Inyathelo in the Headlines

Boogie with Bob Mowday Big Band - 04 Oct 2013 - Sentinel News

Dwyn Griesel

One of my best memories from when I was still a student at the South African College of Music at the University of Cape Town (UCT) waaaay back when, was playing in the UCT Big Band under the watchful eye ,cof then Hout Bay resident, Professor Mike Campbell.

But what stands out is seeing a smiling teddy-bear character in the audience cheering on his two children, Shannon and Hylton — the only two schoolchildren in this big band of university students. These young sax players could hold their own against any of the top players and they delighted the audience with their dexterity — Shannon just barely peeping over the top of her baritone sax.

Well, both youngsters have made a distinguished name for themselves in 'the world of music, Hylton in Australia, and Shannon in Norway — where she has just produced the next in the Mowday owday generation of musicians, little Robin Eric.

But the man who started it all for the siblings is their dad, Bob Mowday, proficient on all the woodwinds and a name well known to all in the jazz community of Cape Town — no matter what the age.

A loveable, good humoured man, Bob never fails to bring a smile to people's face with his quirky sense of humour and anyone will tell you, when the Mowdays get together fora jam" well, the roof almost lifts off the building. Nothing can prepare you for their rendition of Watermelon Man or Mercy Mercy.

Bob has spent his life teaching and playing but most notably has been his dedication to the Athlone School for the Blind where he has taught music for more 20 years and where he still is heavily connected.

Bob's talent for directing and arranging led to the formation of his big band a few years ago and this highly entertaining big band "orchestra", play swing, jazz, pop and Latin — music that literally has the audience dancing in the aisles.

Bob will insist they are all just a group of volunteers, who play for the love of it and are happy to donate their time for charitable events".

But the very professional sounding The Bob Mowday Big Band has raised more than R100 000 in their dedication to various charities. Each band member unselfishly gives their time and talent for no return other than feeling that they have done good for someone else.

On Saturday October 12, they will be performing in Hout Bay, at Riverside Estates, raising funds for local music school, Kronendal Music Academy (KMA) of Hout Bay.

KMA is an award-winning non-profit organisation receiving the Inyathelo Philanthropy_ in the Arts Award in 2011. Its main focus is to provide music education in as many forms and styles as possible to Hout Bay's underprivileged and economically challenged communities.

KMA is currently offering 16 ensemble projects in 20 instruments, involving more than 120 pupils. Housed in a national monument built in 1847, KMA strives to bring cultural experiences to the community with its soirees and regular concerts, and this concert is Just one such event.

Hundreds of people have enjoyed the tremendous talents of the Bob Mowday Big Band and they are in huge demand to play at events and functions.

Next Saturday you can expect a night of excellent music to transport you back into the delicious era of 1930s style and elegance. Tickets cost R80. To book, call 021 790 4457 during office hours.