Newsletter - December 1999

1999...goodbye

In 1999 Maru a Pula School changed its Headmaster for the 3rd time in its 27-year existence.

The Millennium closes with Maitisong still the only functioning public theatre in Botswana, despite 33 years of Independence and amazing prosperity.

The Maitisong Festival, now 13 years old, has grown into a national event and is the biggest and longest running performing arts festival in Botswana.

The Botswana Music Camp, now 15 years old, is unique in the region. It caters for anyone interested in music and offers a mix of Botswana’s traditional music and western music.

Maitisong has logged onto the new information technology with a web page (www.info.bw/~maitisong/) and e-mail (maitisong@info.bw)

 

We at Maitisong wish you a very happy Christmas and a most memorable millennium

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. . . . quick reviews:

Since the last newsletter there have been a lot of shows in Maitisong - too many
to review in detail. Here are some one-line impressions . . . .

PEATBOG FAERIES flitted in, courtesy of the British
Council. They gave a high-powered, fully-amplified performance that mixed
Scottish traditional tunes and instruments with the modern sounds of dance
bands. Much appreciated by the (partisan?) audience.

MARU A PULA ONE ACT PLAYS were chosen,
directed and acted by the students. Interesting that the winning entry had
chosen the best script.

B.D.F. BANDS IN CONCERT STYLE came to
Maitisong for the second time. A most enjoyable - if too long - programme
of a quite dazzling array of music and dance, including the Scottish pipes.
Makes you realise how important the B.D.F. is in the development of music
here. The evening belonged to the PANTSOLA DANCERS without a doubt.
The style, polish and imagination of these dancers was completely irresistible.
They MUST be seen again.

TUTTI & SOLI may sound like fish vendors in Cape Town, but
was really the Maru a Pula Music Department giving their first ever (after 27 years)
concert of music in the school. There was the orchestra complete with guitar and
jazz drums playing Grieg and Rock (that’s the ‘TUTTI’ bit) ; there were solo singers,
solo instrumentalists (the ‘SOLI’ bit) and, of course, the famous Marimba band.
It was a good first concert - worth the wait?

BACK BYTES was a Ditsala tsa Maitisong function to raise money
for the new sound system: Andrew Buckland in a virtuoso one-man performance
of extracts from his many shows. At times very funny in a sort of slap-stick way;
at times lyrical in its beauty, at times obscure in its meaning; sometimes pure
unspoken mime, sometimes with cleverly accented speech and sometimes
using sounds rather than words. Unforgettable was the virtual Princess from
a computer game. Unfortunately, not a show with mass appeal.


In 1999 we lost a good friend in Malcolm McKenzie, the out-going principal, and welcomed, in his place, NEIL SMOOKER.

The Maitisong Festival was ‘bigger and better’ bringing ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, legendary Jazz giant from Cape Town. He packed out Maitisong. The Festival Concert featured young Batswana soloists singing with orchestra in a Choral Festival that was very successful. It revealed deep talent and ability for classical choral singing.

In July one hundred young musicians came from Belgium with the FLANDERS PHILHARMONIC YOUTH ORCHESTRA and were put up by willing and generous families in Gaborone. The B.D.F. held its annual bands concert in Maitisong for the second year running. Alliance Francaise, the British Council and the India Association of Botswana are the only cultural agencies still bringing quality shows to Maitisong. The British Council's much heralded dance group, R.J.C., came to Maitisong but were confounded by a power failure that affected the whole area. Alliance Francaise brought the jazz group MEDDY GERVILLE which was a great evening. The Maru a Pula School Interact Club organised an extremely ambitious TALK SHOW about AIDS and the Youth, sponsored by UNICEF, that was most successful. The 99 Music Camp at Ramatea is still to come.

Maru a Pula School decided not to put on their major production in the Festival and instead staged TROJANS in June. The school Student Advisory Council used Maitisong on a regular basis for their entertainments: the wildly popular V-SHOWS, the elegant PROM, FRESHERS’ BALL and the discos.

The Maitisong Mobile, originally used as three separate mobiles, for the Opening show of the 10th Anniversary 1997 Festival, was made into a single mobile by ANN GOLLIFER and hangs in the Walkway. It is a really beautiful piece of art from Botswana.

Maitisong was extremely lucky to keep the good friendship of HiVOS, the Dutch funding agency, CRESTA LODGE, MMEGI and the K.M.S. TRUST, a long time supporter of Maitisong. The Government, through the DEPARTMENT of CULTURE, was a major supporter of the Maitisong Festival, but, for the first time, reduced its support of the Botswana Music Camp.

1999 also marked the passing of DINER SEWELA, Maitisong's first technical assistant. He is the second of Maitisong's former assistants to fall victim to the gathering tragedy of the AIDS scourge.

NEWSLETTER BY e-mail: You can receive the Maitisong Newsletter by e-mail without pictures and flashy graphics. Send your e-mail address and P10 to MAITISONG NEWSLETTER, P,BAG 0045, GABORONE. e-mail: maitisong@info.bw

1999 Activities in review by month

JANUARY
KOTO & FLUTE
INDIAN CULTURAL EVENING India Ass
JULY
PIANO STUDIO
Lisa Markovic
GOSPEL SOLOS
Krem
FLUTE FROM SOUTH INDIA
India Association
FRESHERS' BALL Map S.A.C. SEMINAR - 'Lights Of Hope' Brahma Kumaris
FLANDERS PHILHARMONIC YOUTH ORCHESTRA
Cresta Lodge
PTA QUIZ NIGHT
Map P.T.A.
Congregational HARMONICS CONCERT
FEBRUARY
BLACK VOICES
British Council
AUGUST
LUNCHTIME CONCERT
Gab Music Society PIANO STUDIO RECITAL
Jasmina Veldic AMA & FRIENDS
NURSERY SCHOOL ARTS FESTIVAL
Prosper Creations
CHORAL CONCERT
Lutheran Church
INDIAN CULTURAL GROUP India Ass
MARCH
PULA! Reetsanang
BAROQUE TRIO
WORKSHOP:
Soweto Dance Theatre
SOWETO DANCE THEATRE
CELLISSIMO
SQUAWK!
KABOOM!
THREE PENNY OPERA (film) Gabs Film Society
ABDULLAH IBRAHIM
WORKSHOP:
Abangani

NAMIBIA HOME BREW
WORKSHOP:
Marzipans
MARZIPANS
Mereway School,
MAP MARIMBA GIRLS PLUS
EITA! BOTSWANA
TRIBHANGI
WORKSHOP: Tribhangi. FESTIVAL POPS
Nat Chamber Orch

CHORAL FESTIVAL CONCERT
SEPTEMBER
ONAM CELEBRATION
Kerala Samajam
MUSIC CONCERT
TRIO CONCERT Gudrun Weeks
STUDENT RECITAL Gudrun Weeks
WOMEN OF INFLUENCE
Women's Aglow
International
APRIL
STEVE DYER AND HIS QUARTET
Ditsala Tsa Maitisong
V-SHOW MaP S.A.C.
STRING STUDENTS' RECITAL Gudrun Weeks SIKH CULTURAL EVENING Sikh Council
OCTOBER
PARADISE ISLAND

Jump Dance School
ANTONY PEEBLES
British High
Commission
SCHOOLS' CONCERT
Gab Music Society
TALK SHOW
Map Interact UNICEF
PEATBOG FAERIES
British Council
MAY
CREATIVE VARIETY SHOW EXTRAVAGANZA Pudulugong Rehab Centre
MEDDY GERVILLE TRIO Alliance Francaise
NOVEMBER
B.D.F. BANDS IN CONCERT STYLE
CONCERT BY TUTTI & SOLI
Maru A Pula Music
BACK BYTES
Ditsala Tsa Maitisong
SEASONS
Risa Ballet
MAGIC MOZART
Gaborone Music Soc
JUNE
PUNA CD LAUNCH
Stona Records
TROJANS!
Maru A Pula Drama
DECEMBER
BOTSWANA MUSIC CAMP (Dept Culture,
KMS Trust, Sefalana,
HiVOS)

  Last Updated: December 1999

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