A Unique USA and South Africa Partnership

The Blue Devils, the internationally acclaimed show band and performing arts youth development organization from California and System Blue Education, will be marching in tandem with South Africa's Field Band Foundation to provide unique life skills and active citizenship education to young South Africans through the performing arts.

Frank Troyka with members of the Field Band Foundation

Frequent winners of the prestigious Drum Corp International Championships, the Blue Devils have announced an acceleration of their longstanding partnership with the Field Band Foundation. This collaboration takes place under the auspices of the Blue Devils' One Music One World initiative and delivered by System Blue Education. This partnership will deepen through an exchange of personnel and shared educational initiatives.

System Blue Director of Education, Frank Troyka, will attend the Field Band Foundation's National Workshop in late November. He will work with Foundation education head Nonceba Lushaba to incorporate some of the world class show band techniques developed over 50 years by the Blue Devils and delivered through System Blue into the Foundation's South African work.

The Field Band Foundation will host national workshops in December for 30 young tutors, the change agents in the Foundation's 48 bands around SA that have more than 6,000 active members between the ages of 7 and 21 years.

"We use the exchange of music to bridge cultural, economic, and political divides, and establish a lifetime of shared social engagement in youth. Like the Field Band Foundation, our objective is to develop personal character through challenging physical and emotional activities while having a great deal of fun and providing incredible entertainment for everyone! The synergies between the organizations are fantastic and we are delighted to be able to link in this way and continue to expand our One Music One World initiative." - Donna Batchelor, President of the the Blue Devils Board of Directors

The One Music One World initiative and the Blue Devils will support the Field Band Foundation in raising funds to continue the varied range of educational activities that the Foundation provides to members annually, with a particular focus on the National Workshops.

"A critical mass of confident young people with a balance between their personal rights and collective responsibilities contributing positively to a vibrant civil society - this is what the Field Band Foundation is committed to," says Foundation chairman and well-known business entrepreneur, Herman Mashaba.

The National Workshops content will include a strong component on life-skills that includes personal leadership and entrepreneurship skills. Thirty young tutors will enjoy the intense residential education at the Field Band Academy Oakford campus in KwaZulu-Natal for 2 weeks in December. With a fully-equipped computer lab and input from facilitators from South Africa, Norway, and the United States, there is no doubt that this learning experience will make the 48 field bands all around the country more effective and exciting for members.