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Music is Sakhile’s life

Flautist Sakhile Humbane

“For Sakhile Humbane music is life. Unlike many youths, it was not enough for him that he has natural talent that has already won him top competitions – he wanted to top off his talent by studying music and making a living from it.” – People’s Post 23 October 2018

Hailing from KwaMashu in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, he began playing the flute at the age of nine, initially studying with Lisa Thom. Currently, he is studying flute at The South African College of Music (UCT) with Liesl Stoltz. Sakhile is in his Honours year of the BMus Performance degree.

Liesl Stoltz

In recent years, he has appeared as principal flute and principal piccolo with the South African National Youth Orchestra, the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival Symphony Orchestra and the UCT Symphony Orchestra.

The 23-year-old recalls how he has for three years undertook the pilgrimage to Cape Town to compete in the prestigious National Youth Music Competition for talented classical instrumentalists before he hit the jackpot.

The five other finalists in the 2015 NYMC were marimba player, Emilio February, pianists Henley Jun and Rhiyaan Smith, flautist Amy Stessl and clarinettist Stephen Maycock.

The 2015 NYMC finalists Sakhile Humbane

The 2015 NYMC finalists Emilio February

The 2015 NYMC finalists Henley Jun

The 2015 NYMC finalists Rhiyaan Smith

The 2015 NYMC finalists Amy Stessl

The 2015 NYMC finalists Stephen Maycock

Sakhile has also appeared as a soloist with the KZN and Cape Town Philharmonic orchestras, respectively. He has been an award winner at the Wakkerstroom Music Bursary Competition, the Stellenbosch International Music Bursary Competition and was awarded 1st prizes at both the National Youth Music Competition and Fine Music Radio Bursary Competition.

Last year, Sakhile travelled to Dubai to compete in the Yamaha Music Gulf Scholarship competition, where he was awarded the first prize for the Africa and Middle-East category.

He also performs chamber music, and in 2017, received the first prize in the annual Schock Foundation competition for chamber music. He has been awarded the WH Bell Music prize at UCT, for achieving the highest practical mark in the woodwind department. In both South Africa and abroad, Sakhile has had masterclasses with Sir James Galway (International soloist), Pierre-Yves Artaud (Paris Conservatoire), Karl-Heinz Schutz (First flute, Vienna Philharmonic, Hansgeorg Schmeiser (University of Performing Arts, Vienna) and most recently, with Andrea Lieberknecht at the Summer School of the University of Music and Theatre, Munich.