Faith, determination and natural talent saw Areli Mellanby (10) from Rynfield complete his first full term with the Drakensberg Boys Choir.
This avid musician from Ridgewood College was snapped up by the choir, following a school excursion to the Drakensberg Boys Choir School in late 2021, where he was invited on stage to drum with the 80-member band during one of its public performances weekly. .
“We met the band at school to watch the concert and were shocked when near the end Areli was asked to participate,” said her mother, Jeanrie, a music teacher at Ridgewood.
“He is extremely talented and plays drums, guitar and piano. He is dedicated to his craft and practices flawlessly.
She goes on to say that having a visitor invited to perform with the choir is unheard of and in the coming weeks he has been asked to audition for the band.
“Given my musical background, I know he’s musically gifted, but I never thought for a moment that he would be selected for the choir,” she said.
“However, he was keen to join the school, so we agreed to take him to the audition.
“Given the tuition fees, we realized that financially we could not enroll him in the Drakies if he succeeded.”
Aware of his parents’ concerns, Areli turned to his faith and unbeknownst to them, he took all the money from his savings and presented it to the church as his offering.
“When we realized he made that offer, all the money he saved up to buy a new bike, we were shocked,” Jeanrie said.
“Without hesitation, he replied that he had promised God that he would give everything he had and that in return his prayers would be answered.”
Following a successful audition and receiving an invitation to join the historic choir, the Mellanby family’s concerns were allayed when Areli became the recipient of a partial monthly donation, which would fund half of her living expenses. schooling.
He has now completed his first term with the Drakies. He will return home at the end of June to perform at the Mandela at the Joburg Theater on June 23 and 24.
“We are in awe of how much he has accomplished in such a short time. His faith has made us more true to our beliefs,” she said.
“He has already passed 10 of the 20 tests to obtain his status as a concert performer, including music theory and music reading.”
Areli dreams of flying to the United States, at the end of matric, to pursue a career in the music industry.
For more information on the Drakensberg Boys Choir’s next performance, visit www.joburgtheatre.com.
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