James Cilliers, 13, walked off with a whooping R10 000 after he won silver at this year’s Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) Hubert van der Spuy National Music competition.
Held at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre in Parow last month, the competition gives talented young music pupils the chance to learn from one another and compete at a national level.
The Panorama teen, along with Kian Goliath, 12, were the only saxophonists to make it into the final round.
James’ mother, Carien, says her son started playing the recorder when he was about 8.
“We are a very musical family, and soon after learning to play the recorder, James started playing the saxophone.”
Her other son, Daniel plays the guitar and violin; her husband plays the acoustic guitar and she sings in church.
The musical parents added another feather to their cap when their daughter, Nina, 9, was awarded R3 000 for being the “most promising candidate of 10 years and younger” at the competition,
“Music is something you can enjoy into old age and numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of this impact,” says Carien.
The musically-inclined Cilliers family have become affectionately known among their church community at the “Von Trapp family” of The Sound of Music fame.
James says he was blown away when the results were released.
“I didn’t expect to win a silver this year because when I entered the competition last year I only made it to the third round.”
The budding saxophonist practises for at least half an hour each day.
“Everybody in my family plays an instrument, and even my baby sister, 2, is wanting to learn how to play now.”
In his spare time, he enjoys reading books and taking both dancing and ballet lessons.
James dreams of becoming an international performer and seeing his name in lights one day.
“I want to play in all the countries of the world.