GEORGE NEWS - The Glenwood House School Marimba Band was awarded first prize at the European Music Festival for Young People (Europees Muziekfestival voor de Jeugd – EMZ) in Belgium yesterday, 5 May. It was the 64th time the festival was held and it was attended by 92 instrumental ensembles from 29 countries, including symphony orchestras, percussion groups and brass concert bands.
The fact that it was the band’s first participation at this annual event makes the achievement even more impressive. Under directorship of Jan-Erik Swart, the band competed in the category for percussion ensembles and was one of only nine participants who received a summa cum laude festival medal (98-100%).
Swart said the band presented a selection of African ethnic music on marimbas which they had dismantled and brought from South Africa. "Their technical proficiency, musical interpretation and energetic stage presence ensured that they attained the highest possible award available at the competition, adjudicated by highly respected international music specialists from all over the world. Two members of the adjudication panel awarded them 100% scores."
As part of their participation at the festival, they were invited to perform in a special concert for local schools on the eve of the festival, as well as the massed “Happening” concert, which was held in the Dommelhof Indoor Sport Stadium. The jury concert was held in the Dommelhof Theatre, renowned for its perfect acoustics. After the adjudication concert, the group marched in a flag parade through the streets of Overpelt and attended the prize-giving ceremony, where they received their results and medal from the president of EMJ, Rutger Nuyts.
Watch a video below:
The Glenwood group included their vocal ensemble, who performed five concerts in the Netherlands and Belgium before attending the EMJ festival, one of the largest in the world. The group will spend two days in Brussels and Antwerp before flying back to South Africa on Wednesday. They are expected back in George on Thursday.
'We bring you the latest George, Garden Route news'