Published on July 14th, 2016 | by news


International Marimba and Steelpan Festival 2016

Esteemed adjudicators for the 5th Education Africa International Marimba and Steelpan Festival 2016. We are less than three weeks away from the largest marimba and steelpan festival in the world with over 1600 performers from all over South Africa as well as a large contingent from Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana. Schools and institutions from far and wide are preparing to battle it out for the coveted trophies and prizes to be won and will be descending on Benoni on 29 July for a weekend of music, marimbas and merriment!

We are happy to announce our 6 power-house esteemed adjudicators for the festival: Andy Narell, steelpan guru from France, Hallie Blejewski, steelpan specialist from the USA, marimba specialists Gerard van de Geer from Australia and Bongani Sotshononda from South Africa and Dr Andile Khumalo and South African legend, Pops Mohamed from South Africa. In addition to the 250 marimba and steelpan performances which take the form of competitions in various categories there are also over 65 workshops and performances offered to everyone who enters the gate. These include djembe, marimba, steelpan, mbira, Khoisan dance, flamenco dance, Indian dance and gumboot dance.

One of the many highlights of the festival is the massed marimba and steelpan event where over 1000 performers will learn a new piece specifically composed for this event by the event organizer: Joan Lithgow. This piece entitled Africa will be learnt from scratch within 40 minutes and then will be performed with all the adjudicators! There are a number of concerts throughout the two days including 2 solo performances by Andy Narell and two duo performances by Dave Reynolds and Pops Mohamed. These are concerts NOT to be missed! In addition: The Samro Foundation sponsors a composition competition which is judged prior to the festival and the compositions performed at the festival. The Samro Foundation also commissions a new composition each year. This year the composition NALA for steelpan, chromatic marimba and chromatic bass marimba was written by Bongani Sotshononda and will be performed by the composer as well as Dave Reynolds on steelpan and Bradley Lithgow on bass marimba. Our major sponsor is the Department of Arts and Culture with their special theme: Building A Better Africa And A Better World. This is a family outing with prices geared towards bringing the whole family for a fun-filled weekend.

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