MUSIC VOYAGE MISSIVE
Dear friends and supporters of Music Voyage, Once again the Festive Season is approaching, and despite the year we’ve had, we are feeling the Christmas spirit and look forward to sharing our joy with you all.
2020 in review
We are so proud of what Music Voyage has achieved considering the challenges our broader community has faced in 2020. Please read on for more information about this and
what’s coming up next…
As we’re unable to host a Carols by Candlelight evening this year, our Marimba Band has been spending their weekends providing entertainment in Howick at St John’s Lifestyle Centre, as well as the African Rainbow Market, and the Cascades Lifestyle Centre in Maritzburg. We’ve raised some funds from generous passers-by, but more importantly we’ve raised morale – amongst the children who are always keen for a performance opportunity, and the shoppers who can’t help but enjoy the upbeat music. We will continue with these impromptu, socially distant performances throughout December so please keep an eye on our Facebook page to find out where we’ll be playing next.
This year Music Voyage was featured on an early morning news slot on the SABC. Film maker, Sphiwe Mazibuko put together a fantastic short clip featuring the Marimba Band and behind the scenes interviews with the children, their families, teachers and the Mpophomeni Ward Councillor, Sandile Khumalo who only had good things to say about the NPO.
Mr Mazibuko is putting together another Music Voyage video which is proving to be an excellent way of introducing Music Voyage to people who don’t know us yet. In August we resumed socially distant and responsible practice sessions with the Marimba Band and their coach, Justice Hakata. We noticed immediately that these practice sessions were a lifeline for the children after their difficult months in lockdown and we did everything to ensure we could get together regularly.
We spent a lovely day at the Nelson Mandela Capture site and it’s been incredible to see how the band members’ skills have developed over the last 4 months – so much so that they are comfortable and confident enough to perform for a fee, and have been invited to provide entertainment at weddings and other functions. We will be looking to build up a few more Marimba Bands in the New Year.
Earlier this year, we celebrated the Saxophone students, sisters Philasande and Luyanda earning a place in the KZN Youth Orchestra. Although they didn’t get to enjoy the in-person practice sessions and touring opportunities they should have had this year, they still immersed themselves in their orchestra responsibilities and played their hearts out whenever the chance arose to be part of a remote ensemble. Please take a look at some of the videos on our Facebook page. We’re thrilled that the Nottingham Road based sisters have been invited back to the orchestra in 2021.
We’d like to thank all our sponsors for their continued support, as well as everyone who has donated what they can when we’ve passed the hat around. Music Voyage has survived one of our most challenging years of operation, and we will continue to thrive in 2021.
It’s been a few years now since young Lidgetton resident and regular Music Voyage recorder student, Aphile Mdlalose was recognised for her remarkable musical gift. Unable to ignore her potential, and with assistance from our wonderful supporters, we scouted around for a bursary and Drakondale Girls Choir School answered our call, offering a position at the school and 50 percent of the funding covered, while Lucky Beanz e.V. based in Germany, made up the rest. Three years later and Aphile continues to excel. I attended her prize giving this week and was immediately struck by how happy, sociable and well-adjusted she is in her school environment. This was quickly followed up with an immense feeling of pride and gratitude as she was awarded a distinction in Isizulu along with a certificate for best achievement in subject. In addition she was also given a certificate for her academic progress in Life Orientation.
Being part of a community where this kind of life-changing experience is possible brings me enormous joy and the deep-seated knowledge that what we do at Music Voyage is right, and our commitment to these children’s lives must continue. Aphile – who has clearly blossomed – will celebrate her third year as a Drakondale student in 2021.
If you’re planning a special occasion that requires a special performance, keep our musicians in mind. It’s wonderful for the children to get out and about, and makes for an effective fundraising opportunity for Music Voyage. If you’ve received this newsletter, please feel free to forward it to your friends and family.
While we are grateful for the support received already, we are always looking for more.
Have a wonderful festive season and stay safe!