St Mary's Jazz Band on tour
All the girls in the St Mary’s jazz band enjoyed an intensive immersion into jazz over half-term at the Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival. This festival runs annually, in conjunction with the Standard Bank National Jazz Festival, at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. From morning until night, the girls played in big bands or sang in a vocal ensemble, and watched local and international jazz artists rehearse, perform and give workshops to the eager young musicians. This festival is the country’s most dynamic jazz festival because of the teaching that takes place and mingling between artists and students, affording young musicians an educational experience difficult to replicate elsewhere.
Veneka Paradza and Lucy Stipinovich spent the first day auditioning for the National Schools’ Big Band – a highly stressful and competitive process! On Friday 29 June, the St Mary’s band performed alongside Bergvliet from Cape Town, and gave a strong, fresh performance. In particular, the audience loved Tessa Dröge’s deejaying with the band. Moses Sebula, who guested with our band, got into the National Youth Band (for tertiary students and young professionals), an incredible achievement in his first year of university.
I am grateful to my colleagues Nicholas Rumpelt and Danielle McKinnon for chaperoning the girls with such care. We all had a wonderful experience at this year’s Standard Bank National Youth Jazz Festival!
Jazz Band Director