Category Archives: Latest project

SANYOF’s latest collaboration

Bombshelter Beast collab!

We’re delighted to announce a new and exciting musical collaboration with the National Youth Orchestra and Bombshelter Beast at our Summer Course in Joburg this December. Watch this space for more! Alex Hitzeroth is a National Youth Orchestra alum who plays sousaphone for the band – making the circle beegah! Can’t wait! Check them out on YouTube here:

Think Black Cat White Cat meets Brenda Fassie – add an opera singer, a polish refugee, a Manchester born kwaito star and SA’s most astute linguist, and you have half the picture. The other half should be experienced live. It’s a genre-busting music collective second to none, comprising some of South Africa’s most colourful and innovative musicians – a lineup of instrumentalists that charm their audiences across the board. It represents a unique approach to the South African sound – where you will experience a Jozi-mixed grill of old school Kwaito & House, Drum n Bass, Dancehall, Dub, Ska, Balkan, Boeremusiek, Hip Hop, Ghoema, Rock, and the odd sneaky bit of Jazz – all peppered with badass rapping & live improvisations. Bombshelter Beast started off with a residency at Joburg’s premier jazz club, The Orbit, and has gone on to perform at the MTN BUSHFIRE, Fête De La Musique Joburg andOppikoppi Festival 2016. Pule voice/raps/storytelling Speedy Kobak accordion/trombone/vuvuzela, Dionne Song voice/storytelling, Erica Louw opera diva, Alex Hitzeroth sousaphone Romy Brauteseth bass/art design Sisonke Xonti saxes/clarinet/flute Janus VD Merwe saxes/bass clarinet Marcus Wyatt trumpet/vuvuzela/arrangements Bez Roberts trombone/vuvuzela Aldirt Du Toit banjo/guitars Justin Badenhorst drums Friedrich Wilsenach sound design


Chamber Music for Change!

The South African National Youth Orchestra is on a big hunt for current orchestra members and alumni, parents and teachers and classical music lovers who would be keen to play in, organise or provide venues for their “Chamber Music for Change” campaign. These chamber music concerts are planned to raise funds for bursaries for orchestra courses in 2016. The aim is to do 52 concerts, one for each year since the National Youth Orchestra started, and raise enough to cover bursaries for one year.

“I am interested in being part of the Chamber Music for Change project that will help raise funds for bursaries. When I needed a bursary last year the SANYO team were able to help me so I find it just to help others who may be in a position I was in.”
TM, Potchefstroom


We’d love every young South African musician, regardless of financial or geographical barriers, to be able to attend National Youth Orchestra programmes this year. Your sponsorship of a musician will contribute to continued musical excellence, quality education and national development. A bursary for a musician costs R5000 and to cover their transport to and from the course is an additional R2000. It is a life-changing contribution for each young musician as it links them up to opportunities to further their career, gives access to the best teaching in the world and, perhaps most importantly, gives them the joy of playing in the National Youth Orchestra.

So far concerts are planned in Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Pretoria, Potchefstroom, Johannesburg and internationally in Birmingham (UK), New York (USA) and Gothenburg (Sweden).

An online campaign to raise funds has been set up on Givengain for donors who’d like to contribute to the cause:

The South African National Youth Orchestra was founded in 1964 with the goal of training and developing South Africa’s young musician through a series of national courses, national and international tours, workshops and master classes. The South African National Youth Orchestra has taken part in the International Festival of Youth Orchestras and has toured to Scotland, countries across Europe where they performed at prestigious festivals such as the Beethovenfest in Bonn, and even a performance on the Red Square in Moscow. It has been conducted by many international conductors and has had the privilege of sharing the stage with Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a performance that was reported on on BBC Worldwide News.

For more information on the Chamber Music for Change concerts, please contact:

South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation

Sophia Welz

email: | mobile: +27 83 272 2117



New Course on Historically Informed Performance

For the third year we will be partnering with Umculo Cape Festival on our annual opera production. An exciting added benefit is that the SA College of Music at the University of Cape Town has opened up their new course in Historically Informed Performance to young musicians from across South Africa and  you can audition to do the course on its own, or do the course and/or the production.

Winter Term Course on Historically Informed Performance 16 June -11 July 2014
The course in Historically Informed Performance (HIP) provides a link between academic (history and theory) and practical subjects (performance) in music and introduces the students to the concept of historically informed performance. HIP is a specific way of arriving at an appropriate interpretation of music using period evidence such as music (manuscripts, early prints) and its editions, treatises on music theory and performance as well as instruments and instrumentation.

THIRD TERM The programme is designed to offer students the opportunity to gain degree credits for courses outside the standard first and second terms (semesters). Term-length courses are compressed into a four-week block of lectures that occur during June / July (Winter Session) or November / December (Summer Session). During these periods students attend classes, complete the standard written work required for any term-length course, and write a full examination. The Third Term programme is an intensive one. However, as many students have discovered, it can be very rewarding.

APPLICANTS FROM OUTSIDE UCT Non-UCT students register as occasional students. They must ensure that their home institutions will accept the Third Term course as credits toward their study programmes. They complete a standard application form, an ACA12 Third Term Curriculum Course form, and pay an application fee. A certified copy of an academic transcript and a certifi- cate of good conduct must be submitted with the application.

Course Code: MUZ4378L HEQF Credits: 24 at level 8 Course Convener: A/Prof. R Sandmeier Entrance Requirements: A pass in Instrument A3 or B3 and History of Music 3, or at the discretion of the Director of the SACM. DP Requirements: 100% attendance and due completion of all assignments. Assessment: Active participation in class: 20%; written assignment: 30%; lecture/recital: 50%

Enquiries about course content and admission requirements:

South African College of Music Prof. Rebekka Sandmeier 021-6502635

The South African College of Music is situated in a 19th-century building (Struben- holm) on UCT Lower Campus.

Enquiries about registration and fees:

Third Term Office


The Third Term Office is situated at Room 3.23, Kramer Building, Middle Campus UCT. The office is open for enquiries: Mon, Tues, Wed and Fri 8h30 – 16h30 Thursday 9h00 – 16h30. For more information on the course please contact Rebekka Sandmeier: There is a financial assistance programme for this course.


“Comfort Ye”
BachIn this new work of music theatre, the music of Handel oratorios and Bach cantatas will be paired with stories from the lives of young South Africans around the theme of hope in times of despair. The singers of the choir of Bloemkombos Secondary School will develop both text and music during intensive workshops in December of 2013 with members of the Umculo artistic team, a Xhosa author and their choir conductor Siyabulela Sulelo to form the basis of a new opera.

In June/July 2014, the Umculo team will rehearse this production with the choir and soloists in Cape Town. A partnership between the University of Cape Town´s College of Music, the South African National Youth Orchestra and Umculo will link a June/July winter course in baroque performance practice with the Comfort Ye production, linking both instrumental and vocal training to a development project with national reach and social goals.

Education workshops in Cape Town with choirs and school classes in disadvantaged communities will follow a new creative model devised by Cathy Milliken (previously director of the Education Programme for the Berliner Philharmoniker) and lead by local music educators and musicians alongside Umculo team members. Workshop participants will form the core of the audience for performances of Comfort Ye.

In March 2015, Comfort Ye will be revived in Cape Town and performed in Johannesburg, again with accompanying education workshops. A symposium in partnership with the University of Witwatersrand will expand the conceptual and educational reach of the project.

In 2014 a collaboration with the South African National Youth Orchestra and Umculo will make it possible for selected students to take part in the production “Comfort Ye” as well as attending the winter term course in Historically Informed Performance. For more information on the National Youth Orchestra / Umculo project please contact Shirley Apthorp:


Lecturers: Erik Dippenaar (keyboards), Hans Huyssen (baroque cello), Antoinette Lohmann (baroque violin), Rebekka Sandmeier (history and theory), Carin van Heerden (baroque oboe and recorder), Kobie van Rensburg (vocal studies).


Logo - Umculo Cape Festival     Logo - SACM - 2013          SANYOF-icon-line-art



Photo - Erik DippenaarErik Dippenaar (keyboards) graduated from the RCM, London with a MMus (distinction) in 2007 and an Artist Diploma in harpsichord and fortepiano in 2008. Whilst living in London Erik’s primary activity was chamber music and he regularly appeared with Florilegium, The London Handel Players, English Touring Opera, Amaranthos and l’Avventura London. He frequently broadcast for BBC Radio 3. Based in South Africa since 2012, Erik is a patron of the Cape Town-based baroque orchestra Camerata Tinta Barocca, a member of the period ensemble The Cape Consort and a part-time lecturer in music history at the University of Cape Town.

After studies in Stellenbosch, Salzburg and Munich, Hans Huyssen (baroque cello) began his professional career as cellist and composer in Europe. He has performed and toured extensively with various period instrument ensembles, and continues to do so as artistic director of the Munich based early music ensemble così facciamo and the local Cape Consort. Research into indigenous African music prompted him to return to South Africa in 2000. Since then he has been engaged in numerous inter-culturally collaborative projects, resulting in a variety of new ‘African’ compositions, performances, CD- and stage produc- tions. Since 2005 Huyssen is a senior lecturer at the Music Department of the University of the Free State.

Photo - Antoinette Lohmann - 2012Antoinette Lohmann (baroque violin & viola) studied the violin, viola and baroque violin at the Amsterdam Conservatory. Currently her repertoire stretches from the early seventeenth century to the 21st century, but always on period instruments. Lately she has also been an advocate of performing contemporary compositions for early instruments.

In recent years she has focussed primarily on chamber music. In 2008 Antoinette founded her own group, Furor Musicus. Two CD’s of this group were released recently to great international acclaim.
Antoinette teaches principal-study Baroque violin, viola and historical documentation at the Utrecht Conservatorium of Music. Since September 2008 she has been visiting South Africa regularly to give concerts and, most of all, to teach in order to support the development of a historical performance movement.


Rebekka Sandmeier (history and theory) is associate professor for historical musicology at the South African College of Music specialising in early music and its performance. She plays baroque violin and viola da gamba, occasionally performing with the Cape Consort.

Carin van Heerden (baroque oboe & recorder) studied recorder with Günther Höller and Walter van Hauwe and Baroque oboe with Helmut Hucke. In these years she won numerous international competitions, among others the renowned international ARD competition in Germany (1988). She performed with various ensembles and Baroque orchestras directed by Ton Koopman, Alan Curtis and Konrad Junghänel. She has been professor at the University Mozarteum in Salzburg (1993–2004) and at the Musikhochschule Köln (2004-2008). She teaches Baroque oboe and recorder at the Anton Bruckner Privatuniversität Linz and is director of the Institute for Early Music. She is a founding member of the L’Orfeo Baroque Orchestra under the leadership of the violinist Michi Gaigg and performs with this orchestra, also as soloist, all over Europe and Southern Africa. Margraf Publishers is due to publish her German translation of Bruce Haynes’ “Eloquent oboe”.

Kobie van Rensburg (vocal studies) made his professional debut at the early age of twenty at Roodepoort City Opera in 1991. After winning several compe- titions and prizes as well as the Concert-section of the 1994 UNISA International Singing competition, he left for Munich to further his vocal studies under Prof. Hanno Blaschke. His expanding operatic repertoire covers a wide spec- trum including the operas of Monteverdi, Händel, Mozart, Verdi and Wagner. Although his concert repertoire ranges from music of the Renaissance to World Premieres of modern pieces, he specializes in music of the Baroque era. In June 2002 he scored a tremendous success with the world premiere of his own Baroque Pasticcio Opera “Ein Theater nach der Mode” at Munich’s Staatstheater am Gärtnerplatz. In 2007 his debut as producer (singing also the title role) was made in Halle with Orfeo.



NYO:Strings come to Joburg

Violinists Martijn Wildervanck and Lebogang Ledwaba rehearsing some Tchaikovsky

Violinists Martijn Wildervanck and Lebogang Ledwaba rehearsing some Tchaikovsky

Nearly half a century of commitment to young musicians has made the South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation the leader of the youth orchestral movement in the country, inspiring musicians with a commitment to pursue the highest standards of musical performance. 2010 boasts a series of courses in addition to the annual Sasol National Youth Orchestra Course.

The National Youth Orchestra: Strings ensemble is selected from the créme de la créme of South Africa’s young string players between the ages of 18 and 25. In July 2010 the young musicians travelled across the country to the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown, where they formed an all-new and exciting group. They rehearsed and learned in a jam-packed session of string playing for the Festival period, and then gave three performances to show off what they had achieved. Now it’s time for Johannesburg to experience the electricity and excitement of this young orchestra at the Sasol Concert at 20:00 on 30 August 2010 at the Linder Auditorium.

This project would not have been possible were it not for the loyal support of our main sponsor, Sasol, the National Arts Festival and our Nordic Partnership for 2010. The Nordic Cultural Initiative (embassies of Finland and Sweden), orchestras in Finland, Sweden and Denmark, and Nordic companies represented in South Africa aided the Foundation in bringing top musicians from Finland, Sweden, and Denmark to tutor at the NYO:Strings course.

This partnership has enabled the Foundation to import some of the very best teachers to tutor at the course. Cellist Ilkka Uurtimo (Lahti Symphony Orchestra, Finland) and double bassist Marja-Helena Ojanperä (Sibelius Academy, Finland), Ian van Rensburg, a National Youth Orchestra alumnus and now concert master of the Åarhus Symphony Orchestra in Denmark, and our conductor, Fredrik Burstedt (Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Sweden). Emile de Roubaix (viola) also joined the faculty and is a proud National Youth Orchestra alumnus.

The National Youth Orchestra: Strings Sasol Concert will be conducted by the young Finnish conductor, Nikke Isomöttönen, who is an orchestral conducting lecturer at the School of Music at the Jyväskylä University of Applied Sciences in Finland. He works regularly with the Jyväskylä Sinfonia, and will make his début as opera conductor later this year with the same ensemble. In 2008 Isomöttönen was selected to participate in the prestigious International Jorma Panula Conducting Competition in Finland.

Look forward to a varied programme of the best string orchestra music through the ages, including the passionate Tchaikovsky String Serenade, Britten’s not-so-simple Simple Symphony, Grieg’s exquisite Two Elegiac Melodies and get back to baroque with our guest artist, Ockie Vermeulen, at the harpsichord. For some local flavour, Pata Pata, arranged by Standard Bank Artist for 2010, violinist Samson Diamond will get the audience on their feet!


30 August at 20:00 at the Linder Auditorium

Tickets will be available at the door and range in price from R40 – R60. For more information on the South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation please visit or call 083 272 2117.

Media enquiries: Marius Coetzee, Media Relations, South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation on 072 338 2240 or

SANYOF interviewed on

Sophia Welz, Chief Operations Officer for the South African National Youth Orchestra Foundation, provides insight into the history, the workings and work of this inspiring initiative on is an interactive online directory and information centre representing and promoting the Classical Music industry in South Africa – past, present, and future.

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