Marching to Their Own Beat: Brass Band Keeps Youngsters From Gang Life

Marching to Their Own Beat: Brass Band Keeps Youngsters From Gang Life

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trombone player AustinEvery Friday morning 17-year-old Sarel Ramphele puts on his gold-trimmed suit, grabs his trumpet and walks the 6 kilometers to the neighboring village. Under a makeshift iron roof in the yard of an unused house he meets with scores of other young people to rehearse for what has become an improbable musical success story in one of South Africa’s poorest regions, according to The Good News, South Africa website.

Based in Limpopo, Bezzi’s Youth Brass Band is one local woman’s answer to a distinct lack of youth engagement in the area.

“There are absolutely no entertainment facilities for young people around here,” says Janet Bezuidenhout, 42, who set up the band just under three years ago. “The teenagers are just idling around.”

Ramphele joined the band when he was just 14 and last year was appointed lead trumpet player. He relishes having something to work towards. “I used to spend a lot of time on the streets doing nothing. The band keeps my mind fresh and helps me develop,” he says.

(READ the full story from South Africa Good News)

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