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Two Jacks and a Jill kick-start 2019 National Youth Music Competition

The 2019 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) for young classical instrumentalists will be kick-started with the second Young Artists’ Concert Series on Sunday 17 February 2019, featuring last year’s top three contestants – two Jacks and Jill - in Hermanus.

Presented by the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF) and Overstrand Arts, the concert starts at 15:30 at the Hermanus Civic Centre. Overstrand Arts is one of the sponsors of the NYMC.

The two Jacks are 2018 overall winner and gold medallist, Louis Nel (17) from Brooklyn, Pretoria. His fellow Jack and silver medalist, also playing the piano, is Qden Blaauw (14) from De Tijger in Cape Town. The Jill, Clara Lubbe (16) from Monument Park, Pretoria, was awarded the overall third prize and bronze medal, playing the alto saxophone.

Two Jacks and a Jill

“This is the second Young Artists’ Concert Series. Last year’s inaugural concert series took place in July and played to packed houses in Hermanus and Cape Town. The foundation seeds the money for the airfares.

“These young musicians, like the South African sixties rock band Four Jacks and a Jill, have the potential to become international stars in classical music,” says Michael Maas, chairman of the foundation.

Michael Maas

The programme for the concert includes works by well-known composers such as JS Bach, WA Mozart, S Rachmaninov, G Faure, R Muczynski, E Granados and several others.

Entry forms and the rules for the 2019 competition for classical musicians between the ages of 14 and 19 years will be published on Thursday 7 February 2019 on the NYMC website at www.nymc.co.za.

Last year Louis Nel, a Grade 11 learner at St Alban’s College in Pretoria took the laurels of the competition, walking away with the R30 000 first prize and the gold medal. He also won the R4 000 prize for the best performance of a Concerto in the Final Round, as well as the R5 000 category prize in the piano category, which includes the North West University invitation award to the piano category winner to perform in a concert at the 2019 Potchefstroom University concert series.

Louis Nel

One of the youngest contestants in the 2018 competition, the 14-year-old Qden Blaauw, is a learner at Reddam House in Durbanville. He was awarded the silver medal and R10 000. Qden was the runner up in the piano category.

Qden Blaauw

Clara Lubbe, 16, a learner of St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Hillcrest, Pretoria, palmed in the third prize of R6 500 and the bronze medal with her alto saxophone. She also took the R4 000 Leon Hartshorne Prize for the best wind instrumentalist.

Clara Lubbe

The 2019 NYMC runs from 8 to 12 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow Cape Town.

The National Youth Music Foundation’s bottom line rests on three pillars, namely to identify, expose and develop young musicians. “These concerts prepare these classical youth musicians on their respective journeys to become fully-fledged performers,” says Maas.

The National Youth Music Competition is supported by the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, the Rupert Music Foundation, Joan St Leger Lindbergh Charitable Trust, Nussbaum Foundation, National Lottery Commission, Overstrand Arts, the Cape Town Theatre Trust, L & S Chiappini Trust and the Ackerman Education Trust.