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Youth in Music Excellence.

A group of 60 students aged between 12 and 22 participated in the Youth In Music Excellence (YME) program in 2019. Students came from across the Western Cape including Langa, Mitchells Plain, the Southern Suburbs, Bellville, Kuilsriver, Somerset West and Stellenbosch. The course consisted of a series of intense educational and performance workshops (group lectures, ensemble and individual work) and was designed to develop, shape and elevate a young person’s musical skills and pursuits.

YME took a hands-on approach and included focused sessions in music psychology, marketing, music business and etiquette. This spoke to the conduct of the musician as an individual and a business person. Focus was placed on South African music history and culture, local influences and compositions in order to help students understand and nurture their individual voice and playing style.


The group were lectured by international professional musicians including Fredrik Norén, lead trumpeter and musical director of the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, Fredrik Kronkvist, from the Stockholm Jazz Orchestra, star drummer Adam Ross, and Martin Zenker, lecturer in jazz bass at Munich University.

Heading the YME curriculum development was UCT’s South African College of Music (SACM) Associate Professor and Deputy Head of Department, Dr Andrew Lilly. He was supported by twice Metro Award winner Nomfundo Xaluva, guitarist Reza Khota and Mandisi Dyantyis, international touring vocalist and trumpeter. Cape Jazz legend, Hilton Shilder gave a lecture on Cape Jazz and Ghoema and UCT Head of Jazz Studies, Amanda Tiffin delivered a special guest lecture on gender based equality in music.


On Sunday 8 March selected student musicians from the program formed the YME Youth Band and performed as the opening act for Karen Zoid and the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra in the Karen Zoid 20 Years Pops Concert at Toyota US Woordfees.

Watch the video.
YME 2020 Video
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YME program students performing at TOYOTA US WOODFEES 2019 ©CTMA

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YME students rehearsing with tutor, Martin Zenker from Munich University ©CTMA

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YME students performing for friends and family ©CTMA

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YME student receiving her certificate of completion ©CTMA

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YME student group with the program mentors ©CTMA

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