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MICHAELHOUSE BIG BAND CONCERT TOUR (article first published : 2004-05-16)

The Michaelhouse Big Band, featuring guest artist Tandile Mandela, will leave South Africa shortly to embark on a concert tour of England and Wales in order to raise funds for HIV/AIDS orphans and other community projects in the KZN midlands. The tour dates are June 25 to July 16 and 14 concerts have been organised thus far.

This is the first occasion that a South African school Interact Club will undertake a fundraising initiative of this magnitude.

The band consists of 21 young musicians – four trumpeters, two trombonists, four alto saxophone players, two tenor saxophonists and a Bass Sax. There is also a powerful rhythm section consisting of a bass guitar and two electronic guitars, a wide variety of drums, a pianist, a percussionist and two vocalists.

The grandaughter of Nelson Mandela, Tandile Mandela, has a Bachelor’s degree in music, with honours. Her grandfather is covering her fees so that she can be awarded a Master’s Degree in musical performance. She is not only a gifted player of numerous musical instruments including the saxophone, but she also performs on many ancient handcrafted African instruments. Tandile was recently involved in the making of an international CD record release featuring the musical instruments of Sub-Saharan Africa.

The exciting UK programme Under an African Sky starts with international favourites such as We Will Rock you, Tequila and Special Star and concludes the evening with La Bamba, Born to be Wild and Nelson Mandela, a new composition in honour of the first president of a free South Africa.

The band has a large African drumming capability and the traditional Gumboot dance is a feature item on the programme. Guest artist Tandile Mandela is accompanied by her tutor, Africa’s most respected ethnomusicologists, Dr. Deirdre Hansen, of the University of Cape Town. The American Biographical Institute nominated Dr. Hansen “Woman of the year” in 1998. The balance of the party includes bandmaster Rainer von Schlichting and his wife Elke, who will also act as matron to the boys. The professional sound artist hails from Port Elizabeth and his understudy, Timothy Craib, is a Michaelhouse pupil.

More information from John Tungay on 082 739 9087.




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