The finals of the 2011 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition on Saturday, 3 September 2011, will see the premiere of a new song.

Peter Klatzow, who won the SAMRO scholarship for composers in 1964, has used the speech as the basis for a new work set for voice and orchestra, which will be performed by the two Western Art Music finalists in the competition. They will be accompanied by the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of guest conductor Albert Horne.

“This was one of the most important political speeches to have been delivered in this country, and the new composition speaks to the African identity and about being an African,” said André le Roux, General Manager: SAMRO Endowment for the National Arts (SENA).

“It is fitting that as SAMRO celebrates its 50th anniversary, the prescribed works and selected repertoire of the singers underscore the fact that it is truly an African competition.”

Fellow SAMRO Overseas Scholarships winner Roelof Temmingh – who won the composers’ award in 1972 – was also commissioned to compose a work for the competition.

The two Jazz/Popular Music finalists will be singing leading jazz composer, performer and teacher Noel Stockton’s South African Medley on the night, comprising arrangements of Brotherhood by Stockton, from a poem by Edwin Markham, with additional Xhosa text by Bonisile Gcisa; as well as Ntyilo-Ntyilo by Alan Silinga; and A Cry, A Smile, A Dance by Selaelo Selota (arranged by Judith Sephuma).

In addition to the JPO, the finalists will be accompanied by pianist Elna van der Merwe, as well as by a jazz trio made up of pianist Melvin Peters, bassist Marc Duby and drummer Kesivan Naidoo (who also won a SAMRO scholarship and was named Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz in 2009).

The audience will also be treated to the joyous sounds of the Soweto Marimba Youth League, also known as “SMYLe”.

This gala final round is preceded by the intermediate round, on 1 September, during which the six semi-finalists in the two genres will be narrowed down to two in each category. The four finalists will then go on to compete for the scholarships at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown on Saturday, 3 September at 6pm.

The semi-finalists in the two genres are as follows:


    • Western Art Music: Sunnyboy Dladla, Hlengiwe Mkhwanazi, Maudé Montierre, Nozuko Teto, Christopher Vale and Monika Voysey.


    • Jazz/Popular Music: Emily Bruce, Sandile Gontsana, Bongile Mabaso, Sotashe Vuyolwethu, Nomfundo Xaluva and Zarcia Zacheus.


SENA’s annual Overseas Scholarships competition is the country’s largest music education award, with two recipients each receiving R160 000 (plus R10 000 for travel expenses) to further their music studies overseas.

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