J.H. Ashley

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Mr J.H. Ashley was a music teacher active in Cape Town between 1850 and 1870.


Contribution to SA theatre, film, media and/or performance

He introduced the Tonic Solfa method into the country, offering classes at the YMI and Club (Young Men's Institute and Club, later known simply as the YMI).

In 1858 he founded the Cape Town Choral Society, with which he directed a number of oratoria, cantatas, and other "concerts of vocal music" in Cape Town over the years.

In 1870 he is again teaching the tonic solfa method at the YMCA in Cape Town and had apparently founded a Tonic Solfa Choral Union which put on works such as Handel's Messiah, The Flower Queen, or The Coronation of the Rose, A Summer Day (Leveridge, based on the scene with the witches from Macbeth), The Picnic (Thomas).

According to Bosman (who is really unclear about the specific relationship), he had a rival in the muscal director Mr Bucke, who had founded (or perhaps taken over?) the Cape Town Choral Society in 1872 (or earlier, again Bosman has contradictory information about this).


F.C.L. Bosman. 1980. Drama en Toneel in Suid-Afrika, Deel II, 1856-1916. Pretoria: J.L. van Schaik: pp. 185, 287

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