ADMIN & SUPPORT STAFF
SECRETARY / BURSOR
Botes Gresse graduated Cum Laude at Stellenbosch University with honours in Music and Music Pedagogy. He has worked for seven years as Principal of McLachlin High School in the Eastern Cape where his matriculants have received a 100% pass rate year on year. Prior to that he did two stints at Drakensberg Boys Choir School , initially as Associate Director of Music from 1990-1995, and then he was asked to return as Rector (overall in charge of music and academics ) from 2009 – 2011.
Botes was also the founder of the Lady Grey Arts Academy and co-founder of the Lady Grey Passion Play. He has written several publications for MUSICUS, the Journal of the Department of Music for UNISA, been a former winner of the SA Championships for the Performing Arts Choir Section, and is generally acclaimed as an authority on the training of youth choirs.
Patron / Mentor
At the age of 23 John Tungay was appointed Editor of the Regional News Service of the SABC at Head Office and a year later he was promoted to Senior News Editor of the SABC in Cape Town responsible for broadcasting “Today in Parliament.” During 1960 he was instructed by the Board of the SABC and the government to research and prepare the initial memorandum for the introduction of television in South Africa.
Later he accepted an invitation by the Directors of Lever Brothers (SA) Pty Ltd to become the company’s National Public Relations Manager. During this 5-year period he was a founder of the Natal Branch of the Public Relations Institute of South Africa and regularly lectured to students on this developing young profession during evening sessions at the Natal College for Advanced Technical Education.
In 1966 John resigned from Lever Brothers to create, finance and build his Drakensberg Boys Choir School. Ten years later he received the Marketing Award of the Year from the S.A. Institute of Marketing Management for promoting South Africa’s music to the world in cooperation with Gideon Roos of SAMRO, the country’s newly formed music rights organisation. Gideon Roos was John’s former Director General at the SABC.
John has lived in the Howick area for 20 years. More recently he conducted the Thembelihle Children’s Choir and the Howick Choristers in addition to the Drakondale Girls Choir. He regularly puts on concerts and performances in the local community and at his own church.
Patron / Mentor
Wendy Clarke has been involved in the music industry for 16 years and is a director of Monkeyshine Music Publishing. She is well versed in the mechanisms of the music and record industries and has worked with many of the top record companies in this country. Wendy is married to Don Clarke, one of the countries most prolific songwriters, who has been in the industry for 40 years.
Wendy has also been involved in Development Management for children’s homes and the opening of several after-school care centres in Mamelodi & Soweto. She also established and ran a children’s adventure holiday camp in the ‘berg which facilitated up to 70 children.
In addition to this, Wendy has spent many years of her life in the newspaper industry. In the early nineties she started a newspaper called Schooligans which catered for all the schools in the greater Durban area.
In 2009 she established and ran a popular local tabloid, The Drakonteur, covering the Midlands and Drakensberg areas.