“Whenever I see the field bands perform, I get goose bumps. It is never boring, it never gets dull. It reminds me of my time as a member playing the marimba. It always takes me back.”
Sello joined the Field Band Foundation (FBF) in 2006 at the age of 19. He had never played a musical instrument before, but always knew he wanted to be involved in the art space.
During an FBF presentation at his school he fell in love with the sound of the marimba -and finally he had found his instrument.
Growing up Sello was a shy kid who preferred quiet in-door activities like scrabble, but joining a field band and excelling on his instrument gave him a new confidence, and he quickly moved up to being the section leader for the pit section (marimbas and steel drums). Even though he started spending a lot of time on music, he always managed to balance this with his schoolwork.
4 years after joining the field band, Sello got accepted to the Field Band Academy as one of their first students. There, he got to learn about music theory, concert production and performance principles. Looking back, one of the highlights during his studies was when they did a concert at the Upper Deck at uShaka Marine World.
“It was one of the most professional concerts I had ever been involved in. I remember after the concert I was like – this is where I want to be.”
After graduating from the Field Band Academy Sello was given a golden opportunity by the Field Band Foundation: to come and work at their head office in Johannesburg as the National Performance and Event Developer. As time went by, his work scope gradually shifted towards taking on the role as Public Relations Administrator. His workday consists of dealing with stakeholder relations, public queries, band booking and social media management.
“The Field Band Foundation is all about youth development. I have always grabbed the opportunities that have been presented to me with both hands, and in true FBF spirit I have always wanted to give the same opportunities to those who are less privileged.”
Sello is in fact so passionate about giving youth a platform and opportunities, that he in 2015 created his own music competition – South African Music Marathon. Through this competition he hopes to provide a platform for unrecognized musicians who are less fortunate to undergo any form of formal career development in the music industry.
Sello explains that it is the Field Band Foundation values that have made him who he is today. When he was still a member, he learned about the Field Band Foundation values through several life skills sessions.
“My success in life is because I managed to implement and live those values” he says, and continues;
“It’s not easy for people to adjust to change. Through the process of change, things might seem impossible. But the end result of change is worth the pain.”
Written by Solvor