At St Stithians Boys' College, the cultural pillar embraces form, feeling, surface and symbol. The very close interaction between drama, music, art, and clubs and societies illustrates the holistic education boys will experience at the College. The College has a comprehensive music and performing arts programme.
The school has developed the nationally and internationally acclaimed a cappella group known as the Duke of Cornwall Singers (fondly referred to as The Dukes). The Dukes have been invited to perform before some of the country's leading dignitaries, in Parliament, and in countries such as Namibia and Botswana, Argentina and Brazil.
They competed in the Latin American Music Festival, in Scotland where their performances at the Edinburgh Festival were sold out, and have also won competitions in Venice. However, these singers are only one facet of the extensive music opportunities offered at the College.
The school also has an excellent choir, which achieves recognition at Eisteddfods, and performs with the Wits choir, as well as visiting choirs from all over the world. All music students are encouraged to reach their potential for individual performance, ensemble, participation and composition.
Private tuition is given in voice and in a wide range of instruments (St Stithians Boys' College offers every musical instrument, apart from the harp) and the students' musical studies are enriched through performances in one of the school's ensemble groups.
Annual competitions, such as the Battle of the Bands and Saints Musician of the Year, Saints Singer of the Year and the annual Prestige Concert, where all winners of the various competitions are showcased, are popular and eagerly anticipated events on the school calendar. In order to develop the tradition and love of theatre at the College, Drama is offered as an elective subject at matriculation level and the Drama department has gained an enviable status.
Drama students regularly perform at College assemblies, in annual productions and at the annual Arts Festival, as well as in national drama festivals.
Drama at the College encourages confident self-expression, the development of empathy and imagination, as well as experience in video production, light and sound skill development, stage design and scriptwriting. All boys are exposed to drama through the popular Inter-house Drama Competition, which varies from DVD productions and making documentaries to the real McCoy on stage.
The visual arts are represented in the many art exhibitions and displays of boys' work in and around the College, trips to art galleries, traditional cultural afternoons organised by the Art Club, involvement of boys in set-building in major productions and workshops during the annual Arts Festival. For boys whose interests lie elsewhere, the College offers an exciting opportunity to become involved in 26 different clubs and societies.
Debating and public speaking, which include participation at school and provincial level, give students the opportunity to develop the important life skill of being able to stand and speak before an audience. The interest in debating grew considerably after the Just-a-Minute Inter-house Competition was introduced. Other activities include Toastmasters, the Film Club, the Photographic Club, Art Club, Drama Club, Scuba Diving Club, Lan Game Club, Nature Club and Aviation Club, to name but a few.
Part of the school curriculum is the many tours and trips on which the students are taken, many of these with the aim of expanding and broadening their cultural horizons. Some of the most popular of these have been the drama and literary tour to New York, Washington and London, the tours to the National Art Gallery and to the Apartheid Museum, theatrical performances, and the Afrikaans Aardklop and English Grahamstown Festivals.
Our annual Arts Festival attracts some of the best artists in South Africa. The Parlotones, Prime Circle, and Zebra and Giraffe are but a few of the wonderful performers who have participated. The festival strives to educate by introducing the students to acts and art forms with which they would rarely seek to engage ordinarily.
Through our Outward recognition programme, a wreath, colours and honours can be awarded. Awards can be obtained in the following categories: General Culture, Drama and Music. It is, however, a prerequisite that all candidates comply with the Saints Honour Code to qualify for these awards. We also award Debating ties to Saints boys who display a talent not only for winning arguments but also for causing them, often, over a period of at least two years.