Young musos compete in finals

Mia and Anya Botev

Young musicians are flying the banner high for Durbanville and Bellville as they get ready to compete in the finals of the Samro Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition.

The musicians are part of the 25 Cape Town finalists that were selected at the end of June. The aim of the competition is to give talented young music students the opportunity to learn from one another in a competition environment and to compete on a national level.

Loevenstein sisters, Anya and Mia Botev are excited about reaching this stage of the competition and are looking forward to competing in the final week.

Anya, 12, has been playing the violin since the age of five and was inspired by violinist Andre Rieu. The Welgemoed Primary School pupil said learning to play the violin was hard at first but she adapted quickly and just passed her grade 4 Unisa violin exam.

Mia, 8, also started playing the cello at the age of five. She is a student at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre and just passed her grade 2 Unisa exam.

She was, however, first intrigued by the harp, after going to a concert with her mother but decided to see what other instruments were out there. While at a music shop for her sister, Mia stumbled upon the cello and the rest as they say, is history.

Their mother, Mariette who also plays the piano, is very proud of her girls.

“They worked hard and now they get to enjoy the rest of the competition,” she said.

Piano player, Soleil Greyling, 10, entered the competition for the first time this year and is proud of making it to the top 25. The Kenridge Primary School pupil takes piano lessons at school and practices for about 30 minutes every day. She started playing at the age of seven as she wanted to use the gift God gave her.

Durbanville’s Ella Schoonwinkel has been playing the flute since the age of six. She fell in love with the sounds of the flute and decided to audition for lessons at the Hugo Lamprechts Music School. The 11-year-old Welgemoed Primary School pupil decided to enter the competition as she believed it would be a good experience and give her exposure to the performing arts.

“It is an honour and privilege to be selected as a finalist for the Samro Music competition,” she said.

Dirk Visser from Durbanville started playing the cello at the age of five and said he immediately knew it was the instrument for him, when he held it in his hands the first time.

Dirk said they use to watch The Piano Guys’ videos which made it look like a fun instrument to play.

“It was very hard to learn and I realised it would not be easy but I was very keen to learn. My mom found a lovely cello teacher, Rina Schutte at Hugo Lambrechts Music School and if it wasn’t for her I might have given up along time ago,” he said.

This is Dirk’s second time taking part in the competition and he hopes to make it to the final round this year but said he was still young and if not this year, he would try again next year.

Seven-year-old Elena Monvoisin from Bellville, also made it to the top 25.

The competition is presented by the Tygerberg branch of the South African Society of Music Teachers (SASMT) and was inspired by the SASMT’s Hubert van der Spuy. The first competition took place in 1989. In 2013 the competition celebrated its 25th anniversary.

The first prize is a gold medal and R15 000 and the winner will be invited to perform as a soloist at the Hugo Lambrechts Concerto Festival, second place will receive a silver medal and R10 000 and the third place will receive a bronze medal and R7 500.

The finals will take place from Monday September 25 to Friday September 29 at the Hugo Lambrechts auditorium, Picton Street, Parow.