For a number of years, Masamba has been caught in a bind. We need to increase revenue in order to realise all of our plans of working in the community and also operating a successful samba performance group. However, with only 2 full-time staff, it was hard to see how we could physically deliver much more work, and maintain a high standard of quality.
We identified 2 things that would help us move to the next level – more staff and a dedicated Masamba vehicle – this year, we managed to achieve both of them, and we’re delighted.
Back in September, we hired a 2nd music tutor in the form of Graham Dunne. Graham comes to us with a wealth of expertise in many areas of the music industry, but his speciality is playing stringed instruments. So, one of Graham’s first tasks with us will be to develop a programme of Cavaquinho training, starting in the Springtime, The cavaquinhos are on their way, and we can’t wait to get started!
If you want to find out more about Graham’s musical career to date, there is a full biog. on our Meet the Tutors page.
The second thing we wanted to do was buy a van, and we can now confirm that as of Thursday, the new MasambaMobile is on the road! We’ve felt for some time that having access to a larger vehicle would open up new opportunities for us. It will allow us to take on more work, and it will allow us to take on work in areas of the country that are less accessible. We have always tried to take on workshops, regardless of how far off the beaten track the are, and we genuinely have worked in almost every corner of the country, but every so often, there is a location that is too inaccessible or too expensive to get to. Hopefully, that’s all a thing of the past.
The purchase of the van was facilitated by a grant from the Dormant Accounts Fund, and our friends in Mongey Plunkett Motors gave us a great deal on a lovely Peugeot Expert. The next challenge was finding affordable insurance, and luckily for us, one brokerage called Intersure kept hammering away at it, and got us all insured for less than a third of the price we were initially quoted – result!
Of course, the big task for the beginning of 2018, is to find a location to re-locate the Masamba HQ, but at least we have more hands on deck, and a van to facilitate that task!