CEO Nicky du Plessis visited our Norwegian partners in January to assess the progress of the PULSE! project, the initial phase of which started in September 2013 and ends in mid-2016. This exchange programme is supported by FK Norway through the Norwegian Band Federation (NMF), and is described by our partners as a model for other exchanges they have.

The review took place at Toneheim, the school where South African PULSE! participants are housed during their Norwegian stay, and was followed by meetings with Norway’s foreign development arm, Norad, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and with a special briefing to SA ambassador Ms Queen Ann Zondo in Oslo.

There, du Plessis also visited three bands where our South African PULSE! participants are employed by the NMF to work with bands that have significant immigrant numbers in their membership and that have adopted the Field Band Foundation approach to their performances.

Nicky and her PULSE colleagues also took part in an NMF symposium, attended a workshop for 250 musicians run by the FBF PULSE! participants, and had a stimulating networking session with former Bands Crossing Borders participants and members of the Norwegian project management school, Emergence.

Visiting the town of Longyearbyen (population: 2 200) which is only about 3000km from the Arctic Circle, Nicky came across a man who had attended the Foundation’s 2007 national championships in Johannesburg. Ours is indeed a small world.