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Monday, April 27, 2009


Reminder to all keyboard wizards that deadline is April 30 for annual music bursaries and overseas scholarships.

SAMRO’s Endowment for the National Arts (SENA) is reminding gifted keyboard players to submit their entries for the annual Overseas Scholarships competition before April 30, 2009.

SENA’s annual music bursaries and overseas scholarships – the largest such awards in South Africa – have formed an integral part of SAMRO’s continuous investment in music education since 1963.

The prestigious SAMRO Overseas Scholarships, which this year are open to keyboard players in the categories Jazz/Popular Music and Western Art/Classical Music, will see the handsome sum of R160,000 going to each of the two winners to study music at postgraduate level at an international tertiary institution. Together with runner-up prizes, the purse for this competition exceeds half a million rand.

Previous participants in this hotly-contested scholarships competition have gone on to great heights, such as Burton Naidoo, Kimmi Skota, Abel Moeng, Tutu Puoane, Deon van der Walt, Nicholas Nicolaidis, Katherine Henderson, Abigail Petersen, Nina Schumann and Kesivan Naidoo, who was recently named the 2009 Standard Bank Young Artist for Jazz.

Pianist Ben Schoeman, who won the classical section of the competition in 2005, is frequently described as the greatest South African pianist of his generation and went on to win the Vodacom Unisa International Piano Competition in 2008 – the first South African to achieve this feat.

“The keyboard competition – which is open to pianists, organists, keyboard players and harpsichord players – is always a popular one, and this year we are expecting a high standard of entry and some stiff competition,” says SENA Manager André le Roux.

The Overseas Scholarships will see a number of keyboard wizards vying for top honours during the intermediate round on August 27, 2009, where they will be whittled down to four – two in each category. They will tinkle the ivories for supremacy during the final round, which will take the form of a thrilling gala evening at Unisa’s ZK Matthews Hall in Pretoria on August 29.

Keyboard players are reminded to submit their entries for the Overseas Scholarships before April 30, 2009. Visit or e-mail for entry forms and details.