2013 & 2014 - MYO & MYBB

2012-MYO & MYBB

2011-MYO & MYBB

The 2010 Orchestra Courses - important information to all Applicants

MYO & MYBB back in South Africa!

MIAGI hosting the National Youth Orchestra and Youth Big Band of Germany - tour to South Africa

MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Big Band to tour Germany in 2009
The 2009 Orchestra Course
MYO and MYBB 2009 Highllights table schedule

The MIAGI Youth Orchestras 2009 - General Information

Education Overview
MIAGI Spring Concert - Maropeng Report
Report on the 2008 MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course
Youth Chamber Orchestra
Youth Orchestra
Youth Big Band

MIAGI-Youth Orchestra and Youth BigBand - MYO & MYBB - 2013 & 2014!

Follow this link and read the article about our MIAGI Youth & New Skool Orchestra tour of Europe 2014 written by Allister Sparks and published in Business Day on 30 July 2014.


June - Sun 29
Concert at the Berliner Philharmonie - Berlin Philharmonic Hall - Young Euro Classic Festival
July - Tue 1
Almedalen Week Seminar together with Ahmed Kathrada -
Wed 2
Almedalen Week Seminars/Concert, Wisby Strand, Visby together with Ahmed Kathrada
Thu 3
Almedalen Week Seminars together with Ahmed KathradaFri 4 Concert at Rikssalen, Royal Palace Stockholm - in partnership with Musik pa Slottet and Lilla Akademien
Sat 5
Concert at Skarpnäck Kulturhus, Stockholm, in partnership with Parkteatern – Stockholms stadsteater and Lilla Akademien
Sun 6
Concert at Artipelag, Värmdö, in partnership with Artipelag and Lilla Akademien
Mon 7
Concert at Kungsträdgården, Stockholm City, in partnership with Parkteatern - Stockholms stadsteater and Lilla Akademien
Tue 9
Concert at Musik I Kullabygden, Krapperup Musikhall
Fri 11
Concert at Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival, Laeiszhalle, Hamburg
Sat 12
Concert at Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival’s ‘Musikfeste auf dem Lande’ cycle
Tue 15
Concert at Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, Ludwigsburg
Wed 16
Workshop with Dutch children and youth living in the suburbs of Amsterdam
Thu 17 - Fri 18
International Nelson Mandela Day Concert at The Concertgebouw, Robeco SummerNights, Amsterdam
with some of the Dutch young people that took part in the workshop on the 16th
Fri 18
Return to South Africa from Frankfurt

The MIAGI Youth Orchestra and New Skool Orchestra course took place ahead of our '20 Years of Freedom' tour of Europe in June/July 2014

Course dates: 26 April to 3 May, 2014 - with a 'Freedom Concert' in the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg on 3 May @ 19h00

Tour dates: 22 June to 19 July, 2014

MIAGI press release - April 2014:

MIAGI Youth Orchestra & New Skool Orchestra conducted by Tshepo Tsotetsi and Brandon Phillips. Soloist: Anders Paulsson, soprano saxophone

The MIAGI ‘Freedom Concert’ in the Linder Auditorium Saturday May 3, at 19h00 - the first in a long line of MIAGI celebration events of which the ‘20 Years of Freedom 1994 – 2014’ Celebration Tour of Europe (22 June to 18 July) is the most prominent. During the tour the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and New Skool Orchestra will be performing at some of the most important music centres in the world such as Philharmonie Berlin, Young Euro Classic Festival, Rikssalen Stockholm Castle, Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival and Concertgebouw Amsterdam.

Make sure to book your tickets to their concert in the Linder Auditorium in time. Tickets at R 100 and R 60 (pensioners and students) are available at Computicket and one hour before the event at the door.  In Europe some of the  MIAGI Freedom Concerts are almost sold out due to the MIAGI Youth Orchestra’s phenomenal successes in 2009 and 2012 when the orchestra, comprising over 100 musicians under 24 years of age, took audiences and critics by storm in the completely sold-out Konzerthaus, Berlin.

The Freedom Concert will be conducted by two brilliant young South African artists, Tshepo Tsotetsi and Brandon Phillips. Two complementing works will opening the evening ; Shostakovich’s ingenious and infinitely charming ‘Suite for Variety Stage Orchestra’ (also called Jazz Suite #2), followed by the MIAGI commissioned composition ‘Celebration Suite’ by Anders Paulsson. Paulsson is regarded one of the most eminent soprano saxophonists in the world today and ‘Celebration Suite’ features him as soloist. Expect fireworks and endless melodies sweeping the skies in this moving composition based on songs from the Freedom Struggle.

After the interval you will be treated to an abundance of South African jazz, township groove, “New Skool” specials and mainstream golden oldies.  In addition to Shostakovich and Anders Paulsson, composers include South Africans Gideon Nxumalo, Zakes Nkosi, Paul Hanmer, Ilke Lea Alexander and Tshepo Tsotetsi.

The ‘20 Years of Freedom 1994 – 2014’ Celebration Tour is not about music only. The young South African Ambassadors will between 2nd and 4th July visit the unique Almedalen Week in Visby on the island of Gotland in Sweden, one of the biggest democratic forums in the world established by legendary Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme. In Visby MIAGI performances will complement our seminars on the theme ‘Democracy and the art of thinking, creating and performing independently together’



'O Lerato' - Composition by Bhekinkosi Hlatshwayo presented by Bhekinkosi Hlatshwayo (piano) and Zihle Ndika, Keamogetswe Magau and Thabang Sithole (vocals) at the Konzerthaus in Berlin, during the MIAGI Youth Orchestra tour of Europe 2012.

Bhekinkosi Hlatshwayo, since many years a member of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra, plays trumpet and teaches trumpet, choir and theory at Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music in Soweto. Zihle Ndika plays tuba, Keamogetswe Magau plays violin and Thabang Sithole plays trombone in the MIAGI Youth Orchestra

MIAGI Youth Orchestra course, 27 April to 4 May 2013 at HeronBridge College

Read about our conductor, Duncan Ward and soloist/composer Anders Paulsson, soprano saxophone, at our artists page

Unanimous feed-back from all the young MIAGI Youth Orchestra members, the 'Miagians' and the MIAGI Team:

- Conductor Duncan Ward and soloist/composer Anders Paulsson were great, MegaFabulous :-) people and musicians

- The post course concert (or open rehearsal) for invited VIP guests and family members on 4th May, with a party and bon-fire afterwards for guests, musicians and instructors alike, was a fantastic success


Thank you Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of South Africa for supporting MIAGI's Youth Orchestra and Youth BigBand through the Youth Empowerment through Arts and Culture programme!

For a more complete picture of MIAGIs extensive work which also includes managing the Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music in Soweto, and the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth BigBand

follow us on:

During the first MIAGI Youth Orchestra course of the seasons 2013/2014 the 110 South African members of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra were joined by six young musicians and three instructors from MIAGI's partner organisation in Sweden, Lilla Akademien.

The other MIAGI partner organisation in Sweden, Fryshuset, sent two young rap musicians to the course to work together with MIAGI's jazz musicians and Swedish soprano saxophonist/composer star, Anders Paulsson.

MIAGI Team Sweden: Ellen Rydelius (french horn), Thea Kaiser (oboe/cor anglais), Joel Andersson (violin), Gudrun Dahlkvist (violin), Mikael Oskarsson (trombone instructor), Bard Ericson (double bass), Amus Kerstin Andersson (violin instructor), Rikard de Bruin ("RMK" - rapper), Anders Paulsson (soprano saxophone/composer), Marcus Larsson ("Toppen" - rapper), Bengt Rosengren (oboe instructor), Mikael Strandanger (MIAGI and the Swedish Odyssey - with the Times project manager), Martin Thorell (trumpet)

Photo below:

Selected 'Miagians' and members of the MIAGI Team Sweden created a workshop together with young musicians - such as the exceptionally talented young saxophonists Oscar Ratchabane and Mthunzi Mvubu - studying at Johnny Mekoa's Music Academy of Gauteng.


Pre course information:

Information about the music collecting points further down on this page!

The members of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra for the seasons 2013 and 2014 have been selected! Auditions took place in Pretoria, Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Stellenbosch and Cape Town


The first MIAGI Youth Orchestra course for this season will be taking place from 27 April to 4 May, 2013.

We have a great and challenging programme, a wonderful conductor, and an array of wonderful instructors from South Africa and abroad (please find a first glimpse of all this below).

Dear Miagians - A FRIENDLY REMINDER music is waiting for you to be collected at a central collecting point in your respective cities. Please make it a point to collect the music as soon as possible – BEFORE END OF 28th OF MARCH! A pack for each individual has been sent.

Pretoria: MIAGI, 7th Floor State Theatre Building, 320 Pretorius Street - Munashe Muchina & Sisa Chumi 012 320 5154 , collection can be done during office hours 08h00- 16h00.

Johannesburg: Please contact MIAGI office to make arrangements to collect – email: info@miagi.co.za or call 012 320 5154

Port Elizabeth: Judy Speyers (if you do not know how to reach Judy, please contact MIAGI office for her details)

Bloemfontein: Musicon - Peter Guy or Francois Henkins (same as above, please contact MIAGI office for their details)

Cape Town: Marina Louw, (please contact MIAGI office for her details) Music can be collected Monday, Tuesday & Wednesday

Stellenbosch: Lieva Starker (please contact MIAGI office for her details)

If you need any further information or help? Please call MIAGI office or e-mail info@miagi.co.za


'MIAGI and the Swedish Odyssey - with the Times' at the MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course:

A warm welcome to our three instructors from our partner organisation Lilla Akademien in Sweden: Kerstin Andersson (violin), Bengt Rosengren (oboe) and Mikael Oskarsson (trombone).

And a very special welcome to soprano saxophonist and composer/arranger Anders Paulsson - widely considered one of the finest soprano saxophonists in the world today - Anders will work with our saxophone section and eventually compose for us! The work 'in progress' that will begin to take shape at the orchestra course in April will be written in the style of JazzicalRapHipHop :-). Anders is joined by Swedish rappers Rikard de Bruin and Marcus Larsson from Fryshuset - a further Swedish MIAGI partner within the MIAGI and the 'Swedish Odyssey - with the Times' project.

The activities within this partnership are funded by Sida through the Embassy of Sweden in Pretoria - thank you Sweden!


Follow MIAGI on:

MIAGI-Youth Orchestra and Youth BigBand - MYO & MYBB - 2012!

MYO & MYBB TOUR OF EUROPE - 16 July to 1 August 2012


In anticipation of the tour, click for a MIAGI film from 2011 - MYO playing an excerpt from Bernstein's 'On the Waterfront'!

July 18 - New Skool Orchestra @ MIAGI Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele

July 19 - MYO at Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele

21 July - MYO at Carinthischer Sommer Festival

Background: Due to the MYO & MYBB’s overwhelming media and audience success at the Young Euro Classic festival at the Konzerthaus in Berlin in 2009, the young musicians have received an invitation to perform the opening concert of the Festival on 27 July 2012, www.young-euro-classic.de .








Photos: Christian Muthspiel, Tshepo Tsotetsi and Regomodicoe Molosioa


In April 2011 Christian Muthspiel conducted the MYO & MYBB and due to the huge success MIAGI invited him to be the conductor for the upcoming tour of Europe. MIAGI also commissioned Muthspiel to create a new intercultural composition in collaboration with a member of the MYO & MYBB, the composer, clarinettist and saxophonist Tshepo Tsotetsi. For the purpose of the upcoming tour, Tshepo was in Vienna in early October 2011 where he together with Christian, started creating a new intercultural composition. Working name of the composition - Christian Muthspiel: Out of South Africa, Symphonic Poem on Themes by Tshepo Tsotetsi (2011/2012) (Commissioned by MIAGI; premiere performance)

The programme will also include Leonard Bernstein’s symphonic suite, On the Waterfront, George Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Claude Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune and Antonin Dvořák’s Romance in F minor for Violin and Orchestra, Op. 11.

Conductor: Christian Muthspiel www.christianmuthspiel.com Soloist in the new intercultural composition Out of South Africa and in Dvořák’s Romance: the world acclaimed South African born violinist Daniel Hope www.danielhope.com

Additional Jazz Performances will be presented by the New Skool Orchestra @ MIAGI

The New Skool Orchestra was born as a result of the informal evenings of music and dance, arranged at the MYO & MYBB courses, the so-called ‘Kwela evenings’.

“The New Skool Orchestra is the voice of young musicians and composers seeking to reach for greater musical, social and educational depths. The orchestra poses a challenge to the young, modern classical and jazz musician, which is to amalgamate and forcefully strengthen reading and improvisation skills, allowing a great freedom to be yet expanding the horizons of unique uniformity. The Orchestra seeks to give young composers the courage to keep producing music of the highest quality, affording them the chance with the orchestra to hear and thoroughly develop their music with a group of young, energetic musicians who are more than willing to learn from these different composers, further fuelling the ideals of a past generation that sought freedom and unity between the different ethnic groups found in South Africa. The New Skool Orchestrais a representative of that unity that our ancestors sought so much”. Quote: Tshepo Tsotetsi - Tshepo was born in Benoni in South Africa in 1990.  He is currently studying clarinet, conducting and composition at the University of Pretoria.


2011 - The MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course took place on the beautiful riverside campus of HeronBridge College near Johannesburg from 21 April to 1 May.

There is no cost to individual participants who have been selected as MIAGI does not exclude anyone on the basis of them not being in a position to contribute towards costs. Aspiring young musicians from all walks of life and from across South Africa are provided with the chance to develop their musical skills and to perform in a professional setting.

'Before the Course' Message to the MYO & MYBB members:

We look forward to enjoying a happy and enriching time together. This can only be possible if everyone cooperates in such a way that our energies are directed positively to the task at hand.

The Staff in charge of you are:
Robert Brooks                            Director
Ingrid Hedlund                            Creative Manager
Sisa Chumi                                  Administration / Librarian
Frank Sturgess                             Orchestra Manager
Laetitia    Gray                            Chaperone / Nurse
PJ Christians                               Chaperone / Sports Facilitator
Abel Moshoro                          Driver / Technical Assistant / Stage Manager

Christian Muthspiel                           Conductor
Francois Henkins                              Violin
Sharon de Kock                                Violin
Peter Pecha                                     Viola 
Tilla Henkins                                     Cello
Leon Bosch                                       Bass
Marina Louw                                     Assistant Strings
Gary Roberts                                     Woodwinds
Ceri Moelwyn-Hughes                         Assistant Woodwinds
Christopher Bishop                             Brass
Magda De Vries                                  Percussion
Paul Hanmer                                      Composer

The MIAGI Team

IMPORTANT!!! - Members of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra & Youth BigBand 2011 - HeronBridge 21/4-1/5 2011 - The course explained

Dear MIAGIcians 2011,

With two weeks to go and after a few final selections the 2011 MYO & MYBB membership is now official! Everyone's names are on the attached list. As much as we have tried to avoid errors, please double check spelling and details and get back to me soonest should you find anything that is amiss. This is important as the info needs to be printed in programmes etc.

Although the 2011 orchestra is almost an exact replica of the 2010 orchestra, there have been a few small changes and we would like to extend a special welcome to both those of you who are joining us for the first time as well as to those who have been with us before.

In this letter we would like to explain as much practical detail as necessary and if there remain any open questions please feel free to ask at any time.

Our orchestra has a proud record not only of excellence but also of continual improvement. In order to sustain this we need to depend on everyone's full cooperation. By now you should all have received parts for 3 of the 4 works. It goes without saying that these need to be thoroughly prepared ahead of the course in order that everyone can at that point be concerned with matters of ensemble and interpretation. There is no time there to learn the notes! We will send you copies of the commisioned overture by Paul Hanmer as soon as we receive these from the composer.

Our encore this year will take the form of a collective improvisation based on the thematic material from all the works in the programme...!

Please may we stress that all final rankings and placements will be the prerogative of the course instructors. The placement indications on the names list are just that, merely "indications" based on discussions with past instructors and with the purpose of providing a point of departure. If you personally feel that you should be placed in a "higher" position, then by all means prepare that part and show us what you are capable of! This entire course can in fact in some ways be regarded as your final audition ahead of next years European tour for which we will of necessity be taking a smaller orchestra than this. These final selections will be made by the instructors and staff at this course and will be based both on merit and on conduct in general. Those not selected for 2012 will be placed on a reserve list and called upon in the case of cancellations. Final selections for 2012 will be advised at the end of May after the conclusion of the course.

What does Conduct in General mean? Thankfully most of us already have a reasonable notion of this concept, but for those needing a little extra help it includes strict adherance to all MIAGI as well as HeronBridge rules, a copy of which you will be required to sign on registration. These will include our expectations regarding various aspects of life such as everyone getting enough sleep, punctuality, substance abuse, mutual respect, littering, respect for property, out of bounds areas etc...

We have appointed two charepones, one a registered nurse and the other a sports science professional. These two people bring special qualities and skills with them. They, together with other staff have authority over you in matters of health, discipline and adherence to course rules. Please give them your full support and cooperation.

Air Tickets for those travelling from Cape Town and PE have been purchased and Sisa is in the process of sending all the necessary documentation and information to all concerned. A bus from Bloemfontein and Pretoria will be also be provided and here also Sisa will send out all the required information to the relevant parties. Local Johannesburg participants are requested to make their own travel arrangements. Registration at HeronBridge will take place between 14h00 and 15h00 on 21st April. Most rehearsals will commence that evening immedeately after a short assembly.

What to bring?

  • Your instrument and all accessories. Spare strings, rosin, reeds, all mutes (strings and brass) as required in the parts, cello floor boards, a music stand (NB. we will not be providing stands, if you dont already have one, now is the time to buy or borrow one), double bass stools (bassists please bring your own stools and if you really cant, let us know in advance and we will try to assist)
  • A padlock to secure your personal belongings
  • Any sports equipment you would like to bring. Football etc...Time will be scheduled for coordinated sports activities
  • Any special talents and skills and any supporting equipment needed to share those at our now famous "kwela" evenings
  • Warm clothing
  • Comfortable clothing and footware (sports/running shoes)
  • Insect repellant
  • Your parts neatly pasted into an excercise book
  • A pencil and erasor at all rehearsals
  • Concert Attire: Blue jeans and black shoes. We provide MIAGI T shirts.
  • A positive attitude -:)

Please leave valuables behind and understand that although MIAGI takes all reasonable precautions we cannot be held liable for any losses.

And welcome to join! our brand new Music is a great Investment – Miagi Facebook page! .

Please note that leave of absence from rehearsals and course activities will only be considered in the most exceptional of circumstances. This does not include other outside rehearsals, performances or gigs!

Please encourage all your friends and family to attend our performance at the Linder on 30 April at 20h00.

Please also assist in marketing this event in whichever way you can via facebook, twitter etc. It would be great to play for hall as full and as enthusiastic as last year!

A map to HeronBridge can be found at : http://www.heronbridgecollege.co.za/images/Map_LG.jpg

We look forward to meeting you all again at "Rhythmic Affairs",

Happy Practising!

The MIAGI Team


MYO & MYBB Members 2011

(the spacing is a bit funny, sorry, comes from pasting from xls file)

Vln 1 Bloem Sisa Mgauli
Vln 1 Bloem Bonolo Kgaile
Vln 1 Bloem Keamogetswe Magau
Vln 1 Bloem Servi Verster
Vln 1 Bloem Carmi Nel
Vln 1 Bloem Tsholofelo Tshikare
Vln 1 CT Anele Mhlahlo
Vln 1 CT Lieva Starker
Vln 1 CT Donne de Kock
Vln 1 CT Samantha Durrant
Vln 1 Jhb Mary Tennant
Vln 1 Jhb Claudia Dehnke
Vln 1 Pta Ruby Ayliffe
Vln 1 Pta Siobhan Lloyd-Jones
Vln 1 Pta Thabang Mashigo
Vln 1 Pta Ihan Brand

Vln 2 Bloem Lebogang Ledwaba
Vln 2 Bloem Sue-Phill Petersen
Vln 2 Bloem Sehle Mosole
Vln 2 Bloem Morena Chabana
Vln 2 Bloem Regomodicoe Molosioa
Vln 2 CT Ellani de Jager
Vln 2 CT Erin Torres
Vln 2 CT Felicia Salies
Vln 2 CT Bronwyn van Wieringen
Vln 2 Jhb Bongane Pandeka
Vln 2 Jhb Lesiba Mogolane
Vln 2 Pta Carin Jansen van Vuuren
Vln 2 Pta Mmetsa Kekana
Vln 2 Pta Octavia Maponya

Vla Bloem Kgaugelo Mpyane
Vla Bloem Japie Ngqondi
Vla Bloem Elsabe Raath
Vla Bloem Tsholofelo Sereeco
Vla Bloem Mookho Rankhala
Vla CT Lisa Starker
Vla CT Maja van Dyk
Vla CT Michaela van Blerk
Vla Grahamst. Sipho Sibiya
Vla Pta Obakeng Moatshe
Vla Pta Itumeleng Leeuw
Vla Pta Cathlene Du Toit
Vla Pta Thato Mfolo
Vla Pta Theo Msiza

Cello Bloem Neo Phambuka
Cello Jhb Tsepo Pooe
Cello Pta Catherine Schenck
Cello Pta Martin Eccles
Cello Pta Nicola Johannes
Cello Pta Colette Brand
Cello Pta Ronald Davey
Cello Bloem Thapelo Masita
Cello Bloem/Kim John Minnaar

Cello Bloem Rina Schutte
Cello Bloem Reginald Teys

Bass Bloem Leanse Pottas
Bass Bloem Linda Mngoma
Bass Bloem Siyolise Nyondo
Bass Jhb Thembinkosi Mavimbela
Bass Jhb Stephen de Souza
Bass Pta Jurgens de Lange
Bass Pta Viwe Mkizwana

Flute 1/Pic CT Monique van Willingh
Flute 2/3/Pic Jhb Ilke Lea Alexander
Flute 2/3/Pic Pta Laetitia van Niekerk
Flute 2/3 Pta Dong Ho Daniel Kwak

Oboe 1 Jhb Magdalize Carstens
Oboe 2/ d'AmoreJhb Tebogo Shibambo
Cor Ang/d 'Amore/PianoJhb Karien Labuschagne

Clarinet 1 Pta Visser Liebenberg
Clarinet 2/3/4 /Bass Cl Pta Tshepo Tsotetsi
Clarinet 2/3/4 Jhb Luke Newby
Clarinet 2/3/4/Eb Clarinet PE Christiaan Uys
Sop/Alto/Ten Sax Jhb Camron Andrews
Sop/Alto/Ten Sax Jhb Shyam Venkat

Bassoon 1 CT Xavier Cloete
Bassoon 2/3 PE Phakamile Msizi
Bassoon 3/ContraPotch Frans Brooks
Bassoon 2/3 Pta Kgothatso Kekana

Horn 1/3 CT Emil Bruwer
Horn 1/3 PE Alet Finlaison
Horn 1/2/3 Pta Jaco Prinsloo
Horn 2/4 Pta Fraser Schenck
Horn 2/4 Pta Tsholofelo Sithole

Trumpet 1/Piccolo CT Lincoln Isaacs
Trumpet 1/2 Jhb Bhekinkosi Hlatshwayo
Trumpet 1/2 Pta Ferdinand Schenck
Trumpet 3 Pta Thabiso Sekhu
Trumpet 3 Pta Takalane Maraba

Trombone 1/2/3 PE Sixelo Ganxa
Trombone 1/2/3 Jhb Jason Smythe
Trombone 1/2/3 Pta Konrad Boshoff
Trombone 1/2/3 Pta Thabang Sekhu
Tuba PE Zihle Ndika

Harp Jhb Vivienne Janse van Rensburg

Melodic Perc Bloem Stephanie Janecke
Tymps / Gen Perc Pta Joshua Kim
Tymps Jhb Jacq Van der Walt
Gen Perc PE Sibusiso Times
Gen Perc Pta Carl Frederick Steyn






The 2010 MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth BigBand!

The April/May course 2010 took place on the beautiful (and recently upgraded) riverside campus of HeronBridge College near Johannesburg.  The course culminated in a performance in the Linder Auditorium on the evening of 1 May.

A shorter 'refresher course' will be taking place in Cape Town, before the second MYO & MYBB concert this year, on 25 September at the Cape Town City Hall. This will mark the beginning of a two year working plan for the orchestra during which we would like to keep the core membership as stable as possible with a view to a possible further international tour including a likely return visit to the Young Euro Classic Festival in Berlin.

Here follows key information around the audtions and the MYO & MYBB courses.

New applicants have been accepted only if they were 23 years of age or younger on 1 May 2010, existing members of the orchestra may remain with the orchestra up until age 25.


AUDITIONS Gauteng: 13/14 February – Cape Town/Stellenbosch: 20/21 February – Bloemfontein: 27 February – Port Elizabeth: 28 February.

You are expected to be at the venue 30 minutes before your scheduled time – this will also make it possible for you to warm up properly before you are called in! = if the audition time given to you is between 9am & 10am, then you are to be at the venue at 8.30am (an 8 minutes slot will then be allocated for each player).

The MIAGI auditions will be conducted by Francois Henkins (our ‘own’ South African violinist/teacher/multi talented musician – since long well known to almost all of you) & Steve Dyer (‘our’ Rebirth composer, the work that the MYO & MYBB will be premiering - South African flutist/saxophonist/composer/producer).

For requests and clarity on the above information – should you at any point feel unsure or lost for whatever reason :-) -  please call  MIAGI office immediately, tel: 012 320 5154 or e-mail or call Sisa directly on info@miagi.co.za, cell: 072 017 0540.  

Do not forget to complete the top part of the audition screening form to hand in at the audition.

Wishing you all of the very best and much success!

The MIAGI Team


from Stravinsky - Firebird and from Dyer - Rebirth (for the MYO players and the MYBB Saxophones).


  • Pretoria: MIAGI, 7th Floor State Theatre Building, 320 Pretorius Street - Munashe Muchina & Sisa Chumi, 012 320 5154
  • Johannesburg: St John’s College, St David Rd, Houghton - Ilse Myburgh, 082 346 1482
  • Cape Town/Stellenbosch: Monique Van Willingh, 072 177 7441
  • Port Elizabeth: Gerda Coetzee, 082 906 4499
  • Bloemfontein: Musicon - Peter Guy, 083 703 1554 or Francois Henkins, 083 262 3898

NB! Those of you, who would like us to fax or e-mail you the parts, please e-mail Sisa, info@miagi.co.za indicating your fax number and instrument.


Sasha Mäkilä (*1973), conductor, first Assistant Conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra

Sasha Mäkilä began his musical studies on the cello and holds a BMA degree in cello performance from the Helsinki Conservatory. Following cello studies, he turned to studying conducting at the St. Petersburg State Conservatory with Leonid Korchmar, and finished his MMA degree in conducting at the Sibelius Academy in Finland where his teacher was Leif Segerstam. In 2009, he was a conducting fellow at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen, studying with David Zinman. After winning third prize in the Sixth Vakhtang Jordania International Conducting Competition in the United States, Mäkilä has been in growing demand as a guest conductor. Besides his native Finland, he has guest-conducting engagements in Russia, Denmark and the UK. His conducting debut in South Africa, took place during the 37th International Viola Congress in Stellenbosch where Mäkilä, engaged by MIAGI, conducted two concerts featuring some of the top violists in the world. Following the success of these concerts, he was engaged to appear as guest conductor with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Currently Mäkilä is in his final season as an assistant conductor to Kurt Masur at the Orchestre National de France. At the end of this year, he will take up his new post as First Assistant Conductor with the Cleveland Orchestra.


MIAGI has received a large number of applications for the 2010 orchestra. Having moderated the audition process for the past three years with Frank (Sturgess) who unfortunately is not with MIAGI any more now in 2010, we would like to extract some friendly advice from some common mistakes that tend to occur, in the hope that they can be avoided and lead to a more positive experience all round.

  • You need to present a solo piece/study for your instrument of a minimum grade 7 standard as well as the orchestral and / or jazz excerpts that have been distributed. This excludes compositions requiring piano accompaniment! It also excludes orchestral excerpts other than those that you have been sent
  • Choose something that demonstrates your range of skills in as short a time possible. The scheduled slots are 8 minutes each
  • Prepare thoroughly – to make the Firebird  glow! as radiantly as the New World symphony did in 2009!
  • Do not rely on your past reputation. You may be a fantastic player, but if you haven’t taken the time to take a look at the parts this will count against you
  • Avoid loose sheets of paper. They invariably get lost or blown off the stand...Paste your orchestral parts neatly into an exercise book
  • Have the screening form (distributed together with the audition excerpts) filled in neatly and ready to hand to the person who meets you at the door. We need to double check all contact details because in many cases the application forms are illegible, leading to endless communication breakdowns down the line
  • Relax, concentrate and enjoy yourself. We know that you are nervous and try our best to create a friendly environment. And if you do not succeed this time, we would really encourage you to try again next year. It is always a good experience to do an audition and we value the opportunity of getting to know everyone a little better


Thank you Everybody!


MIAGI team                     


Education|MYO_& MYBB back in South Africa - their performance at the sold out Konzerthaus Berlin on August 14, at the Young Euro Classic festival, transcended and transformed in a way that only rare musical happenings do....all members of the MYO & MYBB - you were incredible!

...below some great photos from the event!... please scroll...

MYO & MYBB rehearsing at the Konzerthaus

Conductor: Marino Formenti


Ludwig van Beethoven: Leonore Overture No. 3

Gideon Nxumalo: Jazz Fantasia in an arrangement for symphony orchestra and big band by Denzil Weale, and commissioned by MIAGI

Antonin Dvorak: Symphony 'From the New World'

Apart from attending two amazingly inspiring performances by two youth orchestra 'colleaugues', the Tokyo Geidai Symphony Orchestra and the Schleswig Holstein Festival Orchestra (undoubtedly one of the best orchestras in the world all in all), the performances were preceded by a 6 day preparation phase in Berlin together with Maestro Marino Formenti, including a full day of sectionals with the following instructors (and by a concert in Kassel on 12 August, at the Kultursommer Nordhessen festival):

1st Violin: Kathrin Rabus (concertmaster of the NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover)

2nd Violin: Tarla Grau (Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin)

Viola: Prof. Ulrich Knörzer (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)

Cello: Georg Faust (1st Principal Cello of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)

Doublebass: Edicson Ruiz (Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra)

Brass: Ehrhard Wetz (Prof. at the University of Music in Mannheim)

The Master Classes

MYO & MYBB rehearsing Nxumalo's Jazz Fantasia

An e-mail to the MYO & MYBB after their performance in Kassel:

"Hi all muscians from MIAGI,

yesterday night I lived to see your really great concert at Town Hall in Kassel.

Amazing the fusion of jazz and classic in Nxumalo´s Jazz Suite, fantastic your performance of Dvorák`s "From The New World". But the bonuses beat most of that, what I
have ever heard and seen!

The feeling and the message, that were high emotions and the declaration of your idea of "one world" couldn`t be performed more reliable.

Thank you very much for a great event, which will last for a long time in my heart.

Keep on going your way!

Andreas G

51yo single father of two boys, who play drums and piano ;-)"

The audience response after the performance on 14 August at the Konzerthaus Berlin at the Young Euro Classic festival cannot easily be described in words but would need to be experienced. So much can be said though, that it exceeded all expectations and dreams.

Ulrich Deppendorf, director of the ARD television station and member of the board of the Deutscher Freundeskreis europäischer Jugendorchester e.V. (German circle of friends of European youth orchestras) - the organiser of Young Euro Classic - was the patron of the evening. During his opening speech at the sold out hall with 1700 listeners, Deppendorf mentioned that the concert with the MYO & MYBB could easily have been sold out twice - such was the demand for tickets.

Makes us very happy and wish to experience something like this also here at home ;-)!

Dancing at the stairs of the Konzerthaus

The MYO & MYBB received the following inspired and inspiring message after the Berlin performance, from Blasko Smilevski, Secretary General of Jeunesses Musicales International:

"Congrats to all members of the Orchestra for the Berlin concert! It was one of the best performances I have ever experienced in my life! If I ever needed inspiration for my work I got it from the first to the last minute of your concert. Hope to see you soon again on some other stage around the world!"

MYO & MYBB rehearsing at the Konzerthaus

More dancing at the press-conference, at the stairs of the Konzerthaus

MYO & MYBB at the press-conference, at the stairs of the Konzerthaus

Marino Formenti begging his orchestra :-)..... at the stairs of the Konzerthaus



Receiving standing ovations after the concert

Kwela with MYO & MYBB to standing ovations after the concert

MYO & MYBB singing our National Anthem before leaving the stage

MYO & MYBB with Marino Formenti at the stairs of the Konzerthaus

Tour impressions - photos by Carolyn Atzl (1st Violin)

...and Party Time Impressions...

...I am afraid I can't remember where I found the following pics. I have downloaded so many from Facebook - it's been great fun to re-live the tour on Facebook in this way, but ... by now, I lost track of the respective owners to the photographs..??!...more Party & Tour pics will follow. Please e-mail me: ingrid@miagi.co.za, if you have objections/suggestions or anything else you would like to discuss!

...more information and more photos will follow...

Violin case mascot who did his job well!


Education|MIAGI hosted the National Youth Orchestra and Youth Big Band of Germany on their tour to South Africa in August/September 2009 - On the programme among others: Nxumalo - Jazz Fantasia and Gershwin - Rhapsody in Blue, featuring eminent young German pianist, Caspar Frantz as soloist.

Together with members of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra, the young German musicians performed Gideon Nxumalo´s “Jazz Fantasia” in the arrangement for symphony orchestra and big band by Denzil Weale, commissioned by MIAGI and funded by the Goethe-Institut Südafrika.

Conductor of the concerts was Bernd Ruf, one of the leading musical personalities in the field of classical crossover. The soloist for “Rhapsody in Blue” is Caspar Frantz, born 1980, one of Germany’s most exciting and promising pianists of the younger generation.

The National Youth Orchestra of Germany has performed in numerous projects of epochal impact. These include concerts in Israel led by Gary Bertini, in 1995 the memorial concerts for the victims of the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki or the performance of Verdi’s Requiem in 1997 in the former concentration camp in Theresienstadt. in 1998 the “Thank You America!” tour led by Kurt Masur, marked the 50th anniversary of the Berlin airlift, with concerts in New York, Washington, Boston and Berlin. In the summer of 2006 the National Youth Orchestra, performed in Venezuela at the invitation of Maestro José Antonio Abreu, the revolutionary of Venezuela’s orchestral scene and MIAGI’s world renowned inspirational patron. After four days of rehearsals in Caracas and a concert together with the Young Venezuelan Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, the orchestra embarked on a tour through the western part of the country.  In 2007 the orchestra was appointed as music ambassador of the German EU Council Presidency. For this occasion, it toured through Great Britain, central and South-eastern Europe. The South Africa tour will be the orchestra’s first appearance on the African continent. The young players will be conducted by Bernd Ruf - soloist: Caspar Frantz ....read more about BJO, Ruf and Frantz at our artists page...



Pretoria, State Theatre - 30 August, 15h00 - in collaboration with the Capital Arts Festival and the Black Tie Ensemble

Johannesburg, Linder Auditorium - 31 August, 20h00

Bloemfontein, Sand du Plessis Theatre - 2 September, 19h30 - in collaboration with the Free State Youth Orchestra

Port Elizabeth, Feather Market Centre - 4 September, 19h30

Cape Town, City Hall - 6 September, 20h00 - in collaboration with the Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

Bujazzo (small)
"I have been blessed with enormous rewards in my life through music, but of all of the things I do in this field, none is more satisfying than to work with talented young people. The Youth Orchestra of Germany comprises some of our most promising musical talents" (Kurt Masur) 



Education|MIAGI Youth Orchestra (MYO) and Youth Big Band (MYBB) to Young Euro.Classic 2009 in Berlin, Germany!

MYBB square

We are extremely honoured to be given this opportunity to perform at this festival which sees the best youth orchestras from around the world performing annually to capacity audiences over a three week period. We have been given a very prominent Friday night slot at the festival which celebrates its 10th year of existence in 2009!  More information about young.euro.classic at www.young-euro-classic.de




MYO with Cem Mansur (square)


Education|The 2009 MYO and MYBB Orchestra Course at HeronBridge

Instructors 2009: Marina Louw, Tilla Henkins, Magda de Vries, Leon Bosch, Phil Cox, Francois Henkins, Tim Roberts, Petri Salonen, Rob Watson, Denzil Weale

Conductor: Marino Formenti

This year’s course took place on the beautiful riverside campus of HeronBridge College, close to Johannesburg. The 102 young musicians, all under the age of 23 came from all corners of South Africa.

Rehearsal brake

HeronBridge - Marino and the children

The first three days consisted mainly of sectional rehearsals under the guidance of high ranking instrumental specialists. The remainder of the course was dedicated mostly to tutti rehearsals under the expert guidance of Marino Formenti.

HeronBridge - Marino

Maestro Formenti put the young players through their paces in the Beethoven Leonora overture no 3, the Jazz Fantasia by Gideon Nxumalo and the Dvorak New World Symphony and went on to lead them in a startlingly beautiful performance, drawing a standing ovation from the audience at the final performance in Johannesburg’s Linder auditorium on 2 May.

MYBB 2009

This year’s course saw two “Kwela Evenings” which provided an opportunity for participants to share their musical gifts socially, in a relaxed and informal manner. As usual these occasions brought out the enormous talent shared amongst our young musicians

MYO & MYBB 2009

There were also movie nights and a Vuvuzela workshop presented by Pedro Espi Sanchis. This culminated in a range of newly discovered skills being put on display to the departing audience in the Linder auditorium foyer after the performance!

MYO & MYBB practising Vuvuzela!

Following the performance the local participants returned home with their families and friends while those from afar returned for one more night to HeronBridge where they spent the rest of the night chatting around the bonfire, before catching their busses and flights back home.

MYO 2009

MYO 2009 - brass players



Education|MYO and MYBB 2009 Highlights table schedule

Click here for a short film about the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Big Band and the Orchestra Course 2008!






25 April to 02 May

MYO and MYBB Orchestra Course


HeronBridge College


02 May



Linder Auditorium

20h00 Tickets available soon at Computicket

01 to 04 August

‘Refresher Course’

Cape Town



04 August


Cape Town

Cape Town City Hall


05 to 15 August

MYO and MYBB Tour of Europe

Kassel and Berlin, other destinations TBC

TBC, Festival Kultursommer Nordhessen and young.euro.classic


27 August to 09 September


National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Big Band of Germany


Tour of South Africa, Venues TBC



Apart from our main Orchestra Course during April and May we are scheduling a short refresher course immediately prior to our departure for Germany.

Upon our return to South Africa the MYO and MYBB will be hosting the National Youth Orchestra and National Youth Big Band of the Federal Republic of Germany during their tour of South Africa between 27 August and 08 September. The two orchestras will be sharing a common repertoire piece during the two tours in the form of the Jazz Fantasia by the late South African composer, Gideon Nxumalo as arranged for Symphony Orchestra and Big Band by leading South African pianist and arranger, Denzil Weale and commissioned by MIAGI.

Gideon Nxumalo

The members of the MYO and MYBB are especially honoured for the opportunity to present South African composer Gideon Nxumalo, perhaps one of South Africa’s greatest unsung musical heroes. A gifted composer, writer, actor and artist Nxumalo was largely self-taught. He became an accomplished pianist but also played various instruments such as the clarinet, cello, the viola and what he called ‘the chopi chopsticks’ – the marimba. He composed orchestral works, plays, musicals, symphonies, overtures, jingles and musical themes and worked as music teacher and a talent scout and had a great influence on those he taught, amongst them the likes of Philip Tabane, Morris Manana and Allen Kwela. Gideon Nxumalo or Mgibe, as his admirers called him, passed away on 24 December 1970 at the young age of 40, but his works remain.


MYCO - Maxim 08 (small)



The MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth Big Band course took place on the beautiful riverside campus of HeronBridge College just north of Johannesburg between 25 April and 3 May 2009.  The course culminated in a performance in the Linder Auditorium on the evening of 2. This performance will be repeated on 4 August in Cape Town, at Cape Town City Hall.


Ludwig van Beethoven’s Leonore overture No. 3 and the monumental: Symphony No. 9, From the New World, by Antonin Dvořák. MYO and MYBB will also be sharing a very special common repertoire piece in 2009: Jazz Fantasia by the late South African composer, Gideon Nxumalo (read more about Nxumalo at the top of this page) . This work will be performed in the form of a MIAGI commissioned arrangement for Symphony Orchestra and Big Band, by leading South African pianist and arranger, Denzil Weale.

Cost:  There is no cost to individual participants who have been selected, and MIAGI does not exclude anyone because they are not in a position to contribute towards costs. However, if you are able to do so, it would be greatly appreciated if you could contribute something towards expenses.

The closing date for applying for the 2009 MIAGI Youth Orchestras was 15 January 2009. Thank You to Everybody - those of you who were not yet ready this year, please work hard, we look forward to welcoming you at the 2010 Auditions!

Thank You! to Michael Allen (Port Elizabeth), Peter Guy (Bloemfontein)

and Munashe Muchina (Pretoria) for your invaluable help with the

practical arrangements, and a Very Special Thank You goes to

Marina Louw (Cape Town) for her dedicated and professional work as

adjudicator throughout the auditions!



Education | Overview

Scientists are beginning to find evidence and answers to the powers of music. Music can trigger beneficial psycho-physic mechanisms that cannot be induced by any other activity as effectively. The main objective through MIAGI’s ongoing education programme is to make music education available to an increasing number of youth in South Africa especially in the rural and disadvantaged areas. The music education focuses not only on the classical forms of instruction but also incorporates jazz and indigenous music.

The benefits of access to music education and training to society and to the individual are well documented. Studies have demonstrated that when music education is made available on a massive scale, as has been done in Venezuela by our partner organisation, FESNOJIV (the national system of children's and youth orchestras), there are tangible results in terms of lower crime rates, less drug abuse and in general far better academic and social performance among schoolchildren. MIAGI is Jeunesses Musicales South Africa and FESNOJIV, Jeunesses Musicales Venezuela.

Since 2001 MIAGI has invested some R30 000 000 in South African music education, channelled by partnering with 43 organisations across the country. These were passionate and committed but hampered by limited resources. MIAGI is able to assist by paying teachers’ salaries and providing guidance on greater sustainability.

Testimony to the returns on this investment is the high level of participation from partner organisations in the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Youth BigBand. These groups have grown from very humble beginnings in 2001 to accomplished performers who, under the skilful guidance of internationally recognised instructors and led by an acclaimed international conductor, are able to showcase their talents and the fruits of their labour before national and international audiences. Cost:  There is no cost to individual participants who have been selected, and MIAGI does not exclude anyone because they are not in a position to contribute towards costs.

As exceptionally gifted individuals have begun to emerge from this process, MIAGI has been able to offer them further support in the form of scholarships and opportunities through the MIAGI Mentor - Protégé Programme. Learners unable to afford their own instruments have access to the MIAGI Instrument Library, which has a growing collection of instruments generously donated during various European campaigns. Learners have free access to performances and workshops by visiting international artists who participate in the annual MIAGI International Festival and MIAGI events.

It is not foreseeable that a structured and directed music education syllabus and programme will be implemented by the National Department of Education in the very near future. Against the backdrop of what are seen as more urgent objectives, it is appreciated that music education is not a priority. Therefore a parallel structure provided by accredited NGOs in the music education field is needed to fill this gap.

MIAGI has kick-started this process by helping to structure music initiatives since 2001. Many of the initiatives that we have been involved with are now thriving and sustainable. The next step is to bolster our Music Initiative Network by structuring the syllabus and creating a national system of initiatives linked to ongoing governmental and international funding.

Children who are involved with music education are more likely to complete high school and go on to study further, and less likely to be involved with gangs and substance abuse - we believe that Music Is A Great Investment…


Report on the MIAGI Youth Orchestra Gathering at Maropeng with the Spring Concert at the Linder Auditorium, 06 September - 09 September 2008

Click here for a short film about the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Big Band and the Orchestra Course 2008!

MIAGI is grateful to everyone who made this event possible, notably the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, the Cultural Fund of the Southern African–German Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Goethe-Institut, Johannesburg and the Department of Arts & Culture!

87 young musicians gathered at Maropeng, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site, on Saturday the 6th of September. Here they spent the weekend together with German Maestro Patrick Lange, rehearsing their programme for the performance which followed in Johannesburg’s Linder Auditorium on Monday night, the 8th of September.

Patrick Lange has already established himself as an important contributor on the international stage (please read more about Lange on our ‘Artists’ page), and he also has extensive experience working with youth orchestras of international standing such as the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra of Venezuela and the Deutsches Bundesjugendorchester, who will be touring South Africa during September 2009 under the auspices of MIAGI. Patrick was assisted by Professor Francois and Mrs. Tilla Henkins who were able to offer valuable additional support especially for the strings. The Big Band was again conducted by Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder who is well known to South African jazz audiences as one of our foremost musicians and educators.

The weekend course was in fact a reunion of the members who had attended an eight day course at St. Cyprian's Girls High in Cape Town during April/May. Some of the repertoire which was prepared on that occasion such as the Verdi, La Forza del Destino overture, the Grieg Peer Gynt Suite nr.1, Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave as well as the Mozart Marriage of Figaro overture was carried forward to new heights. The participants were also introduced to new repertoire in the form of the Hungarian dances numbers 1 and 5 by Johannes Brahms. The Big Band had the opportunity of further developing the South African works by Dave Ledbetter, Dudu Pukwana, Errol Dyers and Douglas Armstrong that they had worked on previously during the earlier course.

Not all work and no play, everyone was given the opportunity to experience the interactive exhibition which is housed in the Tumulus building at Maropeng. Here they were introduced in a fun way to the history and archeological significance of the area.

Participants were also treated to a visit by the Xincayincayi Dance Troupe from the village of Ribungwani in Limpopo Province who’s subtle and complex dance routines had everyone open mouthed in amazement.


Evenings were spent sipping hot chocolate and roasting marshmallows around the campfire.

MY0 - Maropeng(2)


The Spring Concert at the Linder Auditorium was extremely well received by an almost full to capacity audience. Here the participants were able to demonstrate the fruits of their dedication throughout the year, not only at the various MIAGI get-togethers, but also together with their individual teachers and on their own. The standing ovation that they received was well earned and the announcement that MIAGI had been formally accepted as Jeunesses Musicales South Africa, was greeted with enthusiastic applause from the audience.

Thank you to Tilla Henkins for the photos from Maropeng!


Report on the 2008 MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course at St. Cyprian’s Girls High, Cape Town
26 April – 04 May 2008

Click here for a short film about the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Big Band and the Orchestra Course 2008!

Applications to audition for the MIAGI Youth Orchestra and Big Band 2008 and the expanded week long MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course arrived from young musicians across the country as well as from many youth orchestra organisations.

The 2008 MIAGI Youth Orchestra course was held at St. Cyprian’s Girls High between 26 April and 4 May in Cape Town, culminating in performances and master classes:  the MIAGI Festival 2008 Opening Concert, conducted by Turkish born Maestro Cem Mansur and South Africa’s own Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder (big band leader), on May 3rd  at Cape Town City Hall, and the ‘Masterclasses for Orchestra’ with the MIAGI Festival 2008 international star guest, world-renowned violinist/conductor, Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and MIAGI patron Maxim Vengerov, on May 14th  at Cape Town City Hall and May 18th  at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg. The work of the conductors was supported and underpinned throughout by a highly competent and dedicated team of nine local and international specialist instructors. Cem Mansur returned to the MIAGI Youth Orchestra for the second time, following the remarkable success he achieved with the MIAGI Youth Orchestra 2007. Through his kindly and patient interaction with the children, combined with respect-inducing musicality and professional, effective rehearsal methods, Mansur managed to bring the young players over and beyond the substantially raised benchmark he had set for them as members of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra 2008.

The 2008 youth orchestra course has, by all accounts, proven to be a great success. The momentum generated by the 2007 experience in Gauteng certainly carried us forward to the longer Cape Town course, which saw a far greater geographical representation, also resulting in a considerably higher standard throughout.

Altogether 99 young participants (of which 57% were boys!) aged between 12 and 22 attended the course. They came from many different geographical, social and cultural backgrounds. Seventy percent of the membership of the MIAGI Youth Orchestra since 2007 has consisted of participants from economically depressed communities. There is no cost to individuals who succeed in their auditions, with only those in a position to do so contributing towards expenses on a voluntary basis. This is made possible through the very generous support of our partner organisations, sponsors, donors and funders.

It has been encouraging to see the wide-spread media interest that has accompanied both the audition process, which took place in January/February, and the course itself. The print media, radio and television all played an important role in publicizing the work that MIAGI is doing. We are also very encouraged by the keen interest and support that we have received from well-known film director Francois Verster, who has recorded many of the various activities. Once this footage has been edited we expect to have some quality audiovisual material available for distribution.



The Course-end Concert and MIAGI Festival 2008 Opening Concert of May 3rd. Cape Town City Hall
The Jazz Band opened the concert with a performance of indigenous South African Jazz under the direction of Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder.

Text Box: DBass Jazz“I thought the bigband was an excellent group, from amazingly diverse backgrounds, and was pleased to have met some real talents among them. I think we will be hearing a lot from some of those guys in future..! It is also enormously satisfying having been in the position again where I could expose some youngsters to some uniquely local material they don't get to play much anywhere else, and kudos to MIAGI for allowing that to happen -- in fact I made a point of asking the musicians what they thought of the music and if they'd perhaps prefer playing regular American big band repertoire and each and every one I spoke to said they really loved the tunes we played, and wouldn't want to play anything else …which of course means a lot to me and to my general ongoing mission of making this repertoire available to big bands world-wide ...” Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder.

All in all an excellent result… and in the words of one of the band members describing his experience of the concert on facebook:  “(We) were all unbelievably amazing tonight….burning!!!! :) It was soooooooooo tight!!!...”

Text Box: Abel SelaocoeAfter the interval, the chamber orchestra performed the Pelimannit Suite by the Finnish composer Rautavaara and the B flat major Cello Concerto by Boccherini, with the young up and coming cellist Abel Selaocoe as soloist. This group was followed by the full symphony orchestra in what turned out to be a startlingly fine performance of Verdi’s La Forza del Destino overture, Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite number 1 and Tchaikovsky’s Marche Slave.

‘Masterclasses for Orchestra’ with Maxim Vengerov – a MIAGI/Unicef partnership under the distinguished patronage of Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe
The chamber orchestra had the opportunity and additional privilege of spending two further days (14 May in Cape Town and 18 May in Johannesburg) working under the direction of one of the most outstanding musicians and leading music personalities in the world today, acclaimed violinist/conductor Maxim Vengerov.  Apart from further extending some of the repertoire that the young players had already engaged with earlier, this group of young musicians was also thrown into the deep end with the introduction of a new, unfamiliar work, the beautiful overture from Mozart’s opera, the Marriage of Figaro. And something happened that very few people had thought possible, when Vengerov enquired whether he could include this highly virtuosic work in the programme - here the MIAGI Youth Chamber Orchestra demonstrated incredible progress, going beyond their abilities during the three rehearsals and two public masterclasses – a very intense two-day time frame. This is again proof of how much in life is the result of hard, persistent work and how far beyond that, beyond our actual conscious capacity, supreme motivation can take us. This proved to be a very profound and inspirational time, driven by the commitment, dedication, passion and supreme artistry of Maxim Vengerov, for whose patronage and support we are immensely grateful. Abel, who received two further opportunities to perform his concerto during these events, describes the experience as being “like living in a dream, and never wanting it to end…”

Not everything was work and no play as participants were also exposed to an extra‑mural programme - ranging from ballroom dancing and soccer, to an astronomy presentation with a ‘question and answer’ opportunity by the astronomer Kevin Govender, Manager SALT Collateral Benefits Programme, South African Astronomical Observatory (SAAO), in anticipation of the International Astronomical Year 2009. Govender gave inspired answers to many a philosophically intricate question such as: ”if there is no up and down in the universe… then can you tell me please, where is heaven?” The now firmly-entrenched kwela evenings again proved to be a melting pot of cultural diversity as participants brought their own unique contributions to the stage. It is probably here more than anywhere else where one sees the new generation of South Africans united and strengthened in diversity. A well-deserved mid-course break took the form of an outing to Cape Point, which was enjoyed by all.

A selection of comments from the participants

“(The course) exposed me to things I’ve never played before, pushed me out of my comfort zone – in a good way” Jacqueline Hawker. Tshwane Youth Orchestra

“It was better than last year’s one. It was astonishing…” Obakeng Moatshe. University of Pretoria

Text Box: The Hairies

“Amazing….learnt priceless info on listening and playing in a balanced section…if music be the food of love…play on. Next year – Bloem!!!”  Darren Brookbanks. SACS. Cape Town

“WOW! EXCELLENT! MIAGI has really raised its standard! Awesome organisation…” Thabang Sekhu. STTEP Music School. Pretoria

“I loved this course! While I was playing the solo horn part in the Grieg, I felt “at home”. I have never experienced something like this and if it wasn’t for MIAGI, I might have experienced that too late, or never….This course brought me closer to the horn and now I love it more than ever!” Jaco Prinsloo. Affies

“It was amazing. An experience I cannot easily imagine forgetting…” Anna James. UCT

Text Box: Orchestra 2

“It was really amazing! I learnt so much and all the people were awesome!” Larissa Johnson. Johannesburg Youth Orchestra

“(The course) was well constructed with interesting and inspiring staff” Alexei du Bois. UCT

Text Box: Trombones“Never stop doing this kind of course. It was absolutely amazing…one of the best courses I’ve been on. Many people enjoyed it and the vibe was just so enjoyable. THANKS!!!” Freya Apffelstaedt. German School. Cape Town

“I enjoyed meeting new people from across SA. The organisation was excellent – you thought of everything!” Christine-Marie Louw. Cape Philharmonic Youth Orchestra

“It was a wonderful experience which I enjoyed very much…next time…even more challenging repertoire” Thapelo Masita. Bloemfontein SO

Text Box: Orchestra 1

“It was a wonderful experience and just made me fall in love with the violin all over again” Donné de Kock. Eagles Kingdom Academy, Welkom

“I was very pleased to be at the course. Everything was marvelous” Kwazi Mkula. Wynberg Secondary

“I really enjoyed the course, it was well organized and it was a great learning experience” Karla Arends. Alexander Road High. Port Elizabeth

“It was a wonderful, good experience all-in-all” Levi Alexander. Hugo Lambrecht Music Centre. Parow

“It was an incredible learning experience! Both as a musician and as a social being” Mietze Dill. University of Pretoria

“The course has really uplifted me personally, musically and socially. Keep up the good work.” Thabiso Sekhu. STTEP Music School. Pretoria

Text Box: The Flutes

“I had a great week. Thank you for inviting me to be part of such a wonderful event. Keep up the good work. Your enthusiasm for the development of music in SA is truly inspirational” Alet vd Berg. NMMU. Port Elizabeth

“As a parent of a participant I would personally like to thank you for a wonderful experience. Michaela has been on various workshops before, but this I feel has been the best organised of them all. The continuous correspondence made me feel relaxed about Michaela’s safety at all times. I know that she also thoroughly enjoyed herself, and as a musician has grown both in maturity and experience. The interaction I witnessed between the children was wonderful to see...” Cheryl van Blerk. Parent

Some statistics



Free State

Eastern Cape

Western Cape


Applications Received












Auditions Played












Male / Female ratio

30 : 19

7 : 7

4 : 2

16 : 14

57 : 42

Average Age






Organising a course such as the MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course is a huge undertaking – this one only realises once the planning has begun.  It is the generous support of our sponsors, funders, donors and partners, the commitment and professionalism of the conductors and instructors, the willing and patient assistance of the chaperones and parents, and the enthusiasm and commitment of the participants that have made the MIAGI Youth Orchestra Course 2008 such an outstanding success.  St Cyprian’s was almost tailor-made for the requirements of the course, and we would like to thank the staff there for their tireless hard work in feeding, entertaining and organising 99 young people.  Special thanks also to Mrs Wendy Ackermann of Pick ‘n Pay, for financial assistance with the catering requirements.

Text Box: Frank&LeonThere are many individuals and groups that worked quietly in the background, supporting MIAGI – the City of Cape Town, Artscape, those who assisted with instrument rentals, the transport companies, the German Shepherd Dog Club (who provided security during performances at the Cape Town City Hall)... in the final count, the number of people involved is staggering, and each and every one played a part in creating this wonderful experience.

THANK YOU to Marina Louw for the photos she has so kindly given to MIAGI.  Photos of the Jazz Band taken by David Lindbergh.


Miagi Youth Chamber Orchestra 2008

Violin 1
Michael Duffet (Rondebosch High, Cape Town)
Donné De Kock (ACE, Welkom)
Odile Lesch (US, Stellenbosch)
Anele Mhlahlo (Camps Bay High, Cape Town)
Yee Chen Huang (UCT, Cape Town)
Minet Labuschagne (Roedean, Johannesburg)
Bongane Pandeka (JYO, Johannesburg)
Anna James (UCT, Cape Town)
Lesiba Mogolane (STTEP, Pretoria)
Nelsiwe Molaba (WESSOM, Johannesburg)

Violin 2
David Green (NMMU, Port Elizabeth)
Siobhan Lloyd-Jones (UP Pretoria)
Carla Van den Berg (Hoërskool Florida, Johannesburg)
Carli D'Alebout (Welkom Volkskool, Welkom)
Freya Appffelstaedt (German School, Cape Town)
Alta Grobbelaar (Goudveld, Welkom)
Leago Dibakwane (MYMO, Pretoria)
George Ntuli (WESSOM, Johannesburg)

Maike Gevers (CPYO, Cape Town)
Obakeng Moatshe (UP, Pretoria)
Kgaugelo Mpyane (TYSO, Pretoria)
Michaela Van Blerk (Sans Souci, Cape Town)
Moeketsi Kang (Musicon, Bloemfontein)
Sipho Sibiya (TYSO, Pretoria)
Katlego Baloyi (TYSO, Pretoria)

Abel Selaocoe (SJC, Johannesburg)
Dane Coetzee (CPYO, Cape Town)
John Minnaar (UOFS, Bloemfontein)
Nicola Sturgess (Roedean, Johannesburg)
Reggie Teys (Bochabelo Strings, Bloemfontein)
Thapelo Masita (Bochabelo Strings, Bloemfontein)

Nantwin Apffelstaedt (CPYO, Cape Town)
Viwe Mkizwana ( JYO, Johannesburg)
Thembinkosi Mavimbela (WESSOM, Johannesburg)

Heidemarie Meyer (UPSO, Pretoria)
Anja Haupt (CPYO, Cape Town)

Alet Van Den Berg (NMMU, Port Elizabeth)
Jaco Prinsloo (AFFIES, Pretoria)


Miagi Youth Orchestra 2008

Violin 1
Michael Duffet (Rondebosch High, Cape Town)
Donné de Kock (ACE, Welkom)
Odile Lesch (US, Stellenbosch)
Anele Mhlahlo (Camps Bay High, Cape Town)
Yee Chen Huang (UCT, Cape Town)
Minet Labuschagne (Roedean, Johannesburg)
Bongane Pandeka (JYO, Johannesburg)
Anna James (UCT, Cape Town)
Lesiba Mogolane (STTEP, Pretoria)
Nelsiwe Molaba (WESSOM, Johannesburg)
Dineo Molebatsi (BSO, Bloemfontein
Lebogang Ledwaba (TYSO, Johannesburg)
Jacquiline Hawker (Pretoria Girls High, Pretoria)
Morena Chabana (MSO / BSO, Bloemfontein)
Bernard Myburgh (Woodridge College, Jeffreys Bay)

Violin 2
David Green (NMMU, Port Elizabeth)
Siobhan Lyoyd-Jones (UP, Pretoria)
Carla Van den Berg (Hoerskool Florida, Johannesburg)
Carli D'Alebout (Welkom Volkskool, Welkom)
Freya Appffelstaedt (German School, Cape Town)
Alta Grobbelaar (Goudveld, Welkom)
Leago Dibakwane (MYMO, Pretoria)
George Ntuli (WESSOM, Johannesburg)
Alfred Kutumela (UP, Pretoria)
Sue-Phil Petersen (BSO,  Bloemfontein)
Mmashiko Kgatle (TYSO, Pretoria)
Christine – Marie Louw (CPYO, Cape Town)
Larissa Johnson (Sacred Heart, Johannesburg)

Maike Gevers (CPYO, Cape Town)
Obakeng Moatshe (UP, Pretoria)
Kgaugelo Mpyane (TYSO, Pretoria)
Michaela Van Blerk (Sans Souci, Cape Town)
Moeketsi Kang (Musicon, Bloemfontein)
Sipho Sibiya (TYSO, Pretoria)
Katlego Baloyi (TYSO, Pretoria)
Jeanne Vanderlinden (Tygerberg High, Cape Town)
Olga Granova (UPSO, Pretoria)
Theo Msize (TYSO, Pretoria)
Luvuyo Magagula (TYSO, Pretoria)

Abel Selaocoe (SJC, Johannesburg)
Dane Coetzee (CPYO, Cape Town)
John Minnaar (UOFS, Bloemfontein)
Natasha Otero (CPYO, Cape Town)
Nicola Sturgess (Roedean, Johannesburg)
Reggie Teys (Bochabela Strings, Bloemfontein)
Thapelo Masita (Brebner/BSO, Bloemfontein)
Mietze Dill (UP, Pretoria)
Kwazi Mkula (Wynberg Secondary, Cape Town)
Neo Phambuka (NSA, Johannesburg)
Koketso Dingaan (TYSO, Pretoria)

Nantwin Apffelstaedt (CPYO, Cape Town)
Viwe Mkizwana (Orchestra Company, Johannesburg)
Thembinkosi Mavimbela (WESSOM, Johannesburg)
Johann Schuster (Musicon, Bloemfontein)
Siyolise Nyondo (BSO, Bloemfontein)
Jonalene Taylor (BSO, Bloemfontein)
Nkosinathi Mabona (JYO, Johannesburg)
Flute & Piccolos
Tarryn Mentoor (UCT, Cape Town)
Karla Arends (Alexander Road H, Port Elizabeth)
Laetitia van Niekerk (UP, Pretoria)
Xolile Mashaba (WESSOM, Johannesburg)

Heidemarie Meyer (UPSO, Pretoria)
Anja Haupt (CPYO, Cape Town)
Sinikiwe Simakani (NSA, Johannesburg)
Chrisholm Jones (SACM, Cape Town)
Geoffrey Williams (U Wits, Johannesburg)
Ntokozo Mnguni (WESSOM, Johannesburg)
Felicity Lupton-Smith (CPYWE, Cape Town)
Charl Van der Merwe (US, Stellenbosch)
Brigitta van Besouw (CPYO, Cape Town)
Phakmile Msize (Motherwell High, Port Elizabeth)

Trumpets & Cornets
Bhekinkosi Hlatshwayo (WESSOM, Johannesburg )
Nathan Lawrence (US, Stellenbosch)
Ferdinand Schenck (UP, Pretoria),
Thabiso Sekhu (STTEP, Pretoria)

Alet Van den Berg (NMMU, Port Elizabeth)
Jaco Prinsloo (AFFIES, Pretoria)
Jaco van Staden (TUT, Pretoria)
Tsholofelo Sithole (STTEP, Pretoria)

Thabang Sekhu (STTEP, Pretoria)
Michael Barnes (CPYO/Bergvliet H, Cape Town)
Sicelo Gangxa (ECYO/Ndyebo H, Port Elizabeth)

B Trombone
Leeroy Simpson (US, Stellenbosch)

Alexei du Bois (UCT, Cape Town)

Barbara Mostert (Hugo Lambrechts, Cape Town)
Vivienne Janse Van Rensburg (Trinity House, Johannesburg)

Stephan Galvin (CPYO, Cape Town)

Loandi Richter (Hoërskool Florida, Johannesburg)
Reuben Crowie (Beau Soleil, Cape Town)


Miagi Youth Big Band 2008

Alto Saxophones
Darren Brookbanks (S.A.C.S., Cape Town)
Jodie Emery (Alexander Road HS, Port Elizabeth)

Tenor Saxophones
Nhlanhla Mahlangu (CAFCA, Pretoria)
Boitiele Mntungwa (Wessom, Johannesburg)

Baritone Saxophone
Levi Alexander (Hugo Lambrechts, Cape Town)

Bhekinkosi Hlatshwayo (WESSOM, Johannesburg)
Ferdinand Schenck (UP, Pretoria)
Nathan Lawrence (US, Stellenbosch)
Thabiso Sekhu (STTEP, Pretoria)

Thabang Sekhu (STTEP, Pretoria)
Michael Barnes (CPYO/Bergvliet H – Cape Town)
Sicelo Gangxa (ECYO/Ndyebo H, Port Elizabeth)

Bass Trombone
Leeroy Simpson (US, Stellenbosch)

Aldert du Toit (Parel Vallei, Somerset West)

String Bass
Bradley Bulelani Maponya (JYO, Johannesburg)

Jozua Loots (UP, Pretoria)

Geruan Geldenhuys (UFS, Bloemfontein)