REPRESENTING NAMIBIA: YONA Musicians Ready for Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival.
REPRESENTING NAMIBIA: YONA Musicians Ready for Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival.

Young virtuosos set to shine at Stellenbosch Chamber Music Festival

Michael Kayunde
Eight musicians from the Youth Orchestras of Namibia (YONA) have been invited to take part in the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF) this July.

Violinists Edlin Hochobeb (13), Twani Fredericks (18), Kevin Florian (14) and Olivia Stommel (14), viola player Angelo Tadesse (17) and cellist Shali Hamulungu (17) have been preparing for the festival since April this year. Assisting as teachers, and also as participating in the festival, are violinist Ronaldo Kandume (26) and cellist Muinee Kasuvire (23).

According to a press release by YONA, SICMF is an internationally recognised classical music festival hosted by the University of Stellenbosch. “280 young musicians take part in this festival every year. They receive coaching by renowned international faculty members, perform in one of the two orchestras, play chamber music and attend master classes and faculty concerts that run for the 10 days of the festival,” read the statement.

The statement further noted that the SICMF organisers are thrilled that a group from another SADC country can take part in this festival as a development programme. This opportunity entails being given their own 45-minute concert slot at the Fismer Hall at the Stellenbosch Conservatoire of Music, as well as taking part in all the other activities at the SICMF.

Unique opportunity

The opportunity comes with great responsibility. Every participant had to prepare a challenging repertoire for a video audition. Once the auditions were submitted, they had to start practicing in earnest for their concerts.

This festival will expose young Namibian musicians to coaching of international standard and give them opportunities to network with other classical musicians in South Africa and internationally.

“I did not imagine that it would be possible for YONA’s students to attend this festival. However, thanks to funding by the SICMF and the National Arts Council of Namibia, we are able to go!” Gretel Coetzee, director of YONA, said.

‘’We really hope to make Namibia proud at the SICMF. Our concert programme will include standard repertoire by Haydn and Mozart, as well as Namibian compositions for string ensemble by Eslon Hindundu and Osmond !Owoseb.’’

YONA is a non-profit organisation with the vision of social change through music. More information about YONA is available at www.yonamibia.org

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Namibian Sun 2024-07-17

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