by Samro Foundation in


In the past year previous winners of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships competition have been making waves as their careers go from strength to strength.The SAMRO Foundation is extremely proud to be associated with them all. Below are some of the amazing stories of our country’s excellent young musicians.

After winning the 2015 SAMRO Scholarship tenor Levy Strauss Sekgapane went on to win the 2015 Monserrat Caballe International Singing Competition in Spain. He recently returned from Germany to star alongside South Africa’s own Pretty Yende for an excellent performance and standing ovation at the crowded Linder Auditorium on 14 April 2016. He is presently in Germany participating in various operas and completing his three year scholarship in Dresden. We are extremely proud to be associated with this world-class vocal talent and hope he will continue to make his mark on the international music landscape.

Darren English, winner of the 2012 Jazz Scholarship for instrumentalists, has just released his first album and what an album it is! Imagine Nation features other pros like Kenny Banks Jr, Billy Thornton, Chris Burroughs, Carmen Bradford, Greg Tardy, Russell Gunn and Joe Gransden. The album can be bought at Hot Shoe Records.

Bokani Dyer, winner of the 2013 Jazz Piano award, has just returned from Basel, Switzerland where he received masterclasses with Malcolm Braff and is on his way to New York in October to participate in masterclasses and festivals.

Mandla Mlangeni and the Amandla Freedom Ensemble recently launched their first album entitled Bhekisiswe with Oscar Rachabane (Saxophone), Ariel Zamonsky (Contrabass), Nhlanhla Mahlangu (Saxophone) and others. Visit the Amandla Freedom Ensemble’s website here. His story featured in the recently released Concerts SA Video.

Soprano Andiswa Makana won the Mimi Coertse Singing Competition shortly after being chosen as the runner-up to the 2015 SAMRO Scholarships Competition. She recently performed South African repertoire at the MusikMesse in Frankfurt.

Last year’s Jazz winner Zoë Modiga is presently showing off her awesome vocal talent on ‘The Voice of Africa’ on MNET. See more here.

Classical pianist, Jan Hugo (2013 Scholarship winner), recently won the second prize at the Alkan:Zimmerman International Piano Competition in Athens.

Furthermore, the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition would like to congratulate Bokani Dyer, Mandla Mlangeni and Benjamin Jephta for their respective SAMA award nominations in the category ‘Best Jazz Album’.

Well done all!