How we began

The history of the Hatfield Arts Centre (HAC) has three different roots: NOVO Factories, Hatfield Music Publishing and Worship Academy. These three initiatives have a history of their own and by the end of 2008, it was decided that in order for them to grow and continue to bear more fruit we needed to bring them under one umbrella: the Hatfield Arts Centre.

Our story

In January 2005 Hatfield Christian Church in Pretoria East saw the need to equip people in music, fine arts and drama and started up NOVO Creative Ministries. On Fridays and Saturdays, an average of 40 to 50 people would attend music and singing lessons as well as painting classes. Drama and prophetic workshops were also organised several times per year.


In January 2007 NOVO became a part of the worship department of Hatfield Christian Church under the leadership of Gerben Grooten, and a classical music academy was added to the rock, pop and jazz lessons being given. Piano, Classical Guitar, Conducting, Flute, French Horn, Trumpet, Saxophone, Violin and Cello were added to the existing curriculum.

By 2009 student numbers had doubled and music rooms were built next to Andanté Coffee Shop. From January 2010 lessons were extended from Monday through Saturday and specific workshops were also presented. Students have really enjoyed the workshop mornings, getting together with other students and expressing their creativity. It is here that they can practically apply what it means to be a creative, reflective person. Classes are mostly given in small groups geared to best facilitate a specific creative discipline and develop listening abilities and collaborative thinking; qualities so needed in this century.


Since 2008 we have had over 3000 students go through the Arts Centre, many of whom went on to study music at tertiary institutions. Teachers employed by Hatfield Arts Centre are of the best in Gauteng and many are currently actively involved in the music industry at a high level.

Where we are today

In 2016 we rebranded the Hatfield Arts Centre replacing the name NOVO with Music Academy. Hatfield Arts Centre's Music Academy (HACMA) will be the only name from now on associated with our lessons and short courses.


We offer weekly group lessons during Gauteng school terms in contemporary, orchestral and classical music. We also provide a variety of short courses throughout the year. Our Hatfield-in-Concert series takes place quarterly in our 500-seater auditorium, and showcases our local up-and-coming artists together with established names in the music industry.


I trust we can continue to serve the community with our activities in the exciting fields of the arts.



Gerben Grooten

Director HAC


Gerben Grooten

Hi! I was born in the Netherlands in 1970 and have been involved in studying and playing music since the age of three. This led to completing three master's degrees in orchestral percussion, orchestral conducting and music education. When I turned 25, I exchanged my playing career for arts education and became the Deputy Director and Project Co-ordinator at a creative arts institution in Holland. I enjoyed teaching orchestral percussion and conducting the orchestras and choirs while leading the 2000-strong institution. Ever since then I have worked with many ensembles, orchestras and bands, as both a conductor and musician. 


I became a Christian in 2000 and have had the privilege of working with many organisations, churches and universities from Asia to America. I came to South Africa in 2005 together with my wife Mieke, to head up the Worship Department of Hatfield Christian Church. Three years later I started the Hatfield Arts Centre and have been the Director ever since. Presently I am the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of both the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra and the Pretoria Bach Choir. Despite the real privilege of being in demand internationally as a conductor, I am certain of God’s calling on our lives to South Africa. I am deeply moved by the people, potential and cultural diversity of this country: a powerful mix of ingredients for the arts, which could become a mirror for the world.


Chris Matthews

I joined the Music Academy in 2008 as a Guitar Teacher, and have taught about 250 students to date. In 2011 I completed my National Diploma at Tshwane University of Technology School of Music. I majored in Electric Guitar: Light Music/Jazz. I stepped up as the Junior Director of the Arts Centre in 2012, and am now the Short Courses Co-ordinator and Assistant Director to Gerben. My current responsibilities also include Hatfield Music Publishing and our record company Turnaround Music where I work as the Artists and Repertoire Manager.

Assistant Director | Short Course Co-ordinator

Anna Matthews

I immigrated to South Africa from the US in 2013 in pursuit of God, marriage (to Mr. Chris Matthews) and calling. We had our beloved son, Benjamin David, in 2017. I re-entered the workforce at Hatfield Arts Centre in 2019. I manage the registration process and oversee the eb and flow of the term to ensure Music Academy runs smoothly. I have been involved in the Arts in its various formats from a young age - from dance to music to photography, I love it all! I am a firm believer in the importance of finding one's God-given voice. If music is your voice, what a gift you have been given. I am thrilled to be a part of HAC and hope to only enhance your experience with us! 

Music Academy Co-ordinator

Tanya Page

I used to work as a manager in one of SA’s leading retail stores before I joined the dynamic team of Hatfield Arts Centre in 2008. My bachelor’s degree is in the field of Consumer Science (University of Pretoria) but post grad I did a certificate at WITS in Management and Marketing for the Music Industry. I am now the financial manager of the Arts Centre.

Financial Manager

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