Saturday, 28 May 2011

Music Academy - Easter Workshop and Concert in Hamburg


We had a long and productive Easter workshop at the end of April, which culminated in our concert in the Hamburg Old Hall. We incorporated our eight new beginners into the programme. These brand new students are all having lessons with trainee teachers and they are doing so well.

Hanneke van der Merwe from Ubungani Wilderness experience did personal development and leadershsip skills with the group. She specially focused on the group of senior students. I am grateful for her presence. The students love her and her many interesting games! We need ongoing input for the students learning to take responsibility for their lives, their futures, their exams, their competitions, their concerts, their... I believe Hanneke makes a lasting impact...


The students did their first performance of Daniel Hutchinson’s new arrangement of Musorrgsky’s Pictures at and Exhibition. The work, our most ambitious to date has huge potential. Daniel writes so very well for exactly where the kids’ ablity is at that current moment. We are looking forward to perform the Mussorgsky in cape Town and Stellenbosch.

We had 32 students perform in total, including eight brand new beginners.

Momentous for me was the first ever concert where three students played a movement from a concerto! The three winners of the concerto competition (with Elizabeth Winkelman as the judge) performed at the concert. We are thankful for Peter Breetzke who specially travelled through to from Grahamstown to accompany them on keyboard. Much progress!

The Hall was decorated beautifully by Jackie,Veronica, Mbomba and Fumba and Cathy Stanley made the most beautiful exhibition of ceramics and embroideries.

The programme:

Saint-Saens (1835 – 1921) Aquarium free arrangement by Keiskamma Music Academy. “Group 3”

Ah, Robyn, Gentil Robyn Khanyi, Siphelo, Mkhululi

Sweetly Sings the Donkey Pink and White Groups

Quick March Lwandile, Nomambinga, Lwazi

Pavane “Group 1”

J.S. Bach (1685 - 1750): Air on a G String

Madosini Whistling Song

Sammartini (1701 – 1775): Concerto in F Major: Allegro Nqophisa

John Baston (1708 – 1739): Concerto in C major, Largo Lihle

JG Linicke (c.1680 – 1750): Concerto “Loure” Yolisa

Ubi Caritas (Latin Hymn) “Group 2”

Orchestral instruments:

Schubert (1797 – 1828): Marche Militaire Lihle

Peter Wastall (1932 – 2003): Let’s beguine Simni

Beethoven (1770 – 1826): Ode to Joy Zimkitha and Nqophisa

Modest Mussorkgsky (1839 – 1881): Pictures at an Exhibition – free arrangement by Daniel Hutchinson and Keiskamma Music Academy

The students who performed were:

Khanyi Cuka

Mihle Cuka

Yolisa Gusha

Nonzaliseko Gxamsa

Sibongiseni Gxamsa

Nokuthula Makubalo

Olwethu Solwandle

Nomambinga Mangwane

Thulethu Mangwane

Lwandile Mapuma

Wonke Mapuma

Simamkele Maxontana

Siphelele Maxontana

Lwazi Mbete

Aviwe Nkani

Lihle Mtshonisi

Nqophisa Mtshonisi

Sandisiwe Mtshonisi

Siphelo Mvapantzi

Simnikiwe Nkani

Siyamthanda Jakavula

Yonela Nompunga

Zimkitha Nompunga

Qhama Noncqe

Nolusindiso Nxasi

Zizipho Makubalo

Sambesiwe Mavela

Thabo Nqoxo

Mkhululi Peter

Tholakele Mapikele

Thabiso Nqoxo

Emihle Mapuma

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Partnership with the Sustainable Seas Trust by Mike Vilimek and Julie Cook

When I first embarked on my internship as a Marine Biologist in South Africa with the NGO the Sustainable Seas Trust, I was hoping to find a magical piece of paradise by the coast where I could work and be surrounded by amazing people. I finally found my paradise when I landed in Hamburg, and encountered those amazing people as I met the community members and those wonderful folks working with the Keiskamma Trust. Though working for an environmental conservation organization and not directly with the Trust, another Canadian colleague (Julie Cook) and I were immediately accepted with open arms by the Trust, which is truly integrated and involved in every part of the community, from health to education and art, and even to my NGO’s domain, the natural environment and its conservation. My role whilst in Hamburg was to try and assess the utilization and dependence upon the shellfish resources by the community. During my stay, the Trust provided me with invaluable assistance and shared freely in their experiences and knowledge of the people and the region, accumulated over 10 years of working alongside community members and striving to uplift those in dire circumstances. We were also given the opportunity to share our knowledge and experiences, and one of my most cherished moments during my six months in South Africa was interacting with the children while we gave a presentation at the after-care program at the primary school in Hamburg, and seeing the pride in their eyes as they told me “Hamburg is beautiful!” and took pledges to keep it so in the future.

I was often amazed over the 2 months that I lived in Hamburg at how much was taking place within this little, hard-to-reach community, from current and future development of the town centre, to the wide-ranging and exciting initiatives that are currently run by the Trust. These things could only happen thanks to the passion and dedication of the members of the Keiskamma Trust. Another of my fondest memories of South Africa was participating in the Capoeira classes. I can remember being very intimidated at first by the intensity and high skill level of the capoeiristas, as they were clearly passionate about what they do, and felt even more intimidation after I learned that most of them have been doing it for nearly 10 years! But I could not have been more wrong, their kindness shining through once you looked beyond those tough-looking exteriors, and I could not have asked for better friends during my stay in Hamburg.

Given the positive nature of many in Hamburg and the beautiful surroundings, it is often easy to forget that many people in the town and the surrounding areas live with high unemployment, little income and face a whole host of other challenges on a daily basis. The Trust and its members work extremely hard to help to sustain the community, but they face a lot of challenges as well. Working for a NGO for six months, I learned that one can never have too many resources at your disposal, and often it’s a lack of resources that’s the rule rather than the exception, and many good projects suffer for that lack. I would encourage anyone reading this to lend a helping hand in any way they can, whether it is through donating time or resources to the Keiskamma Trust, or helping to spread news of the good work they do. The people there are truly exceptional and I witnessed first-hand the positive impacts of their programmes within the community. I plan to return to Hamburg when I am finished with my studies and I assure you that you would have the experience of a lifetime spending several months there!


Michael Vilimek

(Intern for the Sustainable Seas Trust and Master of Science, Candidate at Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada)

During her stay, Julie Cook (Community Education Officer) did the following Blog:

Mundo of Julie

Sustainable Seas Trust's website:

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Music Academy Concert tour to Cape Town and Stellenbosch 16-25th June 2011

Dear friends of the Keiskamma Music Academy,

A wonderful opportunity has arisen for students of the Keiskamma Music Academy to perform four concerts in Cape Town and Stellenbosch at the end of June. Amongst these concerts is an opportunity for our twelve most advanced students to perform as soloists with Camerata Tinta Barocca – a hugely exciting opportunity and a great chance for our gifted musicians to show their skills.

Our students have lived all their lives in the rural Eastern Cape. The opportunity to venture further afield, perform for new audiences in the Cape, and to perform as soloists with a chamber orchestra, is another step in their development, which continues to change their lives. Excitement is running high.

As is so often the case, however, there is an obstacle – funding. In order to take up this proposal, I need to raise R60 000 to pay for extra music lessons, transport, accommodation and food.

My request to you, as friends of The Keiskamma Music Academy, is that you have some fun with your friends and family during May and June and help us raise funds for our musicians at the same time. We ask you to invite (10?) friends and family for tea, a drinks party or a meal at your home sometime during the month of May. Ask them (beforehand, preferably J) if they would be willing to pay (R100/R200/R300?) for the occasion... (R100 = about € 10 = about £9 = about $7).We will have a short info document available on our website which you can send out beforehand or present on the day.

Please let me know if you feel inspired to participate, creating a community of supporters who believe in the power of the arts to change lives.

Yours in music,

Helen Vosloo


The vision for the Keiskamma Music Academy is to uplift the quality of life of vulnerable, rural children of Hamburg and surrounds, by creating opportunities through a music education. Established over dears ago, we currently teach 35 children aged between 9 and 16. Of these, we plan to take 16 students on tour to Cape Town and Stellenbosch.

We follow the classical training approach: all students start with recorder lessons (soprano, alto, tenor, bass and great bass recorders), theory, marimba and ensemble lessons and then move onto orchestral instruments. Students are selected purely on their expressing interest. The Music Academy is a programme of the Keiskamma Trust and our foundation is inspired by the internationally known tapestries of the Art Project.

The unique sound voice of the Music Academy is thanks to the work of our composer Daniel Hutchinson in conjunction with the students of the Music Academy. We are excited by this aspect of our training fitting in with the vision of the Keiskamma Art Project. We incorporate far lying music disciplines within another, building a rich local culture of music. We work around the classical, jazz and traditional Xhosa genres.

The opportunity to learn to play a music instrument has huge long term benefits: together with the new skills students acquire, leading to job opportunities, there is the empowering sense of fulfillment and achievement that comes with the creation of something beautiful, specially showcasing their beautiful indigenous Xhosa music traditions too.


Please reference “MUSIC TOUR 2011” on all payments
We have tax benefit status in South Africa, Canada and in the UK.
The information is on
Please feel free to contact for more information too.

Donations in South Africa:

Name of account holder: Keiskamma Trust
Bank: FNB
Account number: 62059966097
Account type: Cheque
Branch: Beacon Bay, East London
Branch Code 25010900

Donations in Canada:
If you are in CANADA, please contact Keiskamma Canada: Payment through PayPal on

Donations in the UK:
UK donors can give tax retrievable through “Gift aid” on the Keiskamma Friends website there is a donation button. You can contact Jan Chalmers: for assistance too.
A copy of our book can be ordered from

Our concert programmes will include:

Aquarium from Saint Saens: Carnival of the Animals: free arrangement by Keiskamma Music Academy.
Three Renaissance Dances by Susato, Hassler and Mainerio
Bra Joe from Kilimanjaro by Abdullah Ibrahim Arr. Daniel Hutchinson
Whistling Song by Eastern Cape artist: Madosini:
Ubuhle Bendoda Xhosa trad Arr. Daniel Hutchinson
Ubi Caritas (Latin Hymn)
Pictures at an Exhibition – Modest Mussorgsky free arrangement by Daniel Hutchinson and Keiskamma Music Academy
Concerti by Baston, Sammartini, Babbell and Linicke

Our concerts:
1. Saturday 18 June 10h00: Performing at the opening of the exhibition titled “in flight” at the Gallery at Beaux Conference Centre at Constantia Neck, This performance is in conjunction with the Keiskamma Art Project.
2. Wednesday 22 June @ 18h00 opening of Entyatyambeni (“in flower”) exhibition at Oude Libertas. In conjunction with the Keiskamma Art project
3. Thursday 23 June: Lunch hour concert at Stellenbosch University: Fismer Hall.
4. Friday 25 June 20h00 St Andrews Church in Cape Town: 8 -12 students performing as soloists with Tinta Barocca Chamber Orchestra.
5. In the pipeline is at least one school performance in the Cape.

We specially look forward to the performances in conjunction with the Keiskamma Art Project, because of our collaborations with our book, Aquarium in which we celebrate the natural beauty of Hamburg and surrounds through music, using extended techniques in creating bird calls amongst others. Our latest collaborative work is based on Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition in which the children have much fun.