WATCH: St Stithians hosts enthralling marimba festival

Marimba Festival organiser Michael Sibanda conducts the combined musical item at the 12th Preparatory Marimba Festival hosted by St Stithians College recently.


The Mears Hall at St Stithians College was filled with the sound of marimbas and joyful children performing at the 12th Preparatory Marimba Festival.

More than 200 young marimba players took to the stage to celebrate their music in front of a captivated audience.

Eight Gauteng preparatory schools including St Stithians Girls’ Preparatory, Brescia House Primary School, St John’s Preparatory, Holy Rosary Primary School, Auckland Park Preparatory, Redhill Preparatory, St Stithians Boys’ Preparatory and The Ridge School performed alongside Thembelisha Preparatory School from Swaziland.

The event opened and closed with all participating young musicians playing musical numbers including Stand By Me by Ben E King and Track 12 by Heavy K ft Bucie.

Michael Sibanda, head of marimbas at St Stithians College and organiser of the event said, “12 years ago I decided to organise the first marimba festival for preparatory school marimba bands as a way of providing the much-needed performing opportunities for the various school bands. The festival provides Marimba bands with an opportunity to come together and share repertoire through performing for each other and learning different performing skills.”

Sibanda said he has seen great improvement in technique, skill, selection of repertoire, arrangement and presentation of music. He said the definite highlight of the festival is seeing the combined performance where each child feels equal and confident as they perform in harmony.

“All the children from all the schools leave the festival as winners.” Sibanda not only organised the event but also conducted St Stithians’ performances and both combined items.

Thembelisa Preparatory School was one of the highlights of the evening, giving a high-energy performance including dancing from two youngsters. The band performed all four of their songs immediately after each other, changing over so cleanly that the only indication that the song had changed was the music itself.

The audience responded well to all the performances, giving thunderous applause, ululation and standing ovations throughout the evening.


Combined marimba band’s performance: 


St Stithians Prep performs Despacito: 


Thembelisha Prep from Swaziland perform Chemutengure: 


Redhill performing:


Sarah Koning

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