School choir hits high note with R100 000 Woolworths win

Pharrell pic copy

Mzansi is abuzz with the news that Pharrell Williams will be performing live on stage on the 21st of September at the Grand West Arena in Cape Town and then on the 24th of September at The Dome in Johannesburg. Tickets are available from Big Concerts.

The best news about this concert is that young members of a school singing group from Germiston are excitedly preparing for the biggest highlight of their musical careers – performing on stage with Pharrell Williams, American singer-songwriter, record producer, fashion designer and philanthropist.

Adding to their good fortune, the super-talented singing group from Colin Mann Primary, winner of the MySchool Sing With Us Competition, has won a cash prize of R100,000. These funds will be used to renovate the school hall, which was built over 55 years ago and is badly in need of a makeover.

The MySchool Sing With Us competition is part of Woolworths strategic collaboration with the Grammy Award-winning musician. Williams personally selected the winners after local judges Jon Savage, Katlego Maboe and Theo Crous had whittled over 200 entries – from primary and high schools nation-wide – down to 10 finalists.

SABC3 Expresso presenter Katlego Maboe announced the winner at a packed school assembly on Wednesday 26 August. The learners, who thought they were being filmed simply as one of the Top 3 finalists, were elated to hear they were the overall winners.  They are now practising for their performance at a private Pharrell concert for 5 000 Woolworths WRewards customers in September.

Second place went to Durban Girls’ High School. This group chose the popular song ‘Dear Future Husband’. It is not only entertaining, they said, but has a serious underlying message about the value of women and how they should be respected and well-treated by the men in their lives.

“Our aim is always to sing from the heart and to take our audiences on an emotional journey with us – whether that be feeling uplifted, energised or moved, depends on the song – but we always want them to feel something!” said the group. “Music is a gift and we see it as our job to share it.”

Third place went to Zwaanswyk High School in Cape Town. It has no formal music department, but a group of self-starters have set up an extra-mural singing group for the fun of it. To represent their strength, they chose the song ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry. This has a lot of personal symbolism, they said, about rising above one’s circumstances and choosing to be strong.

The overall competition winners at Colin Mann Primary believe that the X-factor that set them apart is a winning combination of several musical disciplines and talented voices, plus the planning that went into their music video.

“We did not just enter a song, but added a storyline to it highlighting our anti-bullying programme at the school” said Mrs Marina Le Roux, School Principal.

“The chosen song, ‘Just the way you are’, seemed to be a great choice to let all the children know that no matter how different you may be, each and every one is special in their own way.”

Asked if the children thought they would be nervous about performing with a global superstar, Mrs Le Roux said: “Our children have an amazing level of confidence and have yet to let us down in a performance. Should we ever be concerned about nerves getting to them, they seem to be able to reach deep down inside and put forward their best.

“The children have learned that your beginnings do not determine the level to which one can achieve success. With determination and hard work, the sky is the limit. We always try to instil that it is your attitude and not your aptitude that determines your altitude.”

More about the project:


Woolworths and global superstar, Pharrell Williams, have aligned their values and actions to make a difference in the lives of people, and the planet.

The Woolworths Good Business Journey (GBJ) is the driving force behind the partnership between Williams and Woolies. Launched in 2007, GBJ is a commitment to ethical trade, sustainable farming and production methods, and social responsibility.

The call-to-action for the collaboration is “Are you with us?” and it asks customers to pledge their allegiance and support for the Woolworths Good Business Journey.


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