Federation News and Events
South African Field Band Foundation at sWorld Cup
Changing lives one tune at a time
Since our founding thirteen years ago the Field Band Foundation (FBF) has grown tremendously into a mature and goal achieving non-profit organisation, whose dream is to dramatically impact the lives of our economically challenged and often misguided youth through cheerful music and dance. With our incredible forthcoming 2010 FIFA World Cup performances, the FBF gains an opportunity to soar even higher and achieve global exposure.
Our objective at the FBF is to attract youth from socially and economically challenged communities. Through the magic of an exciting and creative activity we can bring about positive change, giving our students the ability to end their cycle of poverty and meaningfully shape a constructive future. Our FBF Academy is the substructure on which the Field Band Foundation aims to fulfil each member’s emotional, spiritual and intellectual needs. Targeting the youth between the ages of 7 and 21 all from various socially and economically challenged parts of South Africa. Through the power of music the FBF stimulates, excites and empowers the youth.
The many difficulties faced by our members include: 61.2% of their parents being unemployed, or living in child headed households, as 1.8% of them do. Before joining the FBF 92.7% of our members had no access to arts or music and our members average age is 15.5 years old. However, on a positive note, the FBF has expanded and now boasts 38 field bands countrywide with 4000 members from 297 schools in 114 townships. With results such as these, the invaluable change to each member’s life is proof that the FBF is both very necessary and a success.
The FBF is fortunate to have a productive and close relationship with the Norwegian Band Foundation, (http://www.musikkorps.no) whose steady commitment over the years has had a massive impact; contributing to our overall growth as an organisation and greatly enriching the experience and lives of our children. We are fortunate as this association allows the FBF to undergo continuous external evaluation, helping in providing a constant challenge for us and a standard to live up to.
The FBF was delighted to be given the honour of playing a part in the 2010 FIFA World Cup celebrations. Being given the opportunity to be part of an event that means so much to their country, is more than these young people could ever wish for and acts as a personal reflection to each student of their remarkable progression - considering the many difficulties they have faced.
The FBF has performed in the 100 and 50 day countdown celebrations. FBF will also provide training for around 370 of their members to participate in the prestigious opening event. Another 60 Field Band members will also be given the duty of leading performers from the rehearsal area to the stadium at the start of the proceedings on 11June. To conclude, they will also perform at the world cup closing ceremony, the format of which is shrouded in secrecy. This association with the 2010 FIFA World Cup will undoubtedly boost the confidence of the young men and women, becoming an experience and memory never to be forgotten.
18 FBF members will also be part of the IFAS production of 'Les Grandes Personnes” during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the Grahamstown Festival.
We passionately believe in the astounding impact that the discipline of music and dance has on our youth. With our field bands in full action over the world cup period, we will have a chance to show the world our youth’s amazing talent.
Visit us at www.fieldband.org.za or contact: Retha Cilliers on 083 775 4348
First to gain leadership awards
Stacey Odell from Upton Youth Band and Matthew Kemshed from Liberty Drum and Bugle Corps are the first to complete the Federation’s ‘Leadership in Youth Marching Band’ course. Accredited by the Open College Network, this is the only UK course recognised by an external body specifically for Leadership in our activity and, we believe, the only such course in Europe.
Photo: Matthew Kemshed of Liberty Drum and Bugle Corps, Northampton.
Stacey completed units in Leadership and in Performance, and Matthew in Leadership and Administration. Each completed a folio which included certified evidence of children and young peoples’ development and how this influences their participation and progress in marching bands, plus leadership and teamwork skills. Stacey’s Performance unit included solo and ensemble playing, and Matthew’s Administration unit included strategic planning and budgetary control over a designated period.
The Federation launched this course with the Open College’s support, following agreement by member organisation representatives that this was a major activity requirement to support development and sustainability. Stacey and Matthew are two from a cohort of 23 leaders and supporters who began the course in 2009.
All participants have to attend an introductory day introductory seminar and then record what they do within their bands and corps in a folio of evidence. This folio is then externally verified by the Open College Network. The Federation is keen to stage additional introductory days for groups of leaders and supporters. This works best if 15-20 people from a number of different units can attend. A summary of the course appears on the Federation’s web site www.marchingbands.org.uk and further details can be obtained from Jim Vaughan on firstname.lastname@example.org As initial funding for this course has come to an end, the current cost for each person is £20, which is the registration fee that has to be paid to the Open College Network.
Musique project gets Youth Music grant
Following January’s ‘whole activity’ conference in Leicester, the Federation has been working on a Youth Music grant application to deliver one of the suggestions made by discussion groups during the day.
It has just been announced that The Federation will receive a £29,700 grant to deliver a pilot project to encourage bands and corps to liaise more actively with the wider music community.
Working in areas identified by Youth Music, four bands have agreed to pilot this initiative –Medina from the Isle of Wight, Concord from Sheffield, Upton from Worcestershire, and Essex Marching Corps. They will be tasked with working closely with a music professional from their area and also taking their band’s expertise into schools and other community groups. The overall aim is to raise the number of ‘new music makers’, and to further strengthen leadership and the musical abilities of band members
The Federation’s Jim Vaughan says 'MUSIQUE has been one of the toughest grant applications I have been involved in because of quite specific criteria demanded by Youth Music, and will be a real challenge for the four bands. The Federation is very grateful for their co-operation”.
During the course of the 16 month grant period the Federation will publish the experiences of each band with the aim of encouraging other bands to follow similar routes towards successful involvement with their local music makers.
This is one area of progress made since January’s conference. The draft of the ‘whole activity’ four year strategy – provisionally titled ‘Marching2012’ will be sent to Conference delegates for consultation in October, aiming for final publication in early December.
The Federation is to receive financial support from the John Ellerman Foundation over the period 2008 - 2010 This is to assist with strategic development, including communication and training. The first task will be to update our data base. We have also moved the main office of the Federation into a newly opened community centre, which will be able to provide office services and meeting facilities. Funds will also be used to support the Federation’s accredited leadership training course enabling it to operate at no cost to band leaders.
Our 2008 Conference in Leicester was attended by delegates from 19 counties. Keynote speakers were:-
Michael McKeever, Headteacher of Trinity School in Nottingham. David Sulkin, Director of Policy and Programmes for 'Youth Music' and Paul Brookes, Creative Programmer 2012 Olympiad, East Midlands.
The Conference provided a unique opportunity for leaders, support staff and for marchig members to listen to knowledgable experts from outside of the activity, to discuss their contributions, and to then feed back the views of their bands to the Federation. The Federation will now work with its member organisations to create a 'whole activity' development strategy for 2008 with the aim of creating a lasting legacy of 'more kids in more marching bands'
Federation Chairman John Boyington introduces Paul Brookes, Olympiad Creative Programmer East Midlands.
MBE is a democratic Federation of Marching Band Organisations which has links to 38 countries through its working association with the Confederation of International Music Societies (CISM).
For the past two years the Federation has been working with our colleagues in Europe to create a European Federation. This is now in place under the branding 'Marching Bands Europe'. At the most recent meeting in Amsterdam member organisations from Denmark, Holland, Ireland, Norway, Italy and the UK were present. It is anticipated that Sweden, Spain, Belgium and Germany will join soon.
Our Federation was formed after the 1998 World Championships held in London, and the European Federation is a direct result of the 2004 World Championships held in Bournemouth. A number of UK representatives have been involved in this initiative - John McNamara, Mark Nicholson, Tony Patrick, Nigel Brown, Anthony Winter and Jim Vaughan.
As 'Marching Bands Europe' gathers pace it is intended that it will be able to facilitate exchanges of bands and organise joint meetings and training seminars to share experiences and information.The website will be active from May 2008 - www.marchingbandeurope.eu
In Heek, Germany on the week-end of October 10th – 12th, a training course and congress in co-operation with the Confederation of International Music Societies (CISM). Course fee including accommodation and food, 217 Euros. Contact the Federation Office.