The 2022 edition of the Rand Symphony Orchestra’s “Rising Stars” Youth Concert featured 11 soloists, playing works from 11 composers from the baroque to 20th century, on 5 different instruments in the strings, brass and wood-wind families, not forgetting the piano (the wood-string family? – ed).
This year’s participants included:
Emily and Lilian Geekie, who are sisters, book-fanatics and coffee aficionados;
Jayden Li, a martial artist, outdoor enthusiast and chinchilla-owner;
Mbali Phato, who enjoys serving her community and plans to pursue a career in music;
Talita Smith, who also sings and plans to study music performance and music therapy;
Chi-Chi Juan, who has performed in Carnegie Hall and is active in the Johannesburg Junior Council;
Sara Stoffberg; who loves animals and is currently learning Arabic;
Kehan Taljaard, who is also an accomplished saxophonist and enjoys Dixie and Big Band music;
Marilize Diedericks, who started her own chamber orchestra and also plays the french horn;
Simon Holm, who plays in a trombone quartet and Dixie band;
Annie Chang, who is an internationally accomplished musician and plans to study law.
While the Youth Concert programme is always just as diverse as its young soloists, the movement from Xian Xinghai’s “Yellow River Concerto” performed by Annie Chang certainly broadened the orchestra’s horizons. In another refreshing change of scenery for the orchestra, the well-known violin show-piece “Czardas” by Monti was brilliantly interpreted on the alto saxophone by Talita Smith.
This year the concert took place in the hall of the St Bonifatius German Catholic Church in Sundowner which graciously accommodated the orchestra’s requirements in terms of date and rehearsal schedule. The concert would however not have been possible at this venue without the generous sponsorship of WS Pianos who provided the piano used by the soloists.
The Rand Symphony’s Youth Concert is a non-competitive showcase of the young talent in Randburg and surrounding areas, drawing interest from as far as afield as Soweto and Pretoria. Each participant received a Certificate of Achievement at the end of the concert.
The Rand Symphony’s Youth Concert is an annual event and auditions take place in January or February each year. The selected participants then meet the orchestra in April and May for a mere 3 rehearsals each before the final dress rehearsal and concert.
Applications for the 2023 Rand Symphony Youth Concert will open in September on this website.