Many of you receiving this newsletter have been generous in your financial support for the Delft Big Band over the years. More recently, we have been raising funds for the launch of our music academy, and the feeder band, developing our project into three modules – the Delft Big Band, the Delft Big Band Music Academy, and the Delft Big Band feeder band. Lessons for the students of the academy take place at Voorbrug High School in Delft on Saturday mornings. Here is a selection of recent photographs of our new students, which convey the environment and their enthusiasm better than words could:

New band members ready their instruments (Photograph courtesy Gregory Franz)

New band members ready their instruments (Photograph courtesy Gregory Franz)

Musical Director Ian Smith with three budding jazz musicians who recently joined the Delft Big Band Music Academy (Photograph courtesy Gregory Franz)

Musical Director Ian Smith with three budding jazz musicians who recently joined the Delft Big Band Music Academy (Photograph courtesy Gregory Franz)

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Music Academy members prepare for a big ensemble number at the Voorbrug High School practice venue (Photograph courtesy Gregory Franz)

Thanks to our funders, we have been able to buy musical instruments to help equip our first intake. We have also invested in the purchase of teaching manuals, and music stands. We now have 93 students enrolled, being taught via the same system used by Ian Smith all those years ago when the Delft Big Band was first launched. Ian still oversees the entire project, but we also employ members of the big band to teach students, thus ploughing more money back into the community, in line with our objective of upliftment and empowerment.

The teaching environment is not ideal. We often have three different classes being taught at the same time, and sound leaks from one class room to the other, which is distracting for the students. Ideally, we would like to find a permanent venue we can call home. We are determined to achieve our objective of building a permanent project that continues for generations, helping young, talented and determined musicians from disadvantaged backgrounds realise their hopes and dreams.

We are now engaged in a second round of fundraising, to enable us to accept the next intake of students, for which we already have a waiting list.

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Other news

We have had an exciting offer regarding the production of our second CD. A leading international record producer has offered to master the production of the CD overseas, ensuring it will be of the highest standard possible. The level of support we have received internationally has been truly heartwarming.

Demand for members of the Delft Big Band at gigs, stage productions, and festivals is growing exponentially, enabling many members of the band to make healthy incomes. Delft Big Band members have been used in productions like District Six – Kanala, Alistair Izobel’s productions like the Lux, and at gigs at the Crypt, the Grand, Pigalle, and GrandWest. It is gratifying to see the demand for our musicians growing, but this does mean that we have to accelerate the development of the next generation of talented young musicians, to ensure we have a full complement of musicians available for performances. Our recent gig at the Waterfront saw the inclusion, for the first time, of a trumpeter from the feeder band, due to Lorenzo Blignaut performing at a festival in the Seychelles. Yet another significant milestone.

Our next performance is on Thursday the 19th at the Crypt. These performances sell out early, so please make your reservation now, if you intend to come along and enjoy the evening.