MIAGI ANNOUNCES YOUTH ORCHESTRA 2008

MIAGI (Music is a Great Investment) is proud to announce the final line-up for the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA, YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA and YOUTH BIG BAND 2008. The application and audition process for the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA began last year with a call for applications to young musicians across the country and was completed this week with the announcement of the final line up.

MIAGIhas been involved in youth orchestra development since 2001, and the annual orchestra course has shown sustained growth since then.  In 2007 an orchestra of 98 players under the direction of internationally acclaimed Turkish born conductor, Cem Mansur, together with an 18 piece jazz band under the direction of Jannie “Hanepoot” van Tonder, played to standing ovations in Johannesburg’s Linder Auditorium.

This year the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA will once again take part in the TOTAL MIAGI FESTIVAL 2008 taking place from May 3rd -20th in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

The MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA 2008

This year the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA, along with the smaller YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA and the YOUTH BIG BAND, represent more than ever the talent and diversity of South Africa’s youth.

The combined list of musicians includes 55 young men and 42 young women from all walks of life. The musicians hail from Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Stellenbosch, Port Elizabeth, Bloemfontein, Jeffries Bay and Welkom, reflecting the various locations where auditions took place during the last few weeks.

The list of musicians also reflects the cultural diversity of South Africa, with talent and a passion for music being the most important common denominator amongst them. One of the youngest members of the orchestra is Vivienne Janse van Rensburg, who at only 14 years old will be playing the Harp in the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA.

All the participants are under the age of 22 and all can look forward to attending the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRSA course 2008 which takes place at St. Cyprian's School in Cape Town from 26 April to 3 May 2008. There is no cost to individual participants who have been selected, as MIAGI does not exclude anyone on the basis of them not being in a position to contribute towards costs. Aspiring young musicians from all walks of life and from across South Africa are provided with the chance to develop their musical skills and to perform in a professional setting

Professional musicians will provide the best in music instruction as the Orchestra and Big Band are put through their paces learning a host of pieces that will be performed at the TOTAL MIAGI FESTIVAL in May.

THE TOTAL MIAGI FESTIVAL 2008: May 3rd -20th

With the ongoing support of sponsor Total, MIAGI is once again proud to present its festival of Classical, Indigenous and Jazz, from May 3rd to 20th. The MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA, CHAMBER ORCHESTRA and BIG BAND take part throughout the festival and are joined by national and international music stars.
The MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA will be performing as part of the Total MIAGI Festival, kicking off with the launch of the festival on May 3rd 2008 at the Cape Town City Hall. The Festive Concert with Jazz and Classics will feature MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA soloist Abel Selaocoe (cello), Cem Mansur (conductor), Jannie ‘Hanepoot’ van Tonder (Big Band leader) with the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA AND MIAGI YOUTH BIG BAND.  Van Tonder will be leading the MIAGI Youth Big Band on its excursions into the worlds of some of South Africa’s best jazz composers such as David Ledbetter, Merton Barrow, Dudu Pukwana, Errol Dyers and Douglas Armstrong.
Cem Mansur, a Leonard Bernstein disciple, guest of many of the world’s finest orchestras and ensembles such as Valery Gergiev’s famous Kirov Opera, will be conducting the MIAGI Youth Orchestra in works by, amongst others, Bocherini, Tchaikovsky, and Grieg.
A smaller ensemble, The MIAGI YOUTH CHAMBER ORCHESTRA will also perform on May 14th at the Cape Town City Hall and will be conducted by the world famous violinist Maxim Vengerov.Vengerov is a longtime MIAGI patron, as well as a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador and the event is being staged as a partnership with Unicef South Africa. The event will be repeated in Johannesburg on May 18th at the Linder Auditorium.

For more information on the full TOTAL MIAGI Festival schedule, please visit the website: www.miagi.co.za
MIAGI Background
MIAGI – Music Is A Great Investment (formerly the International Classical Music Festival of South Africa) is a not-for-profit organisation established in 2001 with the support of the Department of Arts and CultureMIAGI introduces South African music to audiences worldwide, commissioning new works combining indigenous and traditional with classical styles, thus promoting our music heritage internationally.
MIAGI unites people across all boundaries, playing a prominent part in efforts to empower local musicians throughout South Africa, and contributing towards the rebuilding of South Africa’s cultural heritage and integrity.
MIAGI focuses strongly on music education for children as a central tool of social upliftment and cultural awareness and is building a network of MIAGI supported music education initiatives. This rapidly expanding MIAGI education network is formed of initiatives from all around the country, in particular those active in rural and historically disadvantaged areas.
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For more information on MIAGI, the MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA, and the Total MIAGI Festival, please contact: Lara Preston at Red Flag: (011) 447 8283, lara@redflag.co.za

Photos of MIAGI YOUTH ORCHESTRA members are available upon request and interviews can also be arranged.