Academy Brass and Bulawayo Salvation Army Band

Academy Brass and Bulawayo Salvation Army Band

Rainbow Blaze – who teach Marimba at the Academy Saturday School

Rainbow Blaze - who teach Marimba at the Academy Saturday School

A Triumphant Academy Showcase

Bravo to all those who made last night’s Zimbabwe Academy of Music/Bulawayo Schools Music Project gala so successful.

Taking part in ‘Jonah Man Jazz’ and Terry Riley’s ‘In C’ were students from :-

Centenary Primary School, Coghlan Primary School, Dominican Convent Primary School, Girls’ College, Helemu Primary School, King George VI School, Losikeyi Primary School, Masiyephambili Junior School, McKeurtan Primary School, Mgoqo Primary School, Mtshede Primary School, Mzilikazi Primary School, Ntabeni Primary School, Petra Primary School, Sigombe Primary School, Sizane Secondary School and St.Thomas Aquinas Primary School.

They were joined by an orchestra of teachers and students at the Academy,  along with pupils from Girls’ College, Petra Primary and Sizane Secondary School.

Congratulations to all those who worked with the participants,  including Rose Green, Vusi Ndebele, Adri Botha, Ben Chiwakira, Jeanette Delport, Brian Hartman, Shirley Jerrard, Obadiah Mthombeni, Christiane Price,Ineke te Velde,  Jill Wilde and teachers from the Participating Schools.  A big vote of thanks as well to visiting teachers and course leaders Rebecca Baxter and Richard Sisson,  and Michael Bullivant and Bruce MacDonald of ZAM.

The showcase gala is performed again this evening (Wed 4th Dec),  with guests including British Ambassador HE Deborah Bronnert,  and Jill Coates,  director of British Council Zimbabwe.

The Bulawayo Schools Music Project is jointly funded by The British Council Zimbabwe and donors to BZAM – British Friends of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music. 

A bumper Christmas at the Academy

British music teacher Becs Baxter is currently in Bulawayo working with students from ZAM on their Christmas showcase.  Around 70 Saturday School members will join with other students in two special gala concerts on December 3rd and 4th.

Girls’ College Choir and Orchestra and vocal groups from Convent and Petra High Schools will also take part,  performing Christmas carols,  Jonah Man Jazz and what is almost certainly the first performance in Zimbabwe of Terry Riley’s In C.   

Meanwhile on December 10th, we’ll be creating another huge Bulawayo Community Choir for Carols by Candlelight at Centenary Park.   Following in the footsteps of last years Carnival of the Carnivores,  we hope more than 500 young people from across the city will join the massed ranks of forces,  with the ZAM Band and Bulawayo Salvation Army Band. 

BZAM Trustee Richard Sisson will be on the ground to help marshal the enormous forces – and create another spectacular community event.  Come and join us if you are in town.


  • ZAM Academy Showcases – Tue 3rd, Wed 4th Dec 1800 Sibson Hall at the Academy
  • Carols by Candelight – Tue 10th Dec, Ampitheatre, Centenary Park 1830 


Both events are fully supported by the Bulawayo Schools Music Programme,  which is funded by British Council Zimbabwe and BZAM – British Friends of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music


Congratulations, Thandiwe …

Bravo to ZAM and Girl’s College student Thandiwe Zulu who recently achieved Merit in her Grade 3 ABRSM piano exam.   Thandiwe,  whose studies are partly supported by a bursary from BZAM,  took her exam across the border in Botswana.   Her first music teacher,  Jeanette Delport,   reports that during her spare time Thandiwe is usually to be found in her classroom, either formally practising or grabbing scores from the shelves and trying out new things.   BZAM will continue to support her studies as part of our work helping the Zimbabwe Academy of Music.  

New term for Bulawayo Saturday Music School

New term for Bulawayo Saturday Music School

Nearly seventy young students from across Bulawayo gathered at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music on Saturday for the first of a new term of BSMP Saturday Schools. The aspiring musicians, drawn from state, council and private schools across the city, have the opportunity to study strings, percussion, marimba and brass instruments – as well as singing in the Saturday School Choir, and exploring music theory.

Once again the course has been over-subscribed, with teachers from schools in the Western Suburbs launching their own choirs and music ensembles for pupils who can’t get a place on the Academy Saturday School.

The project will run for 12 weekends through until the end of the year, culminating in a series of concerts at the Academy. Watch this space for details.

The Saturday School’s are part of the Bulawayo Schools Music Project, jointly funded by the British Council Zimbabwe and the British Friends of the Zimbabwe Academy of Music. If you are based outside Zimbabwe, and would like to know more about BZAM, or help support its work, please contact the trustees via email –

the marimba class in the Academy grounds …

the marimba class in the Academy grounds ...

sounding good !

sounding good !

new converts to brass ?

new converts to brass ?

Teachers and students work together as the BSMP Saturday School shows off …

The Bulawayo Schools Music Project ended its second term with a day of celebration at the Zimbabwe Academy of Music.  Outgoing British Council Bulawayo representative Maureen Stewart was amongst those attending. 

‘It began with the marimbas outside, and five different groups each played a piece.  You could see the difference between the schools who came in the first term, and those who had just over half a term’s teaching, but all were enthusiastic and gave of their best.  They also went back to the marimbas at the end and played us out, with the marimba teachers playing a couple of pieces as well.

 Then we went into the hall, and I reckon an audience of 130-150 attended – including lots of interested parents.  Five recorder groups each played a piece, accompanied on a tape which provided rhythm and support but the effect was good, and their recorder control excellent – no shrill squeaks from anyone.

 A solo accompanied very sensitively by Vusi Ndbele (Project Leader)  came next – from a girl receiving individual tuition under the bursary scheme. Outstanding – and the audience LOVED her.

Then an unexpected bonus – a teachers choir of 15, accompanied by piano, two guitars and drums (all played by teachers), singing “I am the earth….”  The choir is predominantly female, but they have a beautiful tone, and they were breathtaking . Then tea, and as we went out the marimbas were playing again – I think some parents had problems getting their children into their cars! 

 It was well organised, the students beautifully trained, and all teachers and particularly Vusi, are to be warmly congratulated. I loved it!’

The Bulawayo Schools Music Project is funded jointly by BZAM and The British Council.