THE SOUTH African College of Music (SACM) at UCT in conjunction with the International Association of Jazz Educators (IAJE) has recently received a shipment of various musical instruments and supplies as part of the UCT/IAJE Instrument Relief Effort.
According to Dr Mike Rossi of the SACM and initiator of the UCT/IAJE relief effort, the instruments and supplies were donated by Jamey Aebersold of Aebersold Jazz, the foremost publisher of jazz education material in the world.
"Mr Aebersold has continued to support the Relief Effort via donations and generous discounts to the SACM music library in the form of educational CDs, books, videos and published arrangements.
"We also received support from music publisher Chuck Sher. They have donated several books, each costing nearly R1 000," explains Rossi. He says he initiated the relief effort because of the increase in the number of students who pursue instrumental music and jazz studies, but cannot afford the instruments.
"There have been and continue to be many examples of students from previously disadvantaged groups that possess exceptional musical talent but simply cannot afford an instrument of their choice."
He says factors like the unfavourable exchange rate between the dollar and the rand, extremely high import tariffs and taxes on instruments make it nearly impossible for students to purchase even an entry-level instrument.
"It is also important for me to mention Mr Bob Sinicrope of Milton Academy in Massachusetts, who has been a key advocate for instrument relief in South Africa. On each of his trips to the SACM he has donated precious resources for students and education.
"His donations will forever change the lives of many truly talented and deserving students," says Rossi.