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A youth orchestra of our own…

Music brings people together. It gives hope, lifts spirits and opens up a world of possibilities. What more could we ask for then, than for our youth to have their very own Dolphin Coast Youth Orchestra? Ballito composer, conductor, orchestrator and songwriter Kelsey Rogers is making this happen.

The Dolphin Coast Youth Orchestra (DCYO) is an opportunity for musicians within the community to come together, learn and share their passion for music.

This is according to its founder, highly experienced musician Kelsey Rogers, who grew up on the North Coast. As a former Umhlali Prep and Crawford North Coast pupil, Kelsey says she knew from about the age of 16 that she wanted to make a career out of her music.
“I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in the USA. I pursued my music career and graduated in Composition and Conducting at Berklee in the US before going on to attain my Master’s Degree in Composing Music for Film, TV and Interactive Media at the Berklee Master’s Campus in Spain.”

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A full-time composer, Kelsey works with international clients from around the world, but says she now wants to share her passion for music with the Dolphin Coast youth.
“Our vision is to create a space for music to be played and experienced together. Playing in an orchestra, for every young musician, will enhance their cognitive abilities and provide them an opportunity to perform and improve on so many levels. My desire is to share my knowledge with the musicians and show them the endless possibilities within the music industry.”

The main purpose for starting the orchestra, Kelsey says, is to provide the opportunity for local musicians to get involved and come together. “After all the hours and dedication they spend alone practicing on their instruments, they can now come together and experience a new aspect, purpose and direction for their playing.

And while it may seem like the current global crisis and need for social distancing may get in the way of this, Kelsey is determined not to see that happen. “Our orchestra will continue regardless of the current situation. We are still playing together, we’re just doing it online. I believe that this is a time where music can unite us. It’s a great time in fact for others to join, as it gives the youth an outlet and a way to do what they love, while still allowing them to stay at home. It gives them something to look forward to as well when school does return and we can go back to meeting in person.

The DCYO comes together every Thursday from 4.30pm to 6pm at Ashton International School in Ballito (or via an online application where they can all play together without delays). They have a range of instruments, including clarinets, violins, saxophones, piano, guitar/bass, percussion and drums. “We come together to learn new pieces, how to work together to understand what our role is when we plan and how to harness and express different emotions, etc.” The orchestra is open to youngsters from the age of 7 to 21 years old.

Details: [email protected]


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