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Rising stars make waves in Hermanus

Three rising stars, hailing from the annual National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), including the 2015 first prize winner and gold medallist, are joining forces to enthral classical music lovers on Sunday 31 March 2019 at the Hermanus Civic Centre.

They will perform in the third Young Artists’ Concert series, presented by the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF) and Overberg Arts. The latter is one of the sponsors of the NYMC.

The three soloists are flautist Sakhile Humbane, an Honours BMus Performance degree student at the South African College of Music of the University of Cape Town (UCT), 16-year-old pianist Gerhard Joubert, a learner at Jan van Riebeeck High School in Cape Town and Seiren Wi, who in 2010 was awarded the prize for the most promising semi-finalist, who did not play in the final round at the NYMC.

The overwhelming feedback from the second concert, only six weeks ago, prompted Overberg Arts to ask the NYMF to showcase more of South Africa’s rising stars in the coastal town.

“The NYMC, now in its 35th year, annually attracts the cream of classical instrumentalist between the ages of 14 and 19 to vie for the cash prizes of R145 000 and the sought after medals. This year’s competition runs from 8 to 12 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town,” says Michael Maas, chairman of the NYMF.

The programme for this third concert includes works by well-known composers such as Haydn, Bach, Taffanel and Reineke’s well-loved Undine Sonata for flute and piano.

Sakhile, who hails from KwaMashu in Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, started to play the flute at the age of eight years. Apart from walking away with top hours at the 2015 NYMC, he travelled to Dubai last year where he won the first prize for the Africa and Middle-East category of the Yamaha Music Gulf Scholarship competition.

He will be accompanied by fellow honours music student Seiren Wi who started piano lessons in South Korea. Studying the piano under Prof Francois du Toit at UCT, she was also a member of the Shadow Jury at the 2017 NYMC.

Prof Du Toit is also the teacher of pianist Gerhard Joubert, the youngest of the three performers, hailing from Stellenbosch. Since his spell with the Drakensberg Boys’ Choir between 2011 and 2014, he has won numerous academic and music prizes. At the 2018 NYMC, he was the runner-up in the piano category and was also awarded the Pauline Nossel Prize for the best performance of a classical work by a pianist.

The hunt for the 2019 stars is in full swing. A maximum of 25 instrumentalists will be selected to compete in this year’s competition. Entry forms and the rules for the 2019 competition for the 2019 NYMC are available on the NYMC website at www.nymc.co.za.

“With these concerts, the NYMF’s fulfils its mission to identify, expose and develop local music talent,” 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.

Gerhard Joubert

Sakhile Humbane

Seiren Wi