Enjoy field bands for free

Patience Bambalele

Patience Bambalele

The sound of percussion instruments, trumpets and marimbas will definitely bring Turffontein Racecourse to life on October 3 and 4 when the National Field Band Foundation Competition takes place.

About 15 local field bands will compete for the first place.

The competition kicks off on October 3 where bands such as the Alexandra Field Band; Johannesburg De Beers Blouberg Field Band, Anglo Coal Field Band; Witbank Shatterprufe Northern Eagles Field Band; Daveyton Field Band and De Beers Cullinan Field Band will compete in the first division.

On October 4 bands in the premier division, such as the Stocks Anglo Field Ban; De Beers Musina Field Band; De Beers Black Like Me Northern Cape Field Band; Mdantsane Field Band and PFG Londulusha Field Band, Springs; Cape Whaler's Field Band, Stellenbosch, and De Beers Kimberley Field Band will compete.

Since the Field Band Foundation was established in 1997 it has given many young people an opportunity to learn about this unique music.

It is one of the country's most successful developmental self-help programmes using music and dance. It targets mainly youths from the townships where access to youth-oriented educational activities is limited.

It encourages excellence at school by annually awarding bursaries for higher learning to a few of its members.

With Aganang the foundation has developed a successful HIV-Aids programme that has resulted in a significantly lower incidence of the infection among band members.

Retha Cilliers of the Field Band Foundation said: "It is up to each child to live up to the challenge, grab the opportunity and hold on to it."

The free concert starts at 9am.