1983 as a founder member and Principal first violin of the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. She subsequently moved to Cape Town where she was the Principal of both the CTSO and CTPO. She has seen a number of boys through to their matric year with a very high standard. Lucia is also a well know and respected chamber music player.
Clarinet and Saxophone Teacher
Mariken Dippenaar studied clarinet and saxophone with Daryl Walters. In 1991 she joined the South African Navy Band as second, and later first alto saxophone player. She passed the Defence Force Chief Musician Audition (equivalent to a teachers licentiate) as well as the ABRSM Diploma for saxophone. In 2005 she completed a Bachelors of Information Science through UNISA.
Mariken performed at various functions and concerts while with the Navy Band. She has also played for the Jonny Cooper Big Band, Jazzattack, Windworx and her own saxophone quartet, Saxcapades.
After leaving the Navy Band in 2003, she started teaching music privately. She also taught as part time and substitute clarinet, saxophone and theory teacher at various schools. She is currently teaching clarinet and saxophone as a part time teacher at Bishops Prep and College.
Jonathan began studying a performance diploma in contemporary music with Trinity College, London in 2007 and is still completing it due to Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which forced him to not play the guitar at all for a year. He is now continuing with it part-time and Jono is excited to resume.
Jono did studio work for Pop Idols SA, is an active session-guitarist in studios and live on stage with many bands and artists. But what Jono is most currently proud of is that he is in the process of recording his debut album and will be going to America for his first international tour this year.
Jono is a connoisseur of many things and, in his free time he enjoys the finest quality coffee from Espresso Labs and specialty-grade tea, fine wines, is an aspiring part-time chef and enjoys almost anything!
Donald started piping when he was 10 years old at CBC Boksburg, joining the Boksburg Caledonian Pipes during this time. Having performed with the Light Horse Regimental Band and the Traansvaal Scottish Pipe Band, he moved to Cape Town and joined the Cape Town Highlanders in 1982, forming the Bishops Pipe Band in 1984. He led them to 3rd place in the SA Pipe Band Championships and then took the band to Scotland to take part in various international competitions.
Donald has now been with the band for 29 years and led them to a 2nd place in the SA Championships in 2012.
Flute Teacher - MA
Derek Fennell was born in Dublin, Ireland. He started playing the flute after attending a James Galway concert in Brussels. Derek matriculated with distinctions at the old Johannesburg Art, Ballet, Drama and Music School, having moved to South Africa with his parents. After graduating from WITS he moved to London to continue his musical education. Derek worked as flautist with Her Majesty’s Coldstream Guards band, touring Europe and the Far East. During his time in London he also completed a MA in Psychology for Musicians, qualified as a hypnotherapist and worked in the commercial music industry. He returned to South Africa in 2004 where he combines a busy teaching schedule with his Performance Coaching Practice.
Ron, a very experienced saxophone teacher, joined the College staff at the beginning of 2004. Originally from the UK, Ron first settled in Johannesburg, before coming to Cape Town in 1988. He has performed with many well-known artistes and has been involved in the recording and broadcasting industry for many years.
Martin started his musical studies in 1973 at the UP with piano, trumpet and harpsichord. After an interruption of one year for architectural draughting he moved to Durban where he obtained his BMus in organ and oboe. He moved to Cape Town where he worked for a local organ builder and later took up his first teaching position. In 1984 he was appointed to the College for the Arts in Windhoek where he taught oboe, recorder, theory and conducted the wind band. There he continued his oboe studies and obtained his UPLM in oboe. Since his appointment to Bishops in January 1991, he has become the music department’s ‘Jack of all trades’ teaching piano, flute and the oboe as well as Subject Music. He has also bee involved in various ensembles and music technology. In the past he has conducted the Bellville Men’s Choir, various youth and church choirs, and was organist in various church congregations. He is experienced in choral singing and ensemble playing. In Windhoek he was actively involved in choral singing, ensemble and orchestral playing. As a hobby he loves being creative in any field relating to the building trade.
Guitar Teacher - BMus
Michael has been teaching Guitar, in all its forms, at Bishops for a number of years. He specialises in motivating children to have fun with music and play in ensembles, as he has been doing with Titia Blake in Palm Strings for 18 years. He studied at UCT for his degree and was then awarded a scholarship from the Royal College of Music in London, where he studied with Carlos Bonell. Michael has won numerous prizes, has performed as a soloist with the CTSO and in a series of duet guitar concerts in Europe. When not playing or teaching, Michael is passionate about spending time with his wife and two children, as well as the sea, especially surfing.
Piano Teacher - LRAM, ARCM
Beverley has been teaching piano at Bishops since 1989. After completing her schooling in Zimbabwe she studied piano with Lamar Crowson at both UCT and at the Royal College of Music in London, where she also studied harpsichord and chamber music with Cecil Aronowitz. After studying in London she returned to UCT to complete her Teachers and Performers Licentiate Diplomas. She subsequently taught both piano and guitar at UCT and has also performed as a soloist with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra. Beverley then returned to Zimbabwe where she continued to teach and give recitals. In 1980 she returned to SA and taught privately until joining Bishops. She enjoys accompanying and her great love is chamber music.
BEVERLEY JACOBS-DU PLESSIS
Voice Teacher - MMus
Beverley Jacobs-du Plessis has a Masters degree in music and obtained this degree at the North West University in Potchefstroom. She has won the Annette Combrink Bursary at the North West University Bursary Competition in 2011. Beverley has also sung in several works and the most recent were the role of Suor Infermiera from Suor Angelica at the Amalfi Coast music festival in Italy and Despina from Cosi fan Tutte at the North West University. She is now furthering her studies at UCT.
Barbara is a cello teacher at the Prep and College. She was born in Bulawayo and began piano at 5 and cello at 11. Her musical studies continued in London, when she won a scholarship to attend the Royal Academy of Music. Since returning to South Africa, Barbara has been active as an orchestral and chamber music player, performing frequently with her chamber groups, the Michaelis Players, and the Palm Strings Quartet, as well as a group of 6 cellos called I Grandi Violoncellisti. She also teaches at Beau Soleil Music Centre, Rustenburg Girls Junior School, at the Sun Valley Music Academy in Fish Hoek as well as privately. At present she is Director of the Franschhoek Chamber Music Workshop for children, and advisor and coach to the Amateur Chamber Music Players Association.
Guitar Teacher - PDM
Charles began playing the piano when he was nine years old and the guitar at thirteen. In high school Charles studied classical music, in which his primary instrument wasGuitar. Charles finished high school with UNISA grade 5,6 & 7 in music theory/harmony. After school he attended the University of Cape Twon, College of Music and completed his PDM(classical stuies) in 2007.
Charles has studied under Selaelo Selota, Michael Hoole and James Grace. He is currently teaching at two well known high schools in the Cape Town area and plays in a corporate cover band "Almost Famous" which includes Sean Nunnan on drums (writer for SA drummer magazine).
Voice Teacher - LLM
Lente Louw holds ans LLM from North West University, where she also studied singing with Prof. Werner Nel. Under his guidance she completed singing performance up to fourth year level and appeared as soloist in numerous student opera, oratorio and recital projects. Since moving to the Western Cape, she has firmly established herself as recitalist and oratorio soloist and, under the baton of Dr Barry Smith, has appeared in the title role of Haendel's Theodora and Purcell's Dido, and as the soprano soloist in Bach's St Matthews passion and Mozart Requiem.
Lente has developed a keen interest in historically informed performance of early music and has received master classes in baroque singing from Kobie van Rensburg and Lawrence Zazzo. As a founding member of the Cape Consort, Cape Town's award-winning ensemble for early music under the direction of Hans Huyssen and Erik Dippenaar, she regularly performs concert programmes of ensemble and solo work both locally and internationally.
Voice Teacher - LLM
Sasha was born in the former Soviet State of Azerbaijan and started playing piano at the age of 4. She studied at a central music school for 12 years where she played at many competitions, receiving many awards, including winning several competitions and was invited to play on national television from one of them. She continued to study at the Azerbaijan State Conservatorium and took masterclasses at Moscow State Conservartorium and then completed preparation for a doctorate with world-renown pianist, Ekaterina Mourina, at St Petersburg Conservatorium. She completed her dotsent (equivalent to a Ph.D) while working at Azerbaijan State Conservatorium, having already performed with chamber orchestras around the Soviet Union and Europe. In 2007 she came to South Africa and taught in and around Cape Town, while also performing with various other musicians. She now teaches at both Bishops and Springfield.
Guitar Teacher - BMus, HDE
Pete has taught Classical Guitar at the Prep and College since 1992. After studying at university for his degree he attended master classes with Ernesto Bitteti and studied further in London with Carlos Bonnell. In the mid-1980s he was the Head of Music at Sea Point High School. He is committed to an integrated approach to music through the medium of the guitar. Peter has also just built his own guitar as a part of a 9-month course with Casimi Guitars under Matthias Roux and Matthew Rice.
Mike matriculated at Michaelhouse, and in 1973 joined the Durban Symphony Orchestra as Sub-principal Trombonist. During this time he founded the DSO Brass Quartet which performed several times on SABC radio. When the orchestra was disbanded in 1977, he freelanced in Johannesburg playing in TV shows, touring shows, adverts and the then SABC Symphony Orchestra.
In 1978 he joined the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, where he played as Sub-principal trombonist. During this time he started repairing computers at the start of the computer age: Radio Shacks running on 8Mb of ram and 2 cassette drives! In 1984, he started working part-time as computer technician, programmer/systems analyst with a pathology laboratory.
In 1991, he left the orchestra and became a full-time programmer with the laboratory, where he remained until 2008.
He has been a member of the Jonny Cooper Orchestra (a 16-piece “Glenn Miller” style big-band) since its inception in 1992. In 2008, feeling the call of music, he took early retirement, and now freelances as trombonist and computer consultant. Since then he has performed with the both the CPO and KZNPO.
In mid-2012 he started as a part-time trombone teacher at Bishops, where he thoroughly enjoys the challenge, and happily sees some of his ex-CTSO colleagues again as co-workers.s
Double Bass Teacher
Donat studied at the Franz Liszt Academy where he won the Franz Liszt Double Bass Prize and received two Performing Diplomas with distinction. He toured Europe with three Hungarian orchestras before joining the CTSO and CTPO as Sub-Principal Bass. He now teaches and is a member of the popular Hungarian Trio.
Percussion Teacher – ATCL, DipABRSM, BMus (Hons)
Philip Pringle studied at the University of Cape Town and obtained a performance diploma in jazz studies and a BMus honours in percussion performance. At UCT he studied with Efrain Toro (Drum Set and Latin Percussion), Frank Mallows (Drum Set and Percussion) and Peter Klatzow (Composition). He has also received diplomas from ABRSM and Trinity College London.
Philip has played in many orchestras and professional groups including the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, SA National Youth Concert Orchestra, Cape Philharmonic Orchestra and the Jonny Cooper Orchestra.
Philip has self published two books entitled The Drum Kit Method, and Total Percussion. He writes for the SA Drums magazine and has a local Zildjian endorsement. He is head of music at Western Province Preparatory School and percussion/drum kit teacher at Bishops College.
Piano Teacher - BMus, HDE, LTCL, LRSM, UTLM, UPLM
Judith is a Piano teacher at the Pre-Prep, Prep and College. Her passion is piano playing and loves sharing this with her students. She has previously taught subject work (harmony, history and aural) at the college, as well as class music. Judith has also given lunch-hour recitals at the college and enjoys accompanying other instruments and playing in concerts.
Oboe Teacher – BMus, MMus
John Rojas is the Head of Woodwinds at the Beau Soleil Music Centre in Cape Town where he is director of the Senior Wind Band. He holds a Bachelor and Master of Music degree with departmental honors from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
He began his music studies on piano having played for Rudolf Serkin and José Iturbi. After winning many awards he continued studies on the clarinet, oboe and saxophone. He performed with Leonard Bernstein who wrote, “John Rojas plays the oboe like a star.” Mr Rojas later studied conducting with Prof Hans Beer of the Munich Opera.
Mr Rojas has gained wide experience in America as a member of various orchestras, including appearances with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York City Opera and the touring American Ballet Theatre orchestra. He came to South Africa in 1983 to play Co-Principal Oboe and Solo English horn with the CAPAB orchestra and later the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra.
As a versatile musician in both jazz and the classical fields Mr Rojas has performed with the world-renowned The Modernaires on alto sax. He was invited to play oboe with the London Philharmonic Orchestra with Franz Welser-Möst conducting and the Warsaw Philharmonic led by Yehudi Menuhin during their tours of this country.
Mr Rojas has served as adjudicator for POLMUSCA, ABSA National Youth Music Competition, Sanlam National Music Competition, local Eisteddfods, and as external examiner for UNISA, UCT and Stellenbosch University.
Brass Teacher (Prep School Head of Music) - LTCL
Stuart joined the full time music staff of Bishops in October 1993 as Head of Brass and the bandmaster of the Brass Band. In October 2001 he was appointed as HOD of the vibrant Prep Music Department. He grew up in the UK and studied at Salford University. Stuart graduated with an Advanced Diploma in Band Musicianship with Distinction in performance and conducting and was the first recipient of the Harry Mortimer OBE Soloist Prize. At Salford he studied the trombone under the legendary Neville Roberts. During his time at Salford, Stuart was invited by Dr Roy Newsome to play Principal Trombone with the world-renown Besses o’th’ Barn Brass Band, with whom he toured throughout the UK and Europe and recorded many CDs. Besses won many competitions, including the prestigious British Open Brass Band Championship in 1982. In 1983 Stuart came to South Africa as a founder member of the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. In 1985 he moved to Italy with his wife, Lucia. Here they were both members of the Sanremo Symphony Orchestra. On his return to the NPO in 1990, he also taught trombone at the University of KZN, Durban Technicon, Durban Music School and Kersney College. Stuart is a regular external examiner for the UCT College of Music and in 2012 was asked to coach the brass section of the South African National Youth Orchestra at their Summer Course. Stuart is happily married to Lucia and they have four wonderful children……….almost the Von Trapp family!!
DEBBY VAN ZYL
Piano Teacher - BMus, LRSM
Debby has been a part-time music teacher at Bishops since 1991. In 2006 she started a music department at Forres Preparatory School, where she currently trains the choir and also teaches music. Apart from teaching, she runs a guest cottage, walks her labradors, plays tennis, sings with the St Georges’ Singers, and loves to travel. She has completed 10 Argus Cycle Tours. Debby is married to Neil and they have a son, Kieran, and a daughter, Adrienne.