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Bulawayo Academy of Music sings the blues

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THE BULAWAYO Academy of Music has reduced the number of international concerts due to a myriad of challenges besetting the organisation.

Luyanduhlobo Makwati
Own correspondent

The academy used to host at least eight concerts a year, but this year it only hosted one due to financial challenges.

Bruce McDonald, the administrator of the organisation, said securing work permits for musicians was making it difficult for the organisation to bring more artistes as the costs of getting permits had escalated.

“There is a procedure that we follow and we apply for work permits for our international artistes. Now an international artiste is required by the National Arts Council to pay $500 per single performance and usually our performances last for an hour and half and that is expensive for us as an institution,” McDonald said.

He also said they usually stage concerts under the auspices of Performing Arts Bulawayo.

“The recent act that we had was bankrolled by our friends. They are the ones who paid for the work permit so that we could run the show,” he said.

McDonald added that another challenge was that classical music appreciation had been dying in Bulawayo and as a result audiences were dwindling leading to very few people coming for such international acts.

The organisation celebrated its 60th anniversary in June.

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