Meet the PULSE team of 2022-2023

Another year, another exchange team. The PULSE team of 2022-2023 have already gotten well into their posting periods, and it´s time to let you know a little more about us.

South participants

Paseka Samson Batshegi is 28 years old and he has been a part of the field band since 2007. His family has a history of being brass players, and Paseka is no different. He found his way to the trumpets in the Soweto Field Band in his early teens. Since then, he has made his way through the FBF pipeline. In 2015 he went to the Field Band Academy — a former educational institution for members of the Field Band Foundation. A year later he stepped up and became a brass tutor, and he has since been a Band coordinator as well. Now he is once again ready for a new challenge, going on exchange to Norway.

— I joined PULSE because I want to share my experience and knowledge about different methods of teaching music.

In addition to this, Paseka also wishes to learn more about a new country and culture. He hopes to meet new friends, and experience different ways of using brass instruments. His hope is to thereby learn more about new genres of music and different ways of arranging music.

Vuyani Mukandi, also known as Vuvu, is a true veteran of the FBF. He has been a member since his youth, and has also held different positions as staff in the FBF for the past sixteen years. In 2009 he went to Norway to study at Toneheim Folkehøgskole. This year he is returning to the country up north, this time as a PULSE participant.

—I joined Pulse because I wanted to continue growing as an individual, I want to grow in my work as an employee of the Field Band and I want to continue to fly the Field Band flag and South African flag in Norway.

During this second exchange, Vuyani hopes to grow musically as a trumpet player and as music arranger. As part of his goals, he also aims to learn new skills, as well as building a network in Norway. He also wishes to make an impact to better the projects future outlook.

— I aim to give PULSE the best Vuvu with my work throughout this year, so that the foundation for the future participants is solid.

Sthembiso Mncube has been a dancer in the Field Band Foundation since 2003. With close to 20 years of experience in different bands, she is a strong card on PULSE´s hand this year. Since her start as a young dancer, she has since gone on to study at the Field Band Academy, as well as being a choreographer and dance tutor in various bands. Because of this, she has been a central part in the FBF dance community.

— I started to work with creating a Dewali Festival show with the dance members from Alexandra. Since then my experience has been growing as a dancer and choreographer.

Sthembiso applied for PULSE to be an agent of change in the project. She is an extroverted firework of a person who spreads joy wherever she goes. She hopes to positively influence the people she meets in Norway with her bubbly personality. Norway offers an unknown culture and language, but Sthembiso believes that she will be able to inspire people with the help of social and leadership skills attained through her years in the Field Band.

— Norway is a different country and people, but the Norwegians are not so different from everyone I have met before. So once I understand the culture and language, I will then learn what is my personal purpose in life. 

Lesley Sebola is a 30 year old percussionist from Limpopo. He has been a part of the Field band for 14 years, in which he has taken the steps from being a band member, a tutor and later a band coordinator. Now Lesley has taken yet another step on his journey, and he is currently working as a PULSE participant in Norway.

— I applied for the PULSE project in order to develop my professional skills, experience personal growth and gain insight into other cultures.

Lesley was previously part of the Field Band Academy, where he obtained impressive certifications in both music performance, music theory, and even computer literacy skills. In Norway he wishes to learn even more in these fields, as well as diving into arranging and composition.

— With these skills, I hope to become a leader who can take the Field Band forward.

Peter Maluleke is one of the veterans in the FBF system. His experience in the FBF is vast and diverse. He joined in 2004 playing the euphonium and baritone, and has since made his way through the FBF pipeline. He started off working as a low brass tutor, but has since then been a band coordinator and project officer in several different field bands. In addition, he was one of the first students at the Field Band Academy. These last couple of years he has been working at the FBF head office, as an education facilitator.

— My background is in running workshops and teaching music theory and life skills before I joined the PULSE team.

In 2012, Peter went on his first exchange to Norway with the Bands Crossing Borders (BCB) project. Since then, Peter has worked closely with NMF and FBF through their exchange programme, as a member of the FBF education department. Now he is once again a participant in this exchange.

— I felt that there is a need for me to go back to Norway to share my skills, and I saw room for me to grow more in various aspects to improve my work through this programme.

Letitia Thembeka Joe is in a unique position in the current PULSE team. One specific position in this year’s team has been dedicated to having a social officer be part of the exchange. This posistion is being filled by Thembeka, who have left her home town Hanover in the Northern Cape in order to explore a new culture in Norway.

— I want to learn more new things that will make me grow personally and work wise so that I can go back and share my knowledge with my people in South Africa.

Thembeka was new to the FBF when she became a social officer in Hanover Field band back in 2019. In this work, she was able to be an important adult in the members life. Being in this position while still being in her early 20s says something about Thembeka´s social skills and emotional intelligence. She was even promoted to the position of project officer in that same band in 2021. She has also achieved her Recognition for Prior Learning (RPL) through her work at FBF. Even though she is taking another step beyond her beginings as a social officer, her values still remain the same.

— I am that individual who believe and serve a purpose on helping those who are in need to cope and improve their quality of life, make a positive impact in someone’s life.

North Participants

Mette Dahl Hanssen is 25 years old and she grew up surrounded by school bands. The last couple of years she´s been studying both music and special needs education, which has set her up very well for a year as a PULSE participant. With additional experience as a conductor and tutor, she has packed her french horn and made her way down to South Africa.

— My goal is to come back with new skills that can improve my work with in Norwegian bands, so that I can engage the children I teach in new and better ways.

In PULSE, Mette is responsible of coordinating further development of the FBF’s digital resources, like their e-learning platform and sheet music archive. Throughout a day at work, she runs from meetings with web designers to teaching the members out in the field. All of these different tasks work together to better the holistic learning environment that PULSE facilitates.

— It feels incredibly meaningful to give these kids the music education that they deserve.

Sondre Aksnes Yggeseth is a 26 years old guitar player with a Master´s Degree in Musicology. However, he has spent most of his working life in the field of communications, after working with communications in several voluntary organisations during his university education. These two opposing backgrounds have finally joined hands in perfect harmony within the framework of the PULSE exchange project.

— Through PULSE, I have the possibility to use my experience with voluntary organisations and communications, while at the sam time being able to fully embrace my nature as a music nerd. It is truly a unreal opportunity.

As a PULSE participant, Sondre is coordinating the project’s external communications and networking activities. Getting the local community around the bands as well as potential partners involved in the bands activities is a large part of the PULSE project, and something Sondre will focus heavily on. In addition, he is using his musical experience and skills together with the rest of the PULSE team in working with the bands themselves.

— I am really fascinated by how all of our work comes together in order to reach one common goal: Giving children and youth safe spaces for personal development through musicking.

Hanna Bakke Negård is a 34 year old trombone player with an impressive musical track record. After playing in bands all of her youth, she moved on to study music at both Toneheim folkehøyskole and Griegakademiet in Bergen, before getting a Bachelor´s Degree in Radiology. While at Toneheim, she encountered four young musicians on exchange from South Africa. In 2017, she herself went on that very same exchange from Norway to South Africa. Now she is back again once more.

— I applied for my second exchange because I wanted to experience fulfillment through working with something different than what I usually do.

Since her last exchange, Hanna has worked as a radiologist. In PULSE, she is also working with health promoting work through the lens of musicking. In particular, she is using her unique experience as a second-time participant as the main contact person between the bands and the PULSE work that happens at the FBF head office. This results in a diverse schedule throughout the working week.

— Some days we are busy with meetings and administrative tasks, while on other days we are working hands on with the bands through workshops and educational band visits. That is something I really enjoy.

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