National Marimba Festival ready for June 16

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MEF at the helm of The National Marimba Festival - June 16 2016 hosted by Sacred Heart College, Observatory.
MEF at the helm of The National Marimba Festival – June 16 2016 hosted by Sacred Heart College, Observatory.

Bands from as far afield as East London and Kuruman are preparing to travel to Johannesburg for the 9th National Marimba Festival on June 16.

Announcing the line-up of participating groups Hilde Van der Meulen of the Marimba Education Foundation said that she was delighted with the response, “We have a very exciting and diverse line up of bands from primary schools, high schools, community groups and various cultural music projects from across the country. We have the perfect elements for a successful festival.”

National Marimba Festival set for 16 June 2016
National Marimba Festival set for 16 June 2016

With funding from the National Lotteries Commission, the Foundation has partnered with Sacred Heart College Observatory to present this year’s festival on 16 June – National Youth Day. “Sacred Heart College has offered the Festival an ideal venue. The ethos of the school with its proud history of social activism couldn’t be more perfect for the 2016 Festival, which marks the 40th Anniversary of the Soweto uprising,” said Van der Meulen.

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Veteran marimba players will be featured alongside novice players all equally fuelled by a contagious passion for these ethnic keyboard instruments. There has been a significant development in marimba teaching, technique, arrangements and original compositions in recent times. Acknowledging the importance of furthering education in the field of marimba teaching and performance, the Marimba Education Foundation has been running training courses and supplying resource materials to groups across the country. “It has been such a privilege to witness the impact of these training courses. The Festival is testimony to the importance of Marimba bands in the cultural fabric of our schools and communities. We know, with certainty, that the bands will showcase heartwarming levels of commitment and excellence at the Festival”, said Van der Meulen.

From 08h30 through to 16h00 on 16th June audiences are promised a breathtaking display of marimba playing accompanied by dancing, singing and other dynamic and entertaining elements. Tickets are available at the gate at R50,00.

Included in the line-up of participating bands are:

Access Music Project, Aqua Vista Primary School, Ditawana Primary, Dominican Convent School, Friendly Drummers, Gaabo Ngwao Cultural Group, Hillbrow Music Centre, Holy Rosary School, John Wesley Community Centre, Kingsway Primary, Loyiso High School, Lukholweni Primary School, Makeba Marimba Band, Masakhane Arts & Culture, Masibambane College, Mmanare Secondary, Mondeor Primary, Motheong Primary, Parktown Girls, Sacred Heart College, Sakhisizwe High, St Dominics, St Dunstan’s College, Sterkspruit Community Arts, Thembalihle Primary, Tom Newby School, Vuleka SSB, Women Unite, Zwide Marimba Band.

The Marimba Education Foundation has secured the services of esteemed adjudicators Dr Alvin Petersen from North-West University, Dr Johnny Mekoa of the Music Academy of Gauteng and Bronwen Clacherty of the Tholakele Project.

Although the festival takes the form of a competition and the winners of each category will receive a trophy, the greater outcome of the Festival lies in the cross-pollination of ideas and the coming together of marimba enthusiasts from across the land to share in the joy of Marimba playing. This year the joy will be amplified by the reflections of Youth Day and the commemoration of the 40th Anniversary of the Soweto uprising – a significant underscore to the 9th National Marimba Festival.

The National Marimba Festival is hosted by the Marimba Education Foundation in partnership with Sacred Heart College, Observatory and is supported by the National Lotteries Commission.

Event: 9th National Marimba Festival
Venue: Sacred Heart College, 15 Eckstein St, Johannesburg
Date: 16 June 2016 – Youth Day
Time: 08h30 to 16h00
Cost: Tickets are available at the gate at R50,00.

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