by Evans Netshivhambe in



This is a tongue-in-cheek media release is meant to chase your blues, reds and yellow fevers away.

With all the recent lobbying, elections and vote counting, we have focused on the agendas and promises of politicians who have spoken many words, and danced as only political candidates can dance. Meanwhile, we at the SAMRO Foundation have secretly been running an election of our own.

Our carefully selected team of highly skilled music adjudicators have been assessing applications from some of the most courageous and accomplished young musicians Southern Africa has to offer. Recently they voted for 12 young musical savants who will stun us with their virtuosity this August.

Yes, it is time for the 2016 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition, where 12 of our country’s best young instrumentalists will be battling for two R200 000 scholarships that will take the winners overseas to study alongside the best in their field!

Who will survive the gruelling campaign of practising and polishing? Who will stand up in front of their peers and who will be elected as the two winners of the competition? Here are the candidates!

For the Jazz region:

Representing the Riffs and Licks Party (RLP) we have, from the province of the Axe: Keenan Ahrends.

Standing for the Reed and Keys Party (RKP) Justin Bellairs brings with him plenty of Sax appeal, but without any pre-election Violins.

Siya Charles, who represents the Bell and Slide Party (BSP), is promising to polish off the other candidates.

For the Upright and Electric Party (UEP) the representative from the province of the Bass is Benjamin Jephta.

From the Beat the Vellum Alliance (BVA) we have Sid Rash, who will be drumming out the issues.

Last but not least for the Jazz region is the RKP’s advocate for his Mother Tongue: Linda Sikhakhane.

For the Western region of Art Music:

Instead of one, we have the power of four from the Cutting Wind Party (CPW). The candidates are piping hot as they run their fingers over their flutes: Sally Minter, Myles Roberts, Neil Robertson and Tatiana Thaele.

Matthew Lombard also comes from the Reed and Keys Party (RKP) but promises a more classical model for his term of office than Mr Ahrends.

Last, but certainly not least, we have Dylan Tabisher from the Wood and Mallet Party (WMP), who has promised to beat out the competition in the Marimba municipality.

Who will blow away the opposition? Who will drum up the most support? Who will strum up a storm at the musical ballot box?

The four top vote-magnets will be revealed after the semi-final round on 18 August 2016, after which the final four will vie for a seat in the council of the stars at the Linder Auditorium in Johannesburg on 20 August 2016.

To find out more about attending the finals of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition at the Linder Auditorium on Saturday, 20 August 2016, email For tickets to the finals, visit Visit for more information on the SAMRO Foundation’s programmes and projects, or follow @SAMROFoundation on Twitter and Facebook.

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