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BUSKAID SOWETO STRING ENSEMBLE (article first published : 2006-07-15)

The second of Friends of Music’s two Fiddlefest concerts, modelled on the Carnegie Hall, New York “Fiddlefest” which featured Isaac Stern, et al, and young violinists, to raise funds for underprivileged students will take place on July 29.

The performers will be the highly acclaimed Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble.

Buskaid was founded in the UK in 1992 by British viola player Rosemary Nalden in response to a BBC programme highlighting the difficulties besetting a string project in Diepkloof, Soweto. She enlisted the support of 120 distinguished professional musicians who took part in a simultaneous fundraising ‘Busk’ at 16 British rail stations.

In 1997 Rosemary moved to South Africa to establish the Buskaid Soweto String Project. It was originally based in a tiny dilapidated church office and moved to its own purpose-built Music School in May 1999. The project has earned itself critical acclaim and has given many otherwise purposeless youngsters an exciting, creative and stimulating mission in life. They have performed with huge success in the UK, France, USA, Holland, Ireland, Germany and New Zealand. This will be their first appearance in KwaZulu-Natal.

The Buskaid Soweto String Project has now implemented a teacher-training scheme for a group of senior students who attend training sessions in Buskaid’s string teaching method, which is based on the research and repertoire of Sheila Nelson and Paul Rolland.

A further innovation is Buskaid’s “in-house” instrument repair workshop offering skills training to local youth and run by its cello and bass teacher, Sonja Bass, who has received specialised training in the UK.

The concert will take place on July 29 at 19h45, Durban Jewish Centre, 44 Old Fort Road, Durban. There is a cash bar and safe parking. Book at Computicket.




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