Ephraim Katz

  • Ephraim1

  • Ephraim’s main forté and main musical field of expertise is the field of military bands.

    Still in Israel, before he and Litzy have arrived in South Africa, he served as the bandmaster of the only two professional bands of Israel, the Israeli Army (Zahal) Band and the Israel Police Band.

    During those years he completed his studies at the Rubin Academy of Music (The Hebrew University) in Jerusalem, and graduated in 1978. That is also where he met Litzy, his wife-to-be.

    Still in Israel, he has conducted and written music for many recordings, radio and TV and was involved, as musical Director, with shows and song festivals.

Ephraim and Litzy have arrived in South Africa in 1984 and soon after their arrival Ephraim has joined the South African Army Band. Until he retired at the end of 2004, after almost twenty years of service with the South African National Defence Force, he has conducted and served as the Officer Commanding of Four of the senior staff bands of the SANDF. He also wrote many musical arrangements of South African popular songs as well as of other types of music, including the arrangement of the new National Anthem of South Africa, which has been accepted and declared the official arrangement of the National Anthem and is played today by all the South African military bands.

Beside conducting, Ephraim has also developed a rich and versatile career as a composer and arranger of music. He composes music and writes arrangements for almost every possible musical medium and style – for military bands, symphony orchestras, light and pop bands as well as choirs. Many of his compositions and arrangements had been recorded and they appear on CDs. With the SANDF bands with which he used to work before his retirement he has produced three CDs, mainly of his own compositions and arrangements.

When Ephraim retired from the SANDF in 2004 he was holding the position of Senior Director of Music of the SAMHS (South African Military Health Services) Band, where he was better known as Major Katz.

Ephraim has been responsible for the music side of all On Cue Theatre productions since the theatre started in 1995, mainly by writing and recording musical backing tracks and compiling and producing the music CDs used in the shows. However, since his retirement in 2004 Ephraim has become a full-time member of the On cue theatre team, he is in charge of one of the theatre’s groups, he travels with, supervises and assists the cast through their preparations and during the performance and often performs on stage, playing the clarinet and the saxophone.