Move to the Beat of our Youth

1 700 young musicians are poised to take Johannesburg’s Wanderers Stadium by storm during this year’s Field Band National Championships.

Sponsored by the Department of Arts and Culture, this event promises to be a thrilling spectacle for all who appreciate music and the raw energy of a good competition. Entry is free to all who want to be a part of this magical event on Saturday, 28 september.

Between 9am and 1pm on the day, 14 talented field bands from around the country will converge on the stadium and perform their hearts out. Their goal: to be named the best field band of the year in this annual competition.

Band competition 114 talented field bands from around the country will converge on the stadium and perform their hearts outThe Field Band Foundation’s National Championship slogan is “Music for Life” – which is fitting, since for the past 16 years this multi-award-winning initiative has been creating opportunities for young people from disadvantaged communities to develop life-changing skills through the medium of music and dance.

Entrance is free to all, and it’s set to be a morning of fantastic family entertainment, packed with dance, colour and, of course, lively instrumental music to stir the soul.

The nine bands competing in the premier division of the championships hail from around the country, with four from Gauteng, two from Limpopo, one from the Northern Cape, one from the Eastern Cape and one from the Western Cape.

They are: De Beers Blouberg Field Band (Blouberg, Limpopo), Black Like Me Soweto Field Band (Soweto, Johannesburg), De Beers PPC Cullinan Field Band (Cullinan, Pretoria), De Beers PPC Kimberley Field Band (Kimberley), Black Like Me Mdantsane Field Band (East London), PFG Lonolusha Field Band (Springs, Gauteng), Alexandra Field Band (Alexandra, Johannesburg), De Beers Musina Field Band (Musina, Limpopo) and Cape Whaler Field Band (Cape Town).

In the first division, for bands that have been in existence for five years or less, there are four competitors: PPC Makana Grahamstown Field Band (Grahamstown, Eastern Cape), Anglo American Thabazimbi Field Band (Thabazimbi, Limpopo), Anglo American Tsantsabane Field Band (Postmasburg, Northern Cape) and Bafokeng Field Band (Bafokeng, North West). There will also be a special guest performance by the Parys Field Band from the Free State.

The Field Band Foundation is a Section 21 company that was established in 1997 to develop an indigenous variant of global marching band concept in disadvantaged areas of South Africa. It has since evolved a successful holistic youth development programme that addresses issues facing South Africa’s economically and socially challenged youth.

The initiative has won several accolades for its sterling work over the years, including a number of Business and Arts South Africa and Arts and Culture Trust Awards. The most recent of these was in August, when the Norwegian Band Federation (Norges Musikkorpes Forbund) was awarded a BASA Award for best international sponsorship, for its partnership with the Field Band Foundation that enabled field band tutors to study music in Norway.

The Foundation currently benefits almost 5 000 young people, who are members of field bands in a cross-section of cities, towns and townships nationwide.

Band competition 2The nine bands competing in the premier division of the championships hail from around the countryExplains businessman and philanthropist Herman Mashaba, Chairman of the Foundation’s board: “The Field Band Foundation is not just an arts programme or a life skills programme. It goes far beyond that – it uses the arts as a catalyst to equip the country’s youth to be responsible, empowered and confident citizens.

“As youngsters go through the process of mastering an art form they have a passion for, they learn to innovate creatively together, develop self-discipline, resolve conflicts, work collaboratively, respect others, and develop values and an identity that will position them well for success in life and in their future careers.”

Everyone is welcome to come and celebrate the ebullience of South Africa’s youth during the 2013 Field Band Championships, at the Wanderers Stadium in Corlett Drive, Illovo, Johannesburg, from 9am to 1pm on Saturday, 28 September. Entrance is free, but large groups are advised to RSVP to info@fieldband.org.za to confirm their attendance.

For more details email info@fieldband.org.za, visit www.fieldband.org.za or call Christabel Zulu/ Bridget van Oerle: 011 482 3467 /3489, 083 706 2952/ 083 263 6991.

You can also follow them on twitter @fieldband_sa or have a look at their Facebook page.

So Play Your Part and support this amazing initiative.