Alex Field Band rakes in the awards at annual competition


Alex is basking in glory after an almost clean sweep of awards at the recent annual competition and 20th celebration of the Field Band Foundation.

This was at an event hosted by the Alexandra band at the rarely filled Alex Stadium, which saw 11 of the foundation’s colourful top bands wow the crowd. There was a great family ambience, and entertainment galore.

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The Alexandra Field Band, founded in 2007 and sponsored by Investec, won the National Champions Trophy for the first time after previous attempts when they came second and third. Also, they took home five more trophies for the best PTT Percussion, Best Overall Music Performance, Gold Medal, second for Marching Percussion and second for Dance Performance.

Second runners-up, Soweto Field Band. Photo: Leseho Manala

The first and second runners-up were Anglo American sponsored Kuruman, and the Investec-sponsored Soweto bands respectively.

The Field Band Foundation is a premier youth edutainment and empowerment NPO whose competitions bring together families and friends, and where new acquaintances are made around the sounds of brass, percussion, marimba and steel drums, dance and movement by its various bands.

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In a country facing extreme poverty, inequality, crime and social ills, the NPO, sponsored by corporate, government and international entities, has since its inception in 1997 used this global performance concept to bring hope to 50 000 children and youths with the therapeutic use of music and focused life skills training through 42 bands countrywide.

The foundation’s Nicolette du Plessis said that by teaching youngsters music, movement and dance, it becomes a platform for HIV/Aids peer education, general social development education and specific life-skills training including, commitment, heightened self-awareness and self-esteem, teamwork, discipline and time management.

Youngsters display their talent at the Field Band Foundation Competition. Photo: Leseho Manala

“The interaction also promotes social cohesion of children from different races, languages and cultures, exposes them to exchange programmes and, sometimes, offers them work opportunities. The joy of their friendly competition, learning from each other’s inspirations, strengths and weaknesses enhance their humanity,” Du Plessis said.

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The occasion also launched the NPO’s next phase called Fit for Purpose which updates its programme priorities and ensures sustainability.

Joburg Executive Mayor Herman Mashaba was also there to re-acquaint himself with the foundation. His company, Black like Me, sponsored the Soweto band. “The initiative should be sustained for its significant and positive social impact on the youth struggling with social ills. It will be adopted in every region of the city,” Mashaba said.

Nicolette du Plessis of the Field Band Foundation with Kelebogile Sethibelo of the Department of Arts and Culture. Photo: Leseho Manala

Kelebogile Sethibelo of the Department of Arts and Culture lauded the initiative which she said taught self-discipline and unleashed the capabilities of children. “It should be [expanded] as it develops their social, cognitive and emotional well-being, exposes them to their full social, economic and cultural potential, and should be supported as part of the department’s 2020 agenda for holistic youth development,” she said.

Details: Field Band Foundation 071 932 9216.

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