Chance of a lifetime for budding players

A great investment has been placed in youth orchestra development since 2001.

A great investment has been placed in youth orchestra development since 2001.

The Miagi annual orchestra course has shown sustained growth and this year an orchestra of 98 players under the direction of acclaimed Turkish-born conductor, Cem Mansur, together with an 18 piece jazz band under the direction of Jannie "Hanepoot" van Tonder, played to standing ovations at Johannesburg's Linder Auditorium.

Both Mansur and Van Tonder will be back during next year's course which takes place at St Cyprian's School in Cape Town from April 26 to May 4. The course will culminate in a public performance in the Cape Town City Hall on May 3.

The course is open to all young people under the age of 22. There is no cost to individual participants who have been selected.

Miagi does not exclude anyone on the basis of costs and assists wherever possible, including travel arrangements.

It provides an amazing opportunity for many who would never be able to receive such training. Youth from disadvantaged backgrounds are given the chance to develop their musical skills and to perform in a professional setting.

A real success story from this year's Miagi Youth Orchestra course is that of James Oesi. He is currently studying classical music in Russia. He will be returning next year to take part in the course once again.

Requirements for participation next year:

l 1. Be 22 years of age or less on May 4.

l 2. Play an orchestral or jazz "big band" instrument.

l 3. Play your instrument to a minimum Grade 5 level.

l 4. Be available between April 26 and May 4.

l 5. Pass an audition.

National auditions will be held across the country, based on the applications received.

Applicants will be notified of exact dates, times and venues. For the audition, applicants will be expected to play a study written for their instrument, which will be taken from a current Unisa, RSM or TCM syllabus. It should be of a minimum Grade 5 standard.

Deadline for applications is December 15. For more information: Lara Preston or Jani Roodt on (011) 447-8283,, or