Our year begins, after a two week break, with a band camp where we discuss various aspects of our work, and also do some musical work in a relaxed atmosphere. This is essentially a teambuilding exercise to prepare for the hard work ahead.
Our bands rehearse on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Wind Band rehearses on both nights from 17h30 to 19h00. The Concert Band rehearses on Tuesdays from 20h00 to 22h00. The Brass Ensemble rehearses on Thursdays from 20h00 to 22h00. The Stage Band rehearses as the need arises. Sectional practices are also arranged separately as the need arises. In addition to this, our brass players are also involved in workshops and rehearsals arranged by BBSA.
Our bands perform regularly at church functions in different churches. We also play for schools and other bodies throughout the Nelson Mandela Metropole. We play at least three concerts per year, one of which is a memorial concert, dedicated to the memory of all our players who went before us. This concert is held on the anniversary of the death of one of our deceased players. In an effort to develope the skills of our players, we expose them to as wide a range of music as possible. We also participate in various band festivals.
We further also encourage our players to participate in other courses and workshops, such the Youth Orchestral Experience organized by the East Cape Philharmonic Orchestra, the National Youth Orchestra Course, and the International Ensemble Festival organized by the University of Stellenbosch. We have also enjoyed a good relationship with the music school of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University over many years, and a number of our players have benefited greatly from this association.
Over the years, our bands have toured widely throughout South Africa as well as undertaking two overseas tours. We are now making the final arrangements to depart on our third international tour. On average we perform about 80 times a year.
Our year ends during the midnight service on New Year's Eve, when we accompany the congregation in heralding the new year with "Now thank we all our God".