It is said that it takes a community to raise a child. In this case it takes both Field Band Foundation (FBF) and Norwegian Musikkorps Forbund (NMF) to make the world a good place to be for thousands of children who are interested in music and dance in South Africa and Norway. Taking a look back from the day it all started until this day, we can proudly say that the partnership has been a fruitful journey. Many activities supporting the vision of inclusion has been developed and there are more to come.
This year the team from South Africa will continue to work with several school bands in Oslo and Bergen on a weekly basis and to participate in different kinds of projects arranged by the national and regional NMF offices (NMF has 8 regional offices across the country). The team has also been challenged to develop a new project called KorpsKlubb that will be offered to some of the schools hosting school bands. On top of this NMF are heading for their 100th years celebration next year and we are fortunate enough to play a role in some of the major events coming up. It is an exciting time and the new south participant team of PULSE are more than ready to rock and roll.
On Saturday, 21 October 2017 team Oslo (Adrian and Chief) had the opportunity to visit a regional project in Rælingen just outside Oslo called Samspill. What is Samspill you might ask? The word Samspill actually means Play together and that is exactly what they do; 140 young musicians from different school bands in the region meet to rehearse for the entire weekend. This is the youngster’s platform where they get the experience of playing in a bigger band than what they usually do, and it is an opportunity to make new friends sharing the same interest. Many of the youngsters are coming back year after year and only meet at Samspill. Projects like Samspill is therefore important to keep members in their local bands and for the young musicians to maintain the networks and friendships they make here.
Our aim as PULSE, working in Samspill, is to give the members a sense of belonging, mastery and well-being through music. This we do by inviting everybody to join us in an activity that is slightly outside his or her comfort zone; the Samspill Body Percussion Challenge! The body percussion challenge is a piece created by the whole PULSE team in cooperation with a former exchange participant Jaran Lienig. Jaran was a participant in the previous exchange program Bands Crossing Border and he spent two years with FBF working at Field Band Academy in Eshowe. The body percussion challenge is based on aural training as we know it from home. It offers intonation through singing and rhythmic training through a variety of body movements. Performance principles are an important factor as attitude makes the piece come alive.
When everyone is performing with conviction, it becomes a testimony of how we are stronger together. The piece also has a part where the group is challenging the audience to join in, the aim is to make everyone in the room feel included in the performance and share the powerful experience of performing together. The piece were dished out for the very first time on Saturday. It was a great success and everybody looked like they enjoyed themselves. The body percussion challenge is Field Band Foundation methodologies in practice!
Written By: Chief Zwane and Adrian Mackay
Photos by: Adrian Mackay, Denis Mashabane and Maria Torstad