ACOSA started over five decades ago as a community initiative to preserve the arts and cultures of the fast growing diverse peoples around the city of Johannesburg just after the Second World War. ACOSA is still an NGO that assists the government and city councils to reach out to the community and respond to the need for formal music training and development. ACOSA offers orchestral and choral music in the classical and indigenous art forms of South Africa to children and youth from underprivileged and previously disadvantaged communities.
The music schools run by ACOSA service approximately 400 children and youths. Classes are conducted at a variety of venues, the main ones being the Soweto Music Conservatoire, the Sebokeng Music School, the Tsa Lapeng Conservatoire in Stinkwater (North West) and the Acosa Music Academy in Roodepoort, as well as certain primary schools in Soweto and further afield. ACOSA’s ensembles and orchestras include the Soweto Symphony Orchestra, the Soweto youth Orchestra, Ntombizodwa String Ensemble, the Soweto Children’s Orchestra, the ACOSA Brass Ensemble and the ACOSA Wind Band.
ACOSA runs an instrument loan program for a period of time to learners who cannot afford their own. In these instances of the parents save enough money in order to acquire instruments for their children at a later stage, especially upon realizing their childrens’ talent and dedication. ACOSA has come up with tested programmes and achieved approval from education institutions like our universities, the government, business and the community.