Thursday, 16 October 2008

Proudly South African - The SA Navy Band entertains

The South African Navy Band was once described by former President Nelson Mandela as a national treasure. Despite having grown up in Cape Town and being part of a musical family, I had never heard the Navy Band until this evening when they gave of their time to travel to Worcester at the invitation of the Institute for the Blind

Local schools were invited to bring their music pupils along and so I joined several of our school's musicians for the concert. Our school has a particularly strong link to the Navy Band as our music teacher is an ex-bandman. 
What a wonderful evening we experienced! The band played a wide selection of music ranging from a medley of Wagner melodies to big band standards and a foot-stomping selection of Mango Groove songs. At one point several youngsters were invited to come up to the stage and play a wide selection of percussion instruments with the band. My son gladly obliged and had a super time with maracas. A stand-out of the evening was the way in which the band involved the audience and kept all ages richly entertained.
The audience tonight was a smorgasbord of Worcester society but no difference of race, age, gender, socio-economic status, cognitive ability or physical challenge could prevent everyone present from thoroughly enjoying the evening together. It was a prime example of how music bridges the divides we put up between ourselves. It was also wonderful to see young people, children and teenagers, enjoying music and seeing how much fun it can be to make music together.
It must also be mentioned that there was no charge for this concert. It was done as a gesture of good faith towards the Institute for the Blind and as a service to the community of Worcester. 
The SA Navy Band clearly has a much larger task than simply providing music at ceremonial occassions and I wish them well as they continue to serve South Africa through the medium of music. We can certainly be proud of this section of our military!
Watch this video (from a festival in Germany) and enjoy!

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