The Bandura Express Marimba Group at the NWU School of Music was founded in 2010 by former postgraduate student, Mr Charles Nota. As a student ensemble its membership changes from year to year. Their repertoire is wide and varied, with many original compositions by individual members of the ensemble.
In 2014 Bandura Express attained the distinction of being the overall winner of the Talent Festival on campus. The members used the prize money for the production of their first recording, entitled Bandura Express ntho ena ke Bandura. Among the other achievements of the group were performances in 2015 at the Lady Grey Arts Academy Passion Play and the NWU Alumni Awards Ceremony.
Brass instrumentalists and other wind players often team up with Bandura Express as guest soloists and ensemble players. Members of the ensemble also sing in harmony in some of their compositions. As their creative juices may direct, they are not averse to breaking into shouts of joy and participating in the occasional solo/group dance. The enthusiasm displayed by the ensemble members often causes members of the audience to participate in the joie de vivre.
Membership is by audition and the ensemble is driven by the students, who learn orally and aurally through both participatory and experiential processes. Rehearsals take place on a regular basis during lunch hours.
For further information about the Marimba Ensemble at the School of Music, please contact Prof Jaco Kruger.