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National Youth Music Competition adapts, shatters records

The 36th edition of the National Youth Music Competition (NYMC), one of South Africa’s influential music competitions has been moved to run from 6 to 11 December 2021 at the Hugo Lambrechts Auditorium in Parow, Cape Town.

Despite the global Covid pandemic’s that caused last year’s cancellation and this year’s deferral, the 2021 NYMC is resilient and flexible, adapting to operate within national lockdown regulations.

This year, a record number of 45 upcoming young musicians from across the country have registered, trying to get a bite of the R155 000 cash prizes and medals. It is the only South African music competition where the six finalists get the opportunity to perform with the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra (CPO).

“The health and safety of our future classical music stars, their parents and teachers are non-negotiable,” says Michael Maas, chairman of the National Youth Music Foundation (NYMF).

Moving the competition to December offers various advantages to everybody who is involved in the NYMC. These include:

  • The 2021 NYMC can set the scene for the festive season
  • The current wave of violence and looting should be under control
  • South Africa should be closer to achieving community immunity
  • Young musicians have the opportunity to change their programmes
  • Contestants have more time to practise
  • Learners and students will be finished with their academic commitments.

According to Maas the majority of aspiring contestants, their parents and teachers have indicated their support for the new dates. “We are grateful that our sponsors and supporters are unwavering in their commitment to the NYMF,” he says.

To ensure that the contest is in line with Covid regulations, the NYMF has appointed a health professional to ensure the safety of participants, their parents, teachers and audience members alike.

“Cape Town is an opportunity city and it has an abundance of talented young people. We are therefore always looking to partner with initiatives that seek to provide platforms to the youth to express their talents to a wide audience.

“The City of Cape Town is proud to partner with the National Music Youth Competition to identify and promote this talent on a big stage, pending lockdown regulations,” said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Safety and Security JP Smith.

The full list of the successful contestants will be announced at the end of September 2021.