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Female French horn player flies the Eastern Cape flag

The Eastern Cape’s sole representative at the 2021 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) is Jaimie Miller, 18, from Addo. She is the first contestant in the past decade of the music contest’s history to compete on the French horn.

The Eastern Cape’s sole representative at the 2021 National Youth Music Competition (NYMC) is Jaimie Miller, 18, from Addo. She is the first contestant in the past decade of the music contest’s history to compete on the French horn.

This feisty rising star’s musical journey started when she began at age 7 with piano lessons. Four years later, she began lessons to play the French horn. Her first music teacher was Gerhard Maritz. Currently, she studies under Erik Albertyn.

Jaimie’s mother, who played the piano in her youth, was the spark that lit the fire in the young musician belly. With her mother playing the piano and a good teacher in the area where she grew up, she decided to follow in her mom’s footsteps.

Apart from playing the French horn, she is also playing the piano. When possible she practises the French horn for an hour per day. When practising at home her parents don’t mind but her sister gets annoyed when she is studying as the French horn is a very loud instrument.

"Rumour has it that brass instrument players prefer not to use lip balms for chapped lips. It apparently softens the lip muscles."

In her free time, the young brass instrumentalist plays netball and water polo. She plays the French Horn in the school band at the Collegiate Girls High School and for the Nelson Mandela University’s horn ensemble.

Her life motto is: “Few things in life are fatal / You can always make a plan / do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”

Ludwig van Beethoven is her favourite composer. She likes the perfection of his symphonies and other works. The emotional expression of his music is captivating. His sonata for horn, and his sonata for piano and horn, are her favourite pieces to play.

She entered the NYMC as her music teacher and she decided that it would be a good challenge. It also provides something to work towards in the year.

The upcoming star wants to study medicine on completion of her matric. But, she added that she would also love to play in an orchestra.