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And then they were just six…

Following three nerve-wracking rounds of serious battle in the 2018 National Youth Music Competition, only six are still standing.

Awaiting the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra to join them in their final crusade are Beate Boshoff, 17, from Bethlehem, Louis Nel, 17, from Brooklyn, Pretoria, Gerhard Joubert, 16, from Stellenbosch, Josie McLure, 19, from Walmer, Port Elizabeth, Qden Blaauw, 14, from De Tijger, Cape Town and Clara Lubbe, 16 from Monument Park, Pretoria.

With an equal gender representation, it seems as if Saturday night’s final skirmish will be between about the instruments. Four pianists and two saxophonists. They will take the stage in the Finalists’ Gala Concert at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town to show their mettle.

The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Brandon Phillips, will assist them in the battle of the sizes – the grand piano or the alto saxophone.

Following the curtain raiser by the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, playing the Festival Overture by Shostakovich, Josie McLure will fire the opening shots, performing Concerto for Alto Sax in E flat, Op 109 by Glazunov.

Josie McLure flies the flag for the Eastern Cape

Jan van Riebeeck-learner Gerhard Joubert will return the musical fire with the 1st Movement of the Piano Concerto in A minor by Schumann.

Gerhard Joubert wears two hats – one for his hometown Stellenbosch and another for Jan van Riebeeck High School in Oranjezicht, Cape Town.

The youngest of the six, Qden Blaauw plans to lower the intensity of the scuffle with the soothing Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin.

Qden Blaauw of Reddam House in Durbanville defends the honour of Cape Town’s northern suburbs.

Following a short interval, Clara Lubbe, a learner at St Mary’s Diocesan School for Girls in Hillcrest, Pretoria renew the epic battle between the two music instruments with the Scaramouch Suite for Sax and Orchestra by Milhaud.

Clara Lubbe hoists the flag for Monument Park in Pretoria.

But a feisty Beate Boshoff will reply with the 1st Movement of the Piano Concerto in G major by Ravel.

Beate Boshoff enters the scuffle, putting Bethlehem in the Free State on the map.

Learning at St Albans College in Pretoria, Louis Nel will fire the final shots with the 1st Movement of the Piano Concerto No 3 in C major by Prokofiev.

Louis Nel is the flag bearer of Brooklyn in Pretoria.

Giving the adjudicating warlords a chance to decide who has finally triumphed, the 2015 gold medallist of the competition, Sakhile Humbane will prove to the audience that there was no war with the Hungarian Pastorale Fantasy by Doppler.