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Arts & Culture

Inspired to set yourself free

Creativity is about endless possibility. Imagined worlds. Imagined futures. Imagined versions of ourselves.

We were all born creative.

Children naturally think outside of the box. Regrettably, society can sever a boy from the flow of his innate wild imagination. Our work is to help every boy at Hilton College to rediscover this aspect of himself. To cultivate in him essential 21st-century skills: An ability to tap into his creativity, problem solve and think critically. To be able to reflect upon, understand and express himself and his spiritual nature. To appreciate the equally important experiences of others. And to communicate and work effectively in a team.

Our Arts & Culture team exists to inspire expression – both of the self and the collective.

A tension arises between the integrity of the individual and the group. Not unlike in life. That’s where we’re pressed to seek what it is that connects us. To unearth creative ways to celebrate individuality within the team.

Real men have the courage to be vulnerable and to express themselves through the visual and performing arts.

For 21st-century men, this is a critical skill. We develop tenacity and resilience in the face of criticism. Staying true to our unique voice and exploring creative expression is what makes us fully human.

We stretch every boy.

One of the gifts of a relatively small school is that we require mass participation to make our productions and events happen. No matter their abilities or predispositions, everyone pitches in to pull something remarkable together. We challenge boys to work across disciplines – at Hilton they must play sport as well as be involved in the arts. We grow the whole boy.

The creative journey – not the result - is where the gold is

Everybody’s work, from the most technically proficient executions to the most raw of outputs, gets a platform at our art exhibitions. The boys share the stories of their creative process and motivations. Because it is the journey that inspires and connects us.

We believe exposing our boys to our nation’s greatest talent is important

It inspires and opens minds. With our world-class theatre and spaces to accommodate pop up art galleries, our campus is also home to the country’s second-biggest annual arts festival.

Our engaged and passionate Arts team offers the boys broad exposure – from visual art forms to orchestra, public speaking, debating and marimba. From dramatic arts to choir and jazz band. We challenge boys to participate, experiment, explore, expand. And strive for excellence.

In his own words: Watch Nathan Julius share his musical journey at Hilton College and how he inspired sports fanatics to appreciate art in a way they never thought possible.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, a combined production of Hilton College and St Anne’s Diocesan College, was performed live at the Hilton College Theatre from 24-28th April 2022 as part of Hilton College’s 150th anniversary celebrations. The creation of all aspects of the production involved the combined talents of nearly 600 people involved either virtually, or live, in the performance. Directed by Luke Holder, Lynn Chemaly and Joslyn Anderson.

In 2021 and 2022, FUNK has been produced in an online format, known as #digiFUNK. Hilton and St Anne’s have collaborated in this year’s offering – an exciting partnership choreographed by HOD of Drama at St Anne’s, Joslyn Anderson

FUNK has become a firm favourite on our annual school production calendar. It evolved as an idea to create a dance programme for schools with very specific aims: To unite schools in working towards a common goal; to give drama students and their teachers the opportunity to create and rehearse pieces of dance theatre for public performance; and, perhaps most importantly of all, to enable young people to see that movement, dance and dance theatre is accessible to them and is not only in the hands of professional adult dance companies.


Our campus has several facilities dedicated to the arts:

  • A 450-seat theatre
  • A visual arts centre
  • A music block with a recording studio and practice facilities
  • Dramatic Arts Centre
  • Norman Dunn Gallery.

All grade 8 boys have dedicated time to participate in the Music, Arts and Design (MAD) learning sphere. There are musical electives for all grades.

Our boys perform at least one major stage production for the public each year.

Professionals perform productions of Shakespearean set works in our theatre and we invite schools from across the province to attend.

We have a diverse array of bands that give boys the opportunity to perform in public:

  • Senior Marimba band
  • Junior Marimba band
  • The HC Big Band (a jazz band with a string section that plays contemporary and African music).

We encourage boys with an interest in music to write and play externally-assessed theoretical and practical music examinations, including:

  • Trinity Rock & Pop
  • Rockschool
  • Trinity Guildhall

The Hilton College School Choir is our largest choir with an eclectic music programme. We also have a smaller vocal ensemble (classical to contemporary pieces) and an informal singing quartet called Hiltonality.

Boys enjoy opportunities to display their visual art pieces at various platforms:

  • The Hilton College/St Anne’s Combined Arts Exhibition
  • The Matric Art Exhibition
  • The Grade 8-11 Exhibition
  • The Tatham Art Gallery selects boys art to display annually.

Clubs and Societies

At any time, over twenty clubs and societies are active and thriving at Hilton. Boys have the freedom to form a club that is aligned with their passions – from Fantasy Football to the Estate Club. There is dedicated time in the school calendar for club and society meetings and events, and staff are at hand to advise boys on how they can make their clubs relevant and successful.

We have between five and ten Debating teams competing against other Kwa-Zulu Natal schools teams. From these competitions, boys are selected to represent regional teams.

Hear some of our stories

Nathan Julius

Matt Morrison - Art

Debating - Spencer Wright