On Saturday, a Recorder Jamboree was held at the Thembalesizwe New Apostolic Church (NAC) in Aberdeen, featuring budding musicians from Thembalesizwe, Lotusville, Rietbron and Willowmore. Over 60 children, backed by 16 more experienced adults, took part in a recorder workshop in the morning which culminated in a concert for the public in the afternoon.
The children in the beginners’ group started recorder lessons in January, under the guidance of talented musician and teacher Esteline de Jager. The youngest participant is only seven, although most of them are two or three years older.
During the last few months, Esteline kept in touch with the recorder teachers in Willowmore and Rietbron, sharing audio clips of the concert programme. Saturday morning was the first time that all the youngsters from the different congregations had ever played together, and the polished performance in the afternoon was testament to the enthusiasm of the youngsters and their teachers.
The recorder players at the concert were accompanied by the piano or organ for most pieces by Esteline’s husband Roberto, Area Music Leader for the NAC. Members of the advanced recorder group gave some depth to the items, and a small percussion group also accompanied some of the pieces. “We formed the percussion group for those children who couldn’t be part of the recorder class,” said Roberto, explaining that they were either too young, or started too late in the year. The group proved very popular with the audience, especially the well-timed clash of Avian Flippies’ cymbals.
The musicians displayed excellent discipline throughout, performing with a professional demeanour way above their years. The young spectators in the front pews were entranced, mimicking the recorder players’ movements and swaying along to the rhythm. “This was wonderful to see, as one of our aims with the concert was to excite others to want to join in,” said Esteline.
The event was compered smoothly by Chris de Jager, District Rector of Aberdeen.