Three years since he triumphantly won the gold medal and first prize of the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) in 2015, the talented flautist Sakhile Humbane this week returns to the prestigious competition to star as the guest soloist at the Finalists’ Gala Concert of this year’s competition.
He will perform the Hungarian Pastorale Fantasy by AF Doppler in the finale with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra to conclude the challenging 2018 NYMC that runs from 9 to 13 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town.
Originally from KwaMashu near Durban, Sakhile now resides in Rondebosch, Cape Town where he is studying music at the University of Cape Town.
“I am very excited to be returning to the platform from which I have learned so much. So much more this time as I will be there to present the music, without the added pressure of competing,” he says.
The 22-year-old recalls how he has for three years undertook the bus pilgrimage to Cape Town to compete in the prestigious competition for talented classical instrumentalists before he hit the jackpot.
“Each time I learned something new. So, I hope that this year’s 19 contestants can take something away from the experience regardless of results”.
The annual competition, presented by the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF), was started 34 years ago in Port Elizabeth by Michael Maas, founder and chairman of the foundation.
It is supported by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO)and Fine Music Radio (FMR) and caters for classical musicians who are too young to qualify for the UNISA International Music and the ATKV Muziq competitions; or too old for the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition.
The NYMC Finalists’ Gala Concert is the culmination of a week-long gruelling competition where the 19 selected contestants from across South Africa performs an extensive repertoire of works in front of a nine-member adjudicating panel of esteemed classical music academics and experts.
The top six competitors do their final battle at the gala concert where they play with the CPO.
The competition, with prizes of more than R145 000, offers South Africa’s rising classical stars the opportunity to hone their skills for the professional stage.
“After winning the NYMC, I received a lot of performance opportunities that gave me professional exposure and the opportunity to refine my performance skills to a more professional standard. The competition also helped me in indirect ways - I was able to use the prize money to travel abroad to masterclasses with internationally renowned flautists and teachers. Keep learning and keep growing” says Sakhile.
The finalists’ gala concert on Saturday 13 October starts at 19:00. Tickets cost R120, R90 for pensioners, students and learners. Bookings can be made at Computicket 0861 915 8000, Shoprite and Checkers outlets, or online at www.computicket.com.