Rocking head in Alex birthday bash show

Rock on: Alexander Road High School principal Dr Peter Manser, centre, and some band members are geared for music action
Rock on: Alexander Road High School principal Dr Peter Manser, centre, and some band members are geared for music action

ALEXANDER Road High School principal Dr Peter Manser and staff will be rocking it this weekend as they kick-start the school’s 60th birthday celebrations.

And to make it a little bit more special, the band is dedicating the concert to one of the school’s pupils, Jonathan Ungerer, who was diagnosed with leukaemia at the end of January.

The school’s music secretary Candice Capon said a portion of all ticket sales would go towards a fund for Jonathan.

The Grade 9 pupil’s mother, Llou-Anne Ungerer, said they were grateful for the support.

“We as a family are overwhelmed by the support we have received from the school. Dr Manser and the staff have been truly amazing.”

Capon said the concert would feature rock ’n’roll songs from the ’50s to date with “good, vibey, dancing music” – in four sets of 16 songs each – including songs such as YMCA, I’m a Believer, and Achy Breaky Heart.

“It will be a fun music evening for everyone,” Capon said.

“The show will feature our principal with other staff members and some friends from Cape Town. He [the principal] has a passion for music and also plays the guitar.”

Capon said the band, which consists of about 40 members, had been practising for about three weeks already.

Asked how pupils reacted to seeing the school head take on the persona of a rocker, Capon said it had made him a lot more approachable.

“They respect him as the principal of the school, but now they also see him as more human,” she said.

“I guess to see the headmaster often playing his guitar in the assembly is totally normal for Alex pupils – so does the normal then become the abnormal?” Manser wondered.

The concert will be staged in the school’s Percy Walker hall.

Capon said they could accommodate 220 people a night and still had space available for tomorrow night’s show.

Tickets are R70 per person or R130 a double. There will be a cash bar and concertgoers can bring their own picnic baskets.

The show starts at 7pm tomorrow and on Saturday.

For more information, contact Kim Leistra and Lia Breetzke on (041) 365-1270. The school turns 60 on August 28.

-Karen van Rooyen 

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