Mass marching band celebrates 70 years with online festival


Cape Town – The Moravian Brass Band Union of South Africa (BBSA) will celebrate its 70th anniversary on October 31 with the first online music festival.

It will feature 235 musicians performing in seven locations across the Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Gauteng provinces to commemorate 70 years of BBSA heritage in 70 minutes.

The nonprofit voluntary music organization trains the Moravian Church and integrates many groups across the country with members aged 10 to 80.

BBSA President Ernst Esau said the festival will showcase their harmonious brass approach to well-known musical elements such as, Caring for the world, Prayer and a special composition by one of the members of their own group who conveyed the theme of the festival, A celebration of his mercy.

Esau said that under normal circumstances the group would have organized a physical festival with around 500 players.

“Many of our players come from poor and disadvantaged areas where poverty, unemployment, crime and social ills are rife. The groups provide a platform for many young people to learn music, discipline, self-respect, self-esteem, teamwork, being responsible and having fun, ”Esau said.

Production team leader and music composer Alexander Hitzeroth leads the band during a recording for the Moravian Brass Band Union of South Africa (BBSA) online festival celebrating their 70th anniversary. Photo: ERIN JANTJIES

The festival of this nature required massive planning on the part of the 236 band members and the production team, which was made up entirely of BBSA members who filmed and recorded all the musicians over a period of five weeks in various locations across the provinces – the Cape Town group recently filmed their video recording at the stands at Blaauwberg Beach.

Production team leader and music composer Alexander Hitzeroth says he has been with BBSA since he was eight, when he started playing the trombone in the Salem Moravian Church Marching Band. in Port Elizabeth, and was honored to compose the musical piece for the 70th celebration.

“It won’t be a traditional performance where everyone plays together, but rather a series of recordings across the country that offers so many unique opportunities for audio and visuals,” Hitzeroth said.

The online festival will be available for seven days from October 31 to November 7 and those interested in attending have been encouraged to purchase a ticket on Quicket for R120 ( or read more at their website

Production Team Leader and Music Composer Alexander Hitzeroth performing during a recording for the Moravian Brass Band Union of South Africa (BBSA) Online Festival celebrating their 70th anniversary. | BRIAN ENGEL

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