Botswana - Last Tuesday Broadhurst Primary School Steelband in Gaborone staged a concert entitled Picnic with The Pans.  The event was held to raise funds for the purchase of giant chess pieces to be used in the new Music and Chess Garden at the School.  The garden has a large chessboard, and once complete, will provide children with another enriching activity.  Picnic with The Pans took the form of an outdoor evening picnic concert, with guests scattered informally in the area, eating their dinner and visiting with friends and family. The students provided the musical entertainment on the steelpans and the senior choir sang.  It was a very successful evening and the children are already planning the programme for the next Picnic with the Pans!


Two of the school's three bands performed at the show. The show was opened by the intermediate group - Marang - consisting of 9 and 10 year olds whose rendition included Star Wars, Inspector Gadget and Chim Chim Cheree. Following the guest performance of singer Kevin Duke, the senior band - Calabash - comprising 9 to 12 year old pannists took the stage.  They dished out pop favourites like Summer Nights from Grease, Millennium by Robbie Williams and Stand by Me.  Their classical repertoire included In the Hall of the Mountain King by Grieg, Theme from Symphony No. 40, Eine Kleine Nacht Musik by Mozart and Swan Lake.


Broadhurst Primary School is a private educational institution and is proud to be one of only two elementary schools to own a set of steel pans in all of Botswana.  Each child in the school – from inception to Standard 7 – learns to play the instruments.  The children play a range of music:  traditional children’s songs, pop, rock and classical.  The music is written, graded and arranged according to the abilities of each class.


The pans are used daily in teaching the children notation and rhythm.  Each class also has specially chosen songs, which they learn over the course of a few weeks, and then perform in the weekly school assembly.  All music is selected and arranged for pans by their music teacher, Miss Verity Knight.

Hollis Clifton
Africa correspondent


From the news desk of HC, Africa

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