Ngoma Dolce Music Academy

Scholarship programme 2014

Ngoma Dolce, junior orchestra rehearsal

This year has been very eventful at the Academy. At the beginning of the year we were closed and trying to get ourselves ready to give lessons in the middle of a building site. As we approach December, we are almost finished building and working towards a whole week of workshops leading up to our Christmas concert on Friday 19th December. By that date we will have 8 teaching rooms in full use and our library will be ready (though not yet furnished).

In the middle of this, how has our scholarship programme fared? We have a group of 6 students who have Academy scholarships, supported by internal Academy funds. Two learn the violin, one the cello, two learn the trombone and one the trumpet. These students are making excellent progress. The 3 string players regularly join in the junior orchestra which has performed several times this year, most notably and publicly on Sunday 5th October as part of a festival ‘Promenades Musicales’ at the Alliance Francaise.

Ngoma Dolce scholarship students

The programme for students at Kamulanga High School (supported by Grassroots Malambo and Rose Charities) has continued its upward trajectory. The students come regularly on Thursday afternoons, when not having exams, and during school holidays when they participate in a programme of workshops and individual lessons. We also hosted a jazz demonstration for them with a visiting American jazz trombonist in August. In terms of regular weekly lessons, there are 7 students learning guitar, 5 piano, 1 violin, 1 cello, 1 clarinet, 2 trumpet and one trombone. They are preparing for a performance in the Christmas concert and will no doubt be in good form. Workshops in August included four visiting music students from Oxford and Cambridge universities: Alex, Anna, Max and Stephen (supported by the MUZE trust) who worked with them on singing, violin, piano, recorder and general musicianship.

The bus from Kamulunga, bringing scholarship students to Ngoma Dolce

The Kamulanga choir is doing extremely well. They get regular help from our singing teachers at the Academy, and won first prize for Lusaka Province in a Choral Competition organised by the Ministry of Education.

Past graduates of this programme are also flourishing. Oscar has continued to learn the French horn, and has (apparently almost permanently!) borrowed the Academy French horn. He participated in a concert of operatic music at the Alliance Francaise on Saturday 11th October at Alliance Francaise, under the supervision of a visiting German trumpeter, Gabor Szabo.

Plans for next year include a programme to include students from local schools such as Kamulanga Boys and Kamulanga Girls secondary schools which are both close to the Academy. The Kamulanga scheme will continue; our target for the coming year is to afford more opportunities for performing at the Academy, in a public space, and in their local community.