Hi, my name is Heinrich Daniels and I am the music director of St Timothy’s Christmas Band (the black male standing in front of the band in the picture above).
St Timothy’s Christmas Band is a non-profit, non-denominational Community Band situated in Factreton, Kensington (Cape Town, South Africa). The band comprises of approximately 50 youngsters which all hail from the area – a violent; impoverished area where youngsters generally turn either turn to drugs/gangsterism to escape from the reality of poverty. Despite these challenges the band took the initiative in 2004 to revive the organization (which previously functioned from 1972-1996) to engage youngsters in more positive cultural activities such as music training as well as drill training and other life skills.
The result of this initiative is a band that today boasts as being one of the 5 leading community bands in the country – having won the national title on 3 occasions (2010-2012) and multiple regional titles with a team consisting of 95% minors and very minimal resources to sustain itself.
Unfortunately due to the present economic climate, sustaining itself with its own small fundraising initiatives is proving to be a double edged sword for the band. 1) We have had to cut down our preparation times for competitions due to the sheer amount of sustainability fundraisers which we (the leaders) have to run with capital out of our own pockets at great self-sacrifice; 2) The cost of musical wind instruments deters many youngsters to join the band as either they or their parents who cannot afford it, tend to later just drop out – the result being very talented youngsters have fallen prey to the social ills in our community.
Which brings me to the crux of this tale.
We need to raise approximately R65,000.00 ($5000.00) over and above our own fundraising targets of R35,000.00 ($2,800) by the end of November 2017 in order to purchase music instruments for approximately 30 learners who are currently completing their music classes with borrowed instruments of existing band members. The learners for whom we are attempting to assist can in no way raise these money as they are all scholars and many of their parents already just try and survive daily on social grants. If we are unable to meet our objectives; said learners in question will have to sit out in the upcoming 2017/2018 competition season as well as our festive season program where we serve our community and surrounding areas with festive musical joy.
With this in mind we humbly call upon yourself to bring light into these youngsters’ lives as they seek to make a positive difference in this community with their talents. The band, apart from being a leading competition band, serves the community as much as possible – playing for free at community fundraisers; funerals, weddings, parties and even some governmental functions.
I trust that our calls for assistance to sustain our objectives resonates with yourself and thank you in advance for your generosity in spirit.