One of the biggest festivals of its kind in the world – the seventh International Marimba and Steelpan Festival – drew a large crowd in Boksburg.
The anticipated event took place at St Dominic’s Catholic School for Girls on July 28 to 29, with the agenda of the day being music.
Approximately 2 000 participants were at the two-day event which saw over 250 marimba and steelpan performances from Zimbabwe, Botswana and all parts of South Africa.
The musical education festival, curated by Education Africa, brought about 80 institutions from South Africa and the rest of Africa and abroad.
The St Dominic’s hall was packed with marimbas and steelpans participants who took turns to show the adjudicators what they had to offer.
Bands in different sections and age categories competed for the coveted trophies and wonderful, sponsored prizes.
After each performance, the adjudicators gave individual performers from each group a chocolate.
The chocolate was given for a wide range of reasons such as performing with a big smile or executing a smooth recovery after a mistake.
Festival director Joan Lithgow, said: “The festival was created to give South African bands some international exposure and a platform to play and improve.
“I also wanted to highlight the importance of marimba playing. I am passionate about the power of marimba music as I view it as an agent for social change, both in my country and in the lives of thousands of young marimba players.
“The more I work with marimbas, the more I realised the very important cognitive and social development that happens as result of marimba playing.”
Participants had a chance to attend various workshops which included gumboot dancing, marimbas, steelpans, mbiras, djembes, Chinese drumming, choral music and much more.
This year, two deaf bands performed as well as a number of special needs schools.
Some of the schools from East Rand which took part in the festival include St Dominic’s Catholic School for Girls, Goedehoop Primary School, John Wesley Community Centre, St Catherine’s School, Sibikwa Arts Centre, Aston Manor Primary and many more.
Some of the victors for the festival in the East Rand was Goedehoop Primary School which won in the high school small ensemble “strictly classical”.
John Wesley Community Centre won in the open large ensemble “in the mix” and open large ensemble “strictly classical”.
St Dominic’s Catholic School for Girls won the in the best steelpan performance at the festival category.