On our final day of teaching, we were excited to get to our first girls’ school. Rustenberg is a private all girls school where we got to work with the orchestra players. Most of these girls had no background in improvisation as they are classical players. This was our opportunity to jump on the basics of improv: the blues. We started by performing a 12 bar blues piece called ‘Centerpiece,’ where we each took a solo. After this, Winnie went through a little bit of what the blues is about and taught the girls the scale to play. With the rhythm section playing the changes, Winnie invited each girl to take an improv solo through the form. Though they were nervous, the players seemed to really enjoy the freedom of being able to play what they wanted in the blues form.
After this, we prepared for our show at the Crypt. We played three sets of all different music, including pieces by all of the professors. We were joined by William Haubrich, the department leader of Brass Studies at UCT on trombone. It was a wonderful opportunity and a great performance, supported by some of the students that we had met at various schools who came to watch.