by Evans Netshivhambe in

Musicians: Make your dreams take flight and enter the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition


The closing date of 27 May 2016 is fast approaching for music students and early-career professionals (younger than 32) to apply for one of the country’s most sought-after postgraduate music study awards.

Every year, rotating on a four-yearly cycle between composers, singers, keyboard players and instrumentalists, the SAMRO Foundation awards two scholarships worth R200 000 each – for Jazz and Western art music, respectively. The grant enables the recipients to enroll for career-furthering postgraduate studies or master classes at international institutions.

The previous winners of the instrumentalists round in 2012, Darren English (Jazz trumpeter) and Avigail Bushakevitz (Western art violinist), have been making significant waves locally and internationally.

English’s career is firmly on the rise. Now based in Georgia in the United States, the young jazz trumpeter’s debut album, Imagine Nation, is doing extremely well. He is the youngest artist to be signed to leading Atlanta jazz label Hot Shoe Records (

On the website music reviewer Dan Bilawsky gave the album four stars, hailing English as “a bright new voice and a force to be reckoned with … clearly destined for big things”.

Expressing his appreciation for the launch-pad that the SAMRO Foundation gave his career, English penned a special note of appreciation in his album’s liner notes: “Your support has been the most beneficial and influential! I am forever grateful.”

After winning the SAMRO scholarship and carving out a strong name for herself on the international performance circuit, Germany-based Bushakevitz was named the 2016 Standard Bank Young Artist for Music – joining an elite club of past winners.

She will perform with the Eastern Cape Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of Richard Cock at the popular Gala Concert during this year’s National Arts Festival in Grahamstown. She is currently a member of the first violin section of the Konzerthausorchester in Berlin.

This is the pivot around which the SAMRO Foundation’s Overseas Scholarships Competition revolves: it offers a platform for gifted rising musicians to achieve their potential and pursue excellence in their craft.

To be eligible to compete in the 2016 SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition, candidates must be a music student or professional instrumentalist between the ages of 20 and 32, and a citizen of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho or Swaziland.

The competition takes place over three rounds: a preliminary round (in which a panel of adjudicators select the top candidates from the applications received), an intermediate round (in which the shortlisted Western Art and jazz music candidates compete) and a final round, which will take the form of a public concert at Johannesburg’s Linder Auditorium on 20 August 2016, featuring performances by the top two candidates in each category.

To enter, aspiring candidates must download the regulations and the application form from the SAMRO Foundation website ( For more information, contact or 011 712 8417.