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Monday, October 5, 2009


Field bands dazzle at national champs.

They came, they played, they charmed and they triumphed during the Field Band Foundation National Championships. More than 2,000 youngsters set the Johannesburg Athletics Stadium alight with music and dance on October 3, 2009.

Competition was fierce as nine bands battled it out for the honour of being named the top field band in the country. The judges had a tough time singling out a winning outfit among the stellar array of young talent on display but ultimately the top accolade went to the De Beers Kimberley Field Band, in second Mdantsane Field Band from East London and in third place the PG Bison Buccaneers Field Band from Durban.

The various field bands from around the country delivered some knockout performances in a variety of musical genres before the Foundation’s national band reprised their smash hit performance at this year’s SA Tattoo. The crowd at the stadium went wild, clearly blown away by this display of exciting young South African musical and dance talent that has been making waves locally and abroad.

Recently, the Field Band Foundation (FBF), a youth music development initiative that has been running for the past 12 years, won the Chairman’s Premier Award at the Business and Arts South Africa Awards.

The FBF was born to help disadvantaged youngsters blossom and improve their lives through a vibrant home-grown adaptation of the international show band concept, complete with instruments and inventive traditional touches. The programme is currently assisting some 4 127 young people from 286 schools in 109 townships.

Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Paul Mashatile delivered the opening address at Saturday’s national championships, and lavished praise on the FBF for its constructive and positive role in uplifting the youth through music and dance. Also speaking at the event, De Beers Consolidated Mines MD David Noko noted “the work that the FBF undertakes in life skills and HIV/Aids awareness training in disadvantaged areas of the country: It is precisely because we are careful about what we socially invest in and precisely because we choose to be a partner only of that which has greatest positive effect, that we walk alongside the Field Band Foundation”.

The various field bands that took part were: Soweto Field Band, De Beers Musina Field Band, De Beers Cullinan Field Band, Cape Whalers Field Band, Stocks Anglo Field Band, De Beers Black Like Me Northern Cape Field Band, PG Bison Buccaneers Field Band, Mdantsane Field Band, and De Beers PPC Kimberley Field Band.

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