Friends of the Johnman launches in Stellenbosch

Helga van der Merwe, violin; Maryke Lintvelt, violin; and Marelise Diener, cello, entertain guests at the launch of the Friends of the Johnman Music Centre.

At a recent get-together in Stellenbosch, the Friends of the Johnman was launched.

“This gathering is intended to be a small beginning to something that we hope will grow into a great benefit to the Dorothy and Charles Johnman Education Trust,” said David Taylor, chairman of the trust, about the launch of the Friends of the Johnman music centre.

“We would like this evening to mark the formal start of a network of those willing to count themselves as Friends of the Johnman.

“Most of you are actually already in that role by virtue of being teachers, or trustees, or parents. But we’d like to invite you to accept this more deliberate invitation so that the trust can benefit from a broader spectrum of ideas, expertise and energy.

“In time, let’s enlarge this network to tackle projects and build up an enduring reservoir of loyalty, support and partnerships to carry these houses, gardens and the ideal of a Music Centre into future generations,” David said.

Dorothy and Charles Johnman’s intention was far-sighted: they wanted to contribute to the lives of future generations of Stellenbosch, especially young people.

The house in Herte Street in which they lived and Dorothy was born was placed in an Educational Trust together with the garden, and became a school of music in 1998. Today violin, cello, piano, clarinet, flute, theory of music and children’s music are taught by eight teachers in the house.

For information or to join the music centre, contact Marelise Diener at or Dr David Taylor at