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High School for Boys and Girls from grade 8-12


Botes Gresse


May Bokwe

School Secretary & Bursar

  • Principal

    Botes Gresse, born in Otjiwarongo, Namibia, matriculated at the Hottentots Holland High School, Somerset West. He studied for the B. Mus. Ed. Degree (specializing in singing and instrumental tuition) and also completed the Church Organist Diploma at the University of Stellenbosch from 1974 to 1977. During this period he also completed various examinations for the South African Dance Teachers’ Association in Dancing (Ballroom and Latin), a course that became very useful when the Lady Grey Arts Academy was founded in 1997.

    After completion of his military training in 1979, Botes started his teaching career at the Worcester Gimnasium in the Western Cape. In 1983 he was appointed lecturer in the Department of School Music, Faculty of Education at the University of Stellenbosch, lecturing Piano, Music History, Harmony and Choral Education. In 1984 he obtained the B. Mus. Hons. Degree (cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch. During this period, Botes adjudicated at various Eisteddfods and music festivals and acted as Regional and Provincial Representative (Western Cape) of the South African Choral Society. He was also approached to assist in the compiling of the first Afrikaans choral conducting handbook, Die groot Afrikaanse koorleiersgids, which was published in 1991.

    In 1990 he took up the post of Choir Master at the Drakensberg Boys Choir School and was appointed Associate-Director of Music in 1994. During this period, Botes undertook numerous national and international tours with the Drakensberg Boys Choir and presented workshops in Choral Training, acted as adjudicator at Music Festivals and Eisteddfods, and also took part in various Radio and TV productions.

    Botes Gresse moved to Lady Grey, Eastern Cape, in 1996 and was appointed Head Master in 1997 of the newly founded Lady Grey Arts Academy, a combined Primary and High School focusing on the Performing Arts: Music Studies, Dance Studies, Dramatic Arts, Visual Art and Design and established this institution in the period up to 2009 as a leading South African focus school for the Arts. The Academy accommodated primarily students from the more remote and disadvantaged areas of South Africa. The ALTECH Concert Choir was also founded in the same year and participated in a number of TV Productions, High Profile Concerts and released a number of CD’s. In 2006 Botes was asked to join the UNISA panel of examiners for the annual assessment of external practical music examinations.

    An annual exchange programme for students and educators with Swedish Art Schools in Stockholm was also established in 2006 and served as further inspiration to extend the educational curriculum of the Lady Grey Arts Academy.

    In June 2009 Botes accepted the post as Rector of the Drakensberg Boys Choir School, a position from which he resigned in December 2010 in order to have more time available to focus on his music career and to live out his passion for educational management and teaching. During this period he acted as member of the international panel of adjudicators for the International Advent and Christmas Music Choral Festival in Prague, Slovakia.

    He was appointed principal of the McLachlan High School, Joubertina, Eastern Cape, in October 2011 and retired at the end of September 2018 to take up the position of Headmaster and Director of Music at the newly founded Drakondale Girls Choir School, today the Drakondale School of the Arts in Howick, KZN in October 2018.

    Botes and his wife, Estelle now reside in Merrivale, KZN.

  • School Secretary & Bursar

    School Secretary: 2018 – Current

    Bursar: 2021 - Current

    I joined Drakondale School of the Arts in 2018 and have loved every moment of this journey. I currently serve as the school’s Secretary and Bursar.

    I am originally from the Eastern Cape and before moving to KZN ran a very successful family IT company (Dotcom Solutions).  During this period we also launched Dotcom Logistics and I dealt with the six major airports (JHB, Lanseria, King Shaka International, EL Airport, Port Elizabeth Airport and CT International Airport) within South Africa.  I am very used to working in a high pressure, time sensitive environment, which suits Drakondale needs perfectly. 

    We relocated to KZN as my husband had been offered an amazing work experience and could not turn down this opportunity.  I have two kids, my son Caleb currently job hunting and my daughter still in high school, Drakondale of course! Where else would I send her.

    Prior to that I worked as a Manager with the Foschini Group for a number of years.  I completed many in-house training courses with them, namely :

    • Train the Trainer
    • Management for Leaders
    • Finance for Managers.

    I studied at the University of Transkei (B. Com –Industrial Psy) with two credits outstanding. 

    I also successfully completed:

    • an HR Labour Law Certificate (UNISA – School of Business Leadership)
    • Diploma in Customer Service (Alison Online University)

    I am currently working on completing a Counseling Course to assist troubled teens with behavioural issues and to eventually be able to assist with Career Counseling Sessions.

Drakondale School of the Arts is a High School for Boys and Girls from grade 8-12

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