The Soweto-based string outfit Buskaid Soweto String Ensemble has been basking in the glory of local and international critical reception for 20 years now. It recently celebrated this milestone with a Heritage Day inspired performance at Linder Auditorium.
Tomorrow, the Diepkloof classic outfit will treat music fans to a concert themed Movies and More to raise funds for its organisation at the same venue.
For the past 20 years, the Buskaid Music Academy has produced more than 100 well-trained musicians specialising in a variety of instruments, who have also gone to perform at some of the most prestigious venues across the globe.
They have performed for kings and queens as well as political figures such as Barack Obama, is wife Michelle, and our very own Nelson Mandela.
The academy itself currently trains more than 125 young musicians mostly from disadvantaged communities in and around Soweto and its immediate neighbourhood of Diepkloof.
Speaking to The New Age, teacher and ensemble member Lesego Mokonto told The New Age that the academy needs to expand as it now houses more students than it can accommodate at its premises.
“We might need to move should we get funding as we have more than 120 students and when the weather allows some of our students are able to practice outside. But when it rains, it is a bit difficult to get things done,” he said.
Mokonto also said funds raised from tomorrow’s performance will go towards running the academy and buying much-needed equipment, so music fans are urged to really come out and enjoy the performance made up of movie-themed music.
“We have already done our 20th anniversary concert. This is a surprise concert and we were lucky that Linder Auditorium was offered to us for free. The concerts follows the popularity of movie music.
“We then decided to treat our fans to music from movies and popular television series such as James Bond, Game of Thrones and many others to make the concert accessible to those who are not classic music fans,” he said.
This has been a year of many feats for the Buskaid project. The ensemble was awarded the Classical NEXT Innovation Award for 2017 in Rotterdam, Netherlands. Buskaid was voted outright winner out of finalists from all around the world.
The ensemble’s nominated partner, Classic FM, also won the Business and Arts South Africa (Basa) sponsorship in kind award 2017. This is the fourth time in a row that Buskaid has nominated successful sponsors for the prestigious Basa Awards.
Most recently, Buskaid was awarded an Impumelelo Award at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town on November 4.