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Closing date: 12 July 2019
Competition dates: 30,31 August and 1 September 2019


Music making is inherently a lonesome pursuit in comparison to sports where activities are much more social. To counteract this isolation, it is essential to bring musicians together to play and enhance the joy of music-making through sharing it with others. Many lasting friendships and relationships have started because of playing music together with others.

Ensemble playing should form an integral part in the training of all musicians. Personal development, reduction of performance anxiety and skills such as listening, rhythmic stability and sight-reading are but a few components that can be improved by collaborative playing. Vivid memories of joyous piano duets with my mother were the inspiration to make the idea of an ensemble competition for learners a reality. The fun of playing Schubert Marches, Mozart Sonatas and Moszkowski Spanish Dances must already have planted the first seed for a love for ensemble playing, which later became a passion. To make music with other s is rewarding, offers new insights and fosters love for a total ly new repertoire.

The competition is aimed at developing young musicians through collaborative participation and by encouraging the enjoyment of performing with others. Another objective is to foster an understanding, love and appreciation for ensemble music as well as the performance thereof among young musicians.

Why a competition and not a festival? Our schools and much of our society is driven by competition. Although there are many opportunities for individuals to compete, collaborative groups are not regularly catered for. After speaking to several music teachers and ensemble enthusiasts it became clear that the idea of an ensemble competition was feasible, and plans started to take shape. In September 2017 the first SASMT Pretoria Ensemble Competition took place. It would be the first competition of this nature to be held in the northern region of South Africa. Our goal was to create an opportunity for young musicians to compete in groups, rather than placing the focus on solo performance. The feed-back was overwhelmingly positive, culminating in the decision to make this an annual event.

We are looking forward to making a success of this vision and it is gratifying to see sponsors getting on board with our ideas. We cannot wait for 2018!

Banking details:

The South African Society of Music Teachers
Hatfield branch
Cheque account: 1602165610
Reference: “SPEC & name of ensemble”.
Proof of payment to be sent to gisela@scriba.co.za

Contact Details:

Coordinator: Gisela Scriba
Tel: 082 774 3027
Email: gisela@scriba.co.za

Musicians, teachers & more




Carel Henn

Carel Henn is one of Gauteng’s most sought-after cellists and appears regularly as soloist, chamber musician, recording artist, adjudicator and orchestral member. He has appeared as soloist with several orchestras such as the Pacofs Orchestra, the Consortium Musicum, the National Chamber Orchestra, the RSAMD Orchestra, the JMI Orchestra, the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra, the Gauteng Philharmonic Orchestra, the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and the Rand Symphony Orchestra. His orchestral experience stretches over 25 years and he was member of the National Chamber Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, The Johannesburg Philharmonic and is currently actng as principal cellist in both the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra and the JMI Orchestra. He is active as recording artist and apart from many commercial products, he also participated in a number of releases for Salon Music and also has two solo albums on the market. He adjudicated for the Phillip Moore Competition, the Krugersdorp Eisteddfod, West Rand Music Festival, Florida Eisteddfod, the Roedean Competition, the Johannesburg Festival and the Pretoria Eisteddfod and was also on the screening panel for the UNISA International String Competition of 2010. He has a keen interest in conducting and in 2012 he appeared as deputy conductor for Pieter Toerien’s production of Phantom of the Opera. In July 2015 he was appointed as Resident Conductor and Musical Director of the Rand Symphony Orchestra. He also plays piano in his free time and passed the ABRSM grade 8 piano exam with distinction in 2013. One of his more recent career highlights was a performance of the 6 Solo Suites by J.S.Bach performed in a 3 hour concert. Another big milestone was in December of 2014 when he set up the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon cello playing by continuously playing for 26 hours in a fund raising event in Alberta, Canada. He is also is a keen teacher and teaches at various schools and music institutions.



Truida van der Walt

Truida van der Walt is a well-known accompanist and chamber music player. She is currently a senior lecturer in piano at the Northwest University, Potchefstroom. Following up on her piano studies with Adolph Hallis in Johannesburg, South Africa, she studied in Vienna, Austria during 1979/80 with Walter Panhofer at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst. She also received masterclasses from distinguished accompanists such as Dalton Baldwin and Erik Werba. Further masterclasses were with Lamar Crowson (Cape Town), Carlo Zecchi (Italy), Bryce Morrison (UK) and Frank Heneghan (Ireland). Her special interest lies with singers, but she is also nationally known for her participation in chamber music groups.

In her capacity as accompanist of both singers and instrumentalists she was regularly invited by the provincial arts councils to accompany visiting overseas artists and has played for numerous winners of competitions such as Forte, Oude Meester, SAMRO and UNISA. She was also one of the official accompanists at the International Voice and String Competitions in Pretoria. She regularly acts as examiner for UNISA and was invited to adjudicate at the first UNISA National Piano Competition in 2003.

Truida has concertized and recorded for radio and television with many prominent musicians, including Kobie van Rensburg, André Howard, Sally du Randt, Manuel Escorcio, Werner Nel, Rina Hugo, Zanta Hofmeyr, Piet Koornhof, Human Coetzee and Fanie Jooste.

Many of her students have excelled both nationally and internationally. Some of her piano students have played with all the different national orchestras in Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. In 2002 and 2004 she was one of the official accompanists at the New Orleans Concerto Competition for university students in the USA, where her pupil was runner-up. In 2007 she concertized with the South African singers Jacques le Roux and Erica Eloff in the Netherlands and in England. From 2008-2016 she was invited bi-annually to represent the NWU at the Stellenbosch International Piano Symposium as teacher and as performer. For five consecutive years she also acted as adjudicator at the Phillip Moore Competition in Johannesburg. She completed a doctoral degree in collaborative playing at Pretoria University in 2014.




Veronika Meyer

VERONIKA MEYER has been a long standing music teacher at the Deutsche Internationale Schule Pretoria, lecturer for recorder at the University Pretoria and an examiner at UNISA. She received her tuition in recorder from Marie McLachlan in Pretoria and prof Guenther Hoeller in Germany. It is her lifelong passion to promote the recorder and to have it acknowledged as a worthy, professional instrument in the music world.


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Coordinator: Gisela Scriba
Tel: 082 774 3027