A success story that keeps on growing
Hout Bay Music Project
In June 2010, the eminent violinist, conductor and composer André Rieu led an open-air concert in his home town of Maastricht. Midway through the programme, he introduced some ‘very special guests’ – children from the Hout Bay Music Project of Cape Town. The sophisticated audience was visibly moved as the children performed Canon in D on strings and traditional drums, followed by a stirring delivery of two popular songs.
It was a superb performance, made possible by the project founded in 2003 by violinist Leanne Dolman, who identified a need for recreational facilities and extramural activities for children in the historically disadvantaged communities of Hangberg Harbour Village and Imizamo Yethu in Hout Bay, near Cape Town, South Africa.
It teaches music to about 60 children, including violin, cello and drum lessons, and music theory. There are senior and junior performing ensembles which regularly perform to raise income for the project.
A life-skills programme addresses issues of drug abuse, crime, HIV/AIDS and teenage pregnancy as well as encouraging goal-setting, discipline and the development of self-esteem.
The senior participants are rapidly gaining a reputation for quality performances at concerts and functions. They have also performed for other successful projects, such as the Jikeleza Dancers at the Artscape Theatre in Cape Town. During his Round the World and Bach [LINK] journey, David Juritz appeared with the Hout Bay Strings at a benefit concert, raising £700 which was used to buy instruments for an electric violin project.
Numbers are growing rapidly and the project now needs a larger venue and more equipment, teachers and facilitators. This, inevitably, means higher administrative costs.
‘Ranging from enthusiastic to irrepressible, the Hout Bay Strings is one of my favourite bands in the world. To come so far in just four years, they must have put in a lot of hard work. Their excitement and enjoyment are infectious.’
David Juritz commenting during his busking tour in 2007