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STHEMBILE AND MXOLISI TO USA (article first published : 2001-09-8)

Recently 15 of South Africa's most promising field band members flew out to Chicago, USA recently to participate in the American Drum Corp season and international championships in a two-month long exchange programme. The students from across South Africa were hosted by US Drum Corp bands - the Pioneer Drum Corp, Leigh Valley Knights and the Phoenix Drum Corp.

The purpose of the exchange programme, which was sponsored by African Harvest amongst others, was to expose some of the most talented members of the Field Band Foundation (FBF) to international musical excellence - offering the children first hand contact with top class instructors in the US - exposing them to different cultures and teaching methods and techniques.

Among the students who participated in the programme were Sthembile Gumede and Mxolisi Sibiya from KZN.

Based on the movement known as Drum Corps or Show Bands in some countries, the Field Band Foundation (FBF) supports youth development and contributes to rebuilding youth movements post-apartheid. The Foundation serves some of the most challenged urban communities in South Africa. Where bands have been established, communities have benefited from employment through teaching, costume makers, bus drivers and instrument makers. Each new band formed creates at least five new jobs. At the start of 2000, 37 otherwise unemployed musicians and other community members were provided with work.

More details from Retha Cilliers, National Director FBF, on tel/fax (031) 572-4672 or 083 775-4348 or e-mail: rethacil@iafrica.com




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