In April 2012, the award-winning Maru-a-Pula marimba band played performances in New York and New England to raise funds for the school’s orphan scholarship program. This was the fourth such U.S. tour.
Please visit the school’s Facebook page and scroll down to May 2010 for photos and video from the previous tour.
2010 Maru-a-Pula Marimba Tour (Pacific Northwest)
2008 Maru-a-Pula Marimba Tour (New York and New England)
2012 Maru-a-Pula Marimba Tour
April 19: Chen Dance Center, Manhattan, 7:00-9:00pm
April 22: Williams College, Williamstown, MA, 7:30pm
Brooks-Rogers Concert Hall
April 30: Sheraton Commander Hotel, Cambridge, MA, 7:30-9:00pm
April 17, 18: Riverdale Country Day School, Riverdale, NY
April 19: IN-Tech Academy, Bronx, NY
April 20: Riverdale Poetry Café, Riverdale, NY
April 23: Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, MA
April 25: Hotchkiss School, Lakeville, CT
April 26: Taft School, Watertown, CT
April 27: Milton Academy, Milton, MA
April 28: St. Paul’s School, Concord, NH
April 29: Phillips Academy, Andover, MA
April 30: Roxbury Latin School, West Roxbury, MA
The 2008 MAP Marimba band tour was featured on the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and in the Boston Globe. Alport Mhlanga traveled as the distinguished guest of MyLinda King in Portland, OR twice and Professor Ernest Brown of Williams College.
The band released the 17-track studio album Tears of Joy in 2001, Live at the Forum in 2008, and 2010 U.S. Tourin 2010. Tears of Joy won the Botswana Music Award for “Best Instrumental Music” in 2002.
Alport Mhlanga introduced marimbas Maru-a-Pula School in 1988. The wooden, calabash resonator gives the marimba its distinctive sound. The marimba band’s first performance was in March 1988 in Maitisong. They have since performed in Brazil, Canada, the USA, Zimbabwe, and South Africa.
Among the band’s privileged audience have been: Former Presidents Festus Mogae and Sir Ketumile Masire, President George Bush, and Mpule Kwelagobe, former Miss Universe. They have played at the Grahamstown festival, at a world symposium of scientists in Cape Town, at the 10th anniversary of the South African embassy, at SADC conferences, at community weddings, and at the SOS Children’s Village.
Maru-a-Pula consistently ranks as one of the top schools in all of Africa and regularly sends its students to universities across the US and UK. Many of Botswana’s leaders—ministers, businesswomen, doctors—are graduates of Maru-a-Pula.
Botswana has one of the highest AIDS rates in the world and currently has more than 30,000 AIDS orphans. The school now funds 30 full orphan scholarships and hopes to raise the money to fund 60 full scholarships by 2010.
Vice President and Treasurer, American Friends Of Maru-a-Pula