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Bloemfonteiner is ready for the NYMC challenge

One of the three contestants representing the Free State at the 2021 National Youth Music Competition is multitalented Bloemfontein clarinettist Danielle Ceronio, 17. The others are alto saxophonist, Kagiso Ramosa and Karlin Kock.

It seems as if she is the contestant, from the 27-strong field, who started playing music as a toddler. She embarked on her musical journey at age four, playing the recorder. Her first music teacher was Kobie Kolditz.

"We had a group class and learned one note every week and for the rest of the hour lesson we listened to music and learned about all the other instruments," she says.

At the age of 11, the talented musician started clarinet lessons with Danré Strydom, who lecturers music at the University of the Free State. Danré is still her tutor.

Although her parents are not musicians, they love music. Danielle's father loves singing. He is the conductor of one of Bloemfontein’s local primary schools' senior choir. Her mother stems from a musical family. “There are a few musicians in our family,” she says proudly.

The rising star of Hoërskool Sentraal plays the saxophone as a second instrument. On top of these, she plays the recorder, keyboard, piano and drums “for fun”. The clarinet is her preferred instrument when playing classical music. When it comes to jazz, she prefers the saxophone.

As the only child, she practises the clarinet on average for two hours per day. When she was younger she was not always keen on rehearsing. Her parents don’t mind the playing at home at all, seeing that she is now actually practising. The other family members, their five dogs, also don’t mind the repetition of clarinet exercises.

French composer Claude Debussy is Danielle’s favourite composer.

Apart from her love for music, Danielle also loves drawing and painting. She keeps fit by participating in fencing, being a junior Protea fencer.

On completion of her matric, she aims to study visual arts or psychology.

Her motto in life is "You will never know if you never try". She entered the competition as she feels that she has been working hard and that she is up for the challenge that the provides.