Fairmount High School’s marching band have taken the Western Province High School championship title for the second year.
The competition, hosted by the Western Cape Marching Band Association, were held on Saturday October 21 at Vygieskraal stadium.
Fairmount High School achieved a high score after they placed first for best exhibition, and first for grand march past.
They also took second prize for best drummers and second for best dressed.
Roy Prinsloo, director of Fairmount High School’s marching band, took on the initiative three years ago to change the mindset of the pupils.
His main aim was to transform the pupils’ lives by improving academic performance, and addressing behavioural issues at home, school and at band practices.
Adhering to the marching band’s motto, which is discipline, determination and dedication, the band has proved themselves by bringing back titles and trophies whenever they compete.
Mr Prinsloo said marching band members follow a strict code of conduct.
“It is a holistic approach to the development of the learner and the youth in our school.
“If the learner does not behave in class and the teacher complains then you get a demerit, if you do not come to practice you will get a demerit, if you do not behave at home you get a demerit, those demerits get added and you are suspended from the marching band and this is what the learners do not want.
“There are a lot of social evils in our communities like gangsterism, drugs and teenage pregnancies so the marching band is there to provide an alternative instead of joining gangs and doing drugs,” said Mr Prinsloo.
Community member and marching band co-ordinator Laylah Ryklief said the cadets are being empowered.
“What I have implemented now with them is to start studying, so every second interval they have studies and for an hour after school from three till four, I am training them to become someone, not just a marcher for the school,” said Ms Ryklief.
The Fairmount cadets are sharing their passion for marching with primary schools.
So far 10 primary schools have climbed on board with their marching for transformation campaign.
However, the equipment and uniforms are expensive and Mr Prinsloo is appealing to those who can to invest in the youth.
Grade 10 pupils Jaydon Phillips and Chaleb Smith are the instructors for the marching for transformation campaign.
Jaydon said the marching band has had a positive impact on his life and has had a good impact on his academic performance.
Chaleb said he enjoys working with the primary schools and they are slowly making progress.
The school is proud of their marching band’s achievements and the community has adopted them with the cadets marching at functions such as funerals.
They have also been invited to march through the streets of Bredasdorp where marching bands could be started to have a positive impact on the youth.