Kamuzu Academy Orchestra has organised a fundraising concert scheduled for December 7 at the Great Sapitwa Hall of Crossroads Hotel in Lilongwe as unds realised from the concert will be directed towards procurement of more music equipment as well as for their academic studies.
And this time around, the music students' Jazz Concert shall be supported by a performance from Lilongwe Community Choir.
The only grammar school in Malawi based at Mtunthama in Kasungu District, Kamuzu Academy Orchestra has been holding public concerts since 2016, and according to Director of Music Donald Kaluwile the main reasons for going out was to give the students an educational performing experience especially the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) music students, in fulfillment of live performing as part of their examination component for their coursework.
"The first one was held at Sunbird Capital jointly with Malawi Defence Force (MDF) brass band," Kaluwile said. "The response was very good -- VVIP patrons, including the diplomatic community, came to grace the event.
"Some organizations and individials even donated some funds for the cause, which was to fundraise for the aquisition of medical equipment for Mtunthama Health Centre. We didn't reach our target of K10 million but the K2.5 million we realised made a difference to the cause.
"Last year, we held another one at Bingu International Conference Centre (BICC), again with the MDF band. Although the performance was splendid and highly appreciated by the audience, the turn up wasn't as good. We raised just enough to offset some of the costs incurred and not significant enough to by musical instruments for the junior orchestra, which was the target this time.
"However, the Chinese Ambassador who was in attendance at the event donated 10 violins to the Music Department a few months later, which saw the birth of the junior orchestra," Kaluwile said.
The Christmas Jazz Concert in the Great Sapitwa Hall from 7pm to 9pm is at K10 000 for VIP tickets and K5 000 for ordinary ones meant to raise funds for the junior orchestra.
"The senior orchestra will very soon leave for college education and we don't want to wake up one day without the orchestra, which has be come so famous as an icon of classical music. They can't share the instruments for hygienic reasons, especially the blowing instruments.
"It goes without saying that orchestral instruments are very expensive, the cheapest being a clarinet, which costs about K300,000. Other instruments like the tenor saxophones costs around 1.2 million. Our target is to raise at least K10 million for the cause.
"Some of the costs have been reduced this time around by the coming in of sponsors like Medihealth who have paid for the advertising materials, Crossroads Hotel by cutting the hiring of the hall from K1.6 million to K750,000 and HI-FI Electronics who will provide lighting free of charge.
"We hope more people will come this time especially our affiliates, parents and alumni not only to support the cause but to give the students morale and enjoy the rich music they play. This also raises the profile of the Academy as indeed a garden of learning where apart from Latin and Greek, sports and the arts are also explored to the highiest standards.
"This conforms with the dream of our Founder [late Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda] that education should not only be restricted to the classroom," Kaluwile said.
He said Lilongwe Community Choir will perform pieces from Handel's Messiah such as Glory to God, The Glory of the Lord and Hallelujah chorus while the KA Concert will perform Carol of Bells, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, Wise Men Say, Good Time, Titanic Theme, Do-re-mi, Ill le est la devin enfant, Chikondi cha Bulangete, Skokian Jazz, It Is Well, Panis Angelicus, Brandenburg Gate March, I have a dream/Dancing queen (medley), O Holy Night, I Will Follow Him and A Christmas festival.
Kaluwile applauded some students' parents who are involved in publicity and the selling of advance tickets as well as some alumni, who will help at the gate collection and other form of protocols.
One volunteer parent is Chipiliro Kambombe, who says she has about 200 tickets as of last Friday and those interested can contact her on 0888852922.
She appealed to senior KA Alumni to support in any way such as either buy tickets and attend or buy as many tickets as they can in the name of 'supporting the orchestra' and donate them to others.
"Or to just donate any amount straight to support the Orchestra. If giving direct support to the Orchestra, cheques can be paid to Kamuzu Academy but can be sent to me so that they can be acknowledged during the event," Kambombe said.
According to research by the Chancellor College Music Department, students who read and write music have a high level of discipline and perform better in other subjects such as Mathematics and sciences.
Kaluwile said this is because classical music comprises very complex elements such as pitch, harmony, syncopation and dynamics that help to exercise their concentration level. Hence, they find the other subjects easier."