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by Prof Jaco Kruger

Visitors to the School of Music are welcomed by a colourful mural in the Conservatory’s courtyard. This mural was commissioned in 2008 as part of a broader programme to renovate the interior of the building. During this time the interior walls were also painted and decorated with works of art.

Proving that the school has students with diverse artistic abilities, one of its BMus students was commissioned to paint the mural. He was Paul Bester (Facebook/website), an amateur artist, who accepted the commission with eagerness. Paul spent several days on a ladder, creating the mural in broad strokes of bold acrylic colours.

The school wanted a mural that would represent the vibrancy of its contemporary student life, and therefore requested Paul to create a painting of a jazz band performing in a club. The band is shown comprising piano, bass, trumpet and a vocalist. If the singer looks familiar, it is because she is Miriam Makeba! The school in this way honours a timeless icon of South African jazz, and projects a developing identity in keeping with the aspirations of its students.