Following the closure of the Music Schools in Durban and Pietermaritzburg, access to musical training for talented young people from disadvantaged communities was almost entirely closed. During 1999 strategies for the Development Programme of the KwaZulu-Natal Youth Wind Band were put in place, with the help of Mr. Brian Thusi who runs a music school for local students in Umlazi. Mr. Thusi, a professional musician, and Mr. Dannewitz collaborate closely on the development of young artists from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
At the end of 1999 the first of the “developmental school concerts” was held at a community hall in Edendale. A concert will be organised each year with Mr. Thusi to facilitate the identification of young people who would otherwise not learn to play a musical instrument – particularly wind instruments. With the grant received from the National Arts Council of South Africa, we are able to offer tuition in instruments obtained through the old Durban Music School collection. Mr. Thusi arranges tuition for these students. When they reach an appropriate standard, they are able to audition for the Wind Band.