Some of the strings from the NYO for the Umculo | Cape Festival opera production of Fairy Queen by Henry Purcell.

Back row L-R: Jonathan Mayer (Johannesburg | teacher: Irene Tsoniff), Sumeet Sarkar (Bloemfontein | teacher: Sharon de Kock), Samantha van Gysen (Cape Town | teacher: Prof. Jack de Wet), Pascali Mokadi (East Rand | teacher Pienaar Fourie) and in front: Ye-Chan Park (Bloemfontein |teacher Jeanne-Louise Moolman)

Photograph by Elmarie van der Vyfer


If love’s a sweet passion, why does it torment?

A new kind of music theatre brings South Africans from a wide range of backgrounds with international stars for six performances this March. Join us for a musical journey into Shakespeare’s world of midsummer magic and madness with Umculo| Cape Festivalʼs staging of “The Fairy Queen” (Henry Purcell).


The performances, 23-25 March at Johannesburgʼs UJ Theatre and 30 March-1 April at Cape Townʼs Joseph Stone theatre, present Purcellʼs 1692 setting of Shakespeareʼs romantic comedy in an innovative staging.

Award-winningGerman director Robert Lehmeierʼs staging addresses themes of gender and identity in way that is playful, provocative and moving. Michael Maxwellʼs lighting and Thando Lobeseʼs costumes translate Shakespeareʼs tale into a contemporary setting of convention, cruelty, confusion, and transfiguration.

By making baroque opera with social goals, mentoring structures that extend from local communities to international opera stages, cutting-edge production values and a contemporary message, Umculo | Cape Festival takes a trend that has been growing across South African in recent years to a new level.

More info


“It’s the first time I am playing in a group with string instruments – and they play all the time, so it’s easy to find your place if you get lost! It’s cool. I think I’m going to write a jazz piece based on the Purcell we’re doing now.”

Khayalethu Benela (22) a trumpeter teaching for the Field Band Foundation in Blouberg, who is playing in the orchestra for the production. Khaya has been given the amazing opportunity through the Field Band Foundation to study in Norway next year.


Thank you to our wonderful tutors: Amanda Low (recorder), John Coulter (harpsichord), Elmarie van der Vyfer (viola) and Samson Diamond (violin) who helped us on our first rehearsal weekend from 2-5 February. Check out the photos here on our Facebook Page.

Sasol National Youth Orchestra Course 2012
Thank you to Sasol, who have sponsored us since 1979, for making our orchestra courses possible.

For up-to-date course information, please visit


Join us on Facebook by following the link:

In world news: see what the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment is doing to bring music to the people


Auditions in February


Our audition tour starts on 9 February and extends until the end of the month. All of our anonymous recorded auditions then get sent off to top professional musicians who screen them for our orchestra courses in June and December.


22 June – 1 July 2012 is the Sasol National Youth Orchestra Course in Johannesburg


6-16 December 2012 is the National Youth Wind Orchestra’s third course, and our first National Youth String Orchestra course. Members of the NYO in December will be selected to play alongside the Zurich Chamber Orchestra on their tour to South Africa in January 2013 under the baton of Sir Roger Norrington.




More info





What do you think?



“I like the way these young musicians take ownership of their music and of their musical career. They understand that if they are professional in this setting, they can be professional elsewhere. It is the purpose of a course, to build up their skills and confidence.”

Andrea Hobson is the head of operations for the Foundation

Do you want to contribute to making Nationals better? Do you have a great idea you’d like to share, or an experience from your time with the orchestra?

Email us on or phone us on 0832722117 or complete the survey online




Let a Child Play!

Every year hundreds of young musicians from across the country audition for our orchestra coursesSome cannot afford travel costs or course fees. Some need music lessons and instruments, a new set of strings or a bowtie. Are you able to help us realise their musical dreams? Please call us on 0832722117 or email us on if you are able to help.


The National Youth Orchestra has partnered with the Play It Again Foundation since 2009 to give young musicians access to instruments and musical tuition. If you have an instrument you no longer play perhaps it can be put to good use by this organisation.


A special thank you to Lyndee du Toit who has sponsored a young violinist to attend orchestra courses in 2010 and 2011.




More Info







National Youth Orchestra Regional Representative in the news!

Marvin Weavers, a viola player from Elsies River and Regional Representative for the National Youth Orchestra Foundation, has just got the job as an administrative assistant for the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra for their education and outreach programme. He also made the news in this great article in the Argus. Well done, Marvin! We’re so proud of you!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: