Who are you?Where are you from?What is your Identity?…..We all have an ID with information that would identify us as an entity called a Human Being.These are the types of questions always posed as we celebrate Heritage Day in South Africa, we “braai” and chat about the ins and outs of the cultural diversity that we have in our amazing country. With the aromatic smell of the boerewors, chops and marinated chicken sizzling on the fire….nothing compliments it better that on a ice cold Castle Lager.Our country has a rich history which is documented in various tv programmes and books….but there are many untold stories, the ones that are not documented on paper or the tv screen, these are the real South African stories and can only being experience through conversation. Sometimes this communication can get confused owing to the many official languages we have, but through mutual respect there is hope of bridging the gap and building a better solidified community for all – communication is the key that can unlocks our potential.“A nation’s culture resides in the hearts and in the soul of its people.” – Mahatma GandhiAs I sit here and reflect on this past month I am thinking about the Cape Town City vs Kaizer Chiefs match played recently at the Cape Town Stadium, sport really does bring a nation together……matches like these gets me excited and brings back that 2010 World Cup gees. This will forever be part of our Heritage.Another highlight of this month was watching the Ellen Pakkies movie, an emotional rollercoaster ride from start to finish….it is a movie that deserves discussion like many of our other local productions. If we start openly discussing the issues in our country in a civilized manner I think it can drive a turn-around strategy towards a brighter future for our kids.Lastly I look at the flower, the beautiful Protea….bringing colour to our lives and intensifying our diversity, in my family hometown of Elim we celebrate Blommefees every two years where families and friends come together marvelling at this beauty.“My heritage has been my grounding, and it has brought me peace.” – Maureen O’ HaraTo my South African brothers and sister have an amazing Heritage Day and continue to protect and nurture your IDentity.“A concerted effort to preserve our heritage is a vital link to our cultural, educational, aesthetic, inspirational and economic legacies – all of the things that quite literally make us who we are.” – Steve Berry
This past weekend The Artscape hosted the 47th annual Youth Music Festival, starting in 1971 with a vision from David Tidboald whereby young instrumental soloists and singers would be given the opportunity of performing annually with a professional orchestra.
The soloists were all under the age of 25 with the youngest performer being 8 year old Eléna Monvoisin, she played the piano as though she is made for the stage with such elegance and precision. She also plays the violin and oboe.
All the youngster were hand picked after having auditioned, the criteria included being classically trained, perform at a very high standard and resident or studying in the Western Cape. The appeal of the works presented, as well as good variety in the overall programme content played an important part in the final selection of these musicians.
Accompanied by the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra these young musicians took the opportunity with both hands, their fingers and mouths working magic, I was particularly impressed in the hard work and dedication that was put into each piece.
Although it was not a competition I had my favourites:
Lauren Wesley-Smith (21), playing the cello since the age of 10. She has played in a number of orchestras, including sharing Principle for the Kwazulu-Natal Youth Orchestra, Co-Principle for the Johannesburg Youth Orchestra, Principal for UP 4 Strings, Principal for the South African National Youth Orchestra and is currently sharing Principal for the Stellenbosch University Symphony Orchestra.
Sinesipho Funo (23), she started singing in a school choir, participating in SASCE competitions. In 2016, as a chorus member of Cape Town Opera, Sinesipho travelled to Argentina where they performed.
Chris Njapha (21), started playing cello at the age of 17. Since then he has been completely drawn to its sound and is currently studying music at the University of Stellenbosch with Babette Roosenschoon.
Eléna Monvoisin (8), she won best violinist 10 years and under at the Cape Town Eisteddford in 2018 among other accolades.
Lihle Mabhula (20), she has played in the Eastern Cape Youth Orchestral Experience (Wind Band) for two years while in high school and for her Grade 6 Trinity exam received a medal for having attained the joint highest position in the Eastern Cape.
As mentioned before all of the young musicians were amazing and I know they will make the most of this stepping stone, read more from my previous blog post https://shaunjengel.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/a-celebration-of-young-classical-musicians/
You can also see the Artscape website: www.artscape.co.za