Three former students from Christel House South Africa, a non-profit school based in Ottery, Cape Town, have created a musical tribute in honour of the school’s founder, the late Christel DeHaan. DeHaan, sadly passed away on June 6 at her home in Indianapolis, United States. Megan Maphike and Samuel Davids, who matriculated in 2014 and Abdu-Daiyaan Floris, who matriculated in 2016, recorded a special rendition of the song, ‘Go the distance’ by Michael Bolton, in DeHaan’s memory.
The trio originally sang the same song for DeHaan when she visited the school in 2016, which brought her and many of the Christel House students to tears. After hearing of DeHaan’s passing, Maphike reached out to the other two students to put together a remake of their original rendition of the song in honour of DeHaan. Davids and Floris were quick to agree and with the help of Marco Stephens at Big Max Productions (BMP), the alumni recorded the song and filmed a music video in record time.
Maphike says, “The school gave me a platform to showcase my vocal abilities and to practice my craft. There is no way for us to pay Ms Christel back for giving us the opportunity to attend Christel House, but we wanted to use our talent to honour her in our own small way.”
These sentiments are echoed by Davids who says, “Christel House was the foundation for my music career and gave me the confidence to sing in front of an audience”. Floris added, “Everything that I know about music, I learnt at Christel House.”
Christel House’s world-class music programme plays a vital role in the school’s holistic educational model, with music being offered in both its Junior and High School. A total of 80% of all high school students play an instrument, ranging from saxophone, trombone and various other classical instruments. The school also boasts two talented jazz bands and various choir ensembles in both the junior and high schools. These music groups regularly perform at public events, including the school’s annual year-end Special Assembly that is open to the public.
Today, Davids is a travelling musician performing artist who has worked on cruise ships and will soon be releasing his debut single. Maphike continues to play at events and concerts and Floris has pursued a career in the tech industry but still plays various instruments and sings in his free time.