Music academy launched at Bridgeville

Captain Darryl de Kock, Aubrey Richter, principal Stanley Allies, with Tristin Frazer, Israel Johnson, Jordan Solomon and Taquin Cloete, celebrate the opening of the Aubrey Richter Academy of Music at Bridgeville Primary School.

The musical talent of Bridgeville Primary School pupils are being honed with the establishment of a music academy based on its premises.

Principal Stanley Allies is excited about the partnership between the school and the Aubrey Richter Academy of Music (ARAM). He said the school received a donation of musical equipment for their involvement in the Smile FM Making Music for Mandela Day initiative, and it will be of good use.

To spread the excitement, the SAPS provincial band put up a sterling performance at the school to encourage all those interested in learning to play an instrument.

Captain Darryl de Kock said he hoped his band inspired the pupils to follow in their footsteps.

“I was in Grade 5 when the SAPS band came to perform at my school, and I told myself I am also going to do that. I hope we motivated some of the children here to be all they want to be,” he said.

Having the SAPS band perform at their school, was a privilege, Mr Allies said. “We have many budding musicians at the school, and we are so grateful for all the assistance in getting our children on to the next level of music. The music academy will not only teach the children how to play an instrument, but also how to read music, so that they can become established musicians. We want to empower more pupils with these skills,” Mr Allies added.

The music academy will be open to the rest of the community as well.

Mr Richter, director of ARAM, started his music career at the tender age of 7, playing the trumpet at church. He was a member of the SAPS provincial band for 18 years, and conducted the band in the last eight years of his career, before he left to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity.

Mr Richter was the conductor of Welcome Brass Band, a community band in Welcome Estate, owned by the late Appie Frantz, for 10 years. Many of his students, from Heideveld, Bishop Lavis, Manenberg, Hanover Park and Mitchell’s Plain, are today professional musicians in SAPS, Army and Navy bands across the country. Some are music tutors.

“The discipline, increased concentration and social cohesion instilled by music, can never be emphasised enough. It also promotes teamwork, evokes pride, and most of all, creates a sense of belonging. Being involved with an initiative like this, also keeps the children away from negative influences,” Mr Richter said.

The tuition offered includes music theory, voice training, piano, guitar, drums, percussion, woodwind, flute, clarinet, soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, trumpet, trombone and tuba.

Classes are held from Mondays to Thursdays from 4pm to 8pm, and on Saturdays from 8am to 1pm. The tuition fees are R300 a month.

Mr Richter appealed to businesses and residents to sponsor those who cannot afford the fees, to donate musical instruments, and for music teachers to get involved – even those who are retired.

Contact Mr Richter at 071 127 7998 or email aubreysmusicacademy@gmail.com