Nine Students To Shadow Judge 19 Rising Stars

Nine millennials from three South African universities have been invited to serve on the shadow jury of the prestigious National Youth Music Competition that runs from 9 to 13 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town.

Among the nine is the 2016 Gold Medal, First Prize winner, saxophonist Cameron Williams, a finalist and two semi-finalists of the 2017 competition.

Under the watchful eye of Prof John Hinch, flautist and Professor Emeritus of the University of Pretoria, the shadow jury will adjudicate the four-round contest with prizes of more than R145 000.

The shadow jury members for the 2018 competition are Nicholas Bruiners (UCT), Joshua Louis (UCT), Seul Pearl Jung (UCT), Rosemarie Lemmer (UP), Lihle Mabhula (UCT), Mulalo Mphaphuli (UCT), Chris Njapha (US), Jolandi Schaap (UP) and Cameron Williams (US).

All of them are studying music in the corresponding fields of the 19 contestants, namely piano, violin, cello, flute, clarinet and saxophone.

They will score the 19 contestants, between the ages of 14 and 19 years, independently from the panel of adjudicators, consisting of prominent academic and experts in the classical music arena. The shadow jury will pick the most promising semi-finalist, who doesn't make it to the final round of the competition.

The annual competition, presented by the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF), was started 34 years ago in Port Elizabeth by Michael Maas, founder and chairman of the NYMF.

The foundation's vision is to identify, expose and develop youth musicians. It, therefore, invites former contestants and other rising stars to serve on the shadow jury, thus training a new generation of adjudicators.

"This concept offers former contestants and emerging musicians the opportunity to discover the inner workings of the adjudicating process at music contests. Since the inception of the shadow jury we have seen a strong correlation between their scores and that of the panel of adjudicators," says Maas.

Prof Hinch has lectured in flute, piccolo, methodology, repertoire, music history (classical, jazz and popular), instrumentation, music aesthetics and research methodology. He has adjudicated over one hundred music competitions and eisteddfods throughout South Africa and still continues to do so

The panel of adjudicators consists of Michael Maas (Chairman); Prof Ella Fourie (piano); Mr Vaughan Pietersen (Head of Frank Pietersen Music School, Paarl); Prof Nina Schumann from Stellenbosch University (piano); Prof Corvin Matei (Head of Flute and Conducting at Stellenbosch University); Ms Khanyisile Mthetwa (lecturer in flute at Wits University); Mr John Theodore (piano); Ms Polina Burdukova (strings) and Dr Becky Steltzner (woodwind at the University of Cape Town).

The finalists' gala concert on 13 October starts at 19:00. Tickets cost R120, R90 for pensioners, students and learners. Bookings can be made at Computicket 0861 915 8000, Shoprite and Checkers outlets, or online at

Entrance is free to the first free rounds from 9 to 11 October at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium.

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