17-year-old pianist in Scholarship competition

Seventeen year old Kamaz Nechvile, a student at the International School Walvis Bay, and a piano student of Vera Malherbe, was invited to participate in the 2021 Unisa South African Music Scholar-ship Competition, as a result of his excellent performance in the recent Unisa music examinations in Walvis Bay.

To be invited to this prestigious competition, a young musician should obtain at least 85% for his/her grade 8 practical exam. Not many students achieve this high mark for this grueling exam, and only approximately between eight to twelve students in different music disciplines are invited, ranging from piano, flute, singing, cello, violin and more. This is therefore a great honour to be invited to participate in this very highly accredited competition.
For every music teacher this is an achievement to be very proud of, and it happens maybe once in a teacher’s lifetime. In the relatively small town of Walvis Bay this invitation to this competition has happened three times over the last three years:
The first student who was invited to attend this prestigious competition in Pretoria was Karl Philander, then a matric student at De Duine High School. Unfortunately he couldn’t attend since the competition took place on the day of his Matric Maths exam. He is a first year B Accounting student but is still working on his music career under the guidance of his teacher, Vera Malherbe. He’ll do the ARSM exam soon. This is an Associate of the Royla Schools of Music.
Last year another young resident from Walvis Bay, Ning Wei Shen, also achieved the honour to be invited to partake in this competition as a result of her Grade 8 Singing exam results. She is a student of Wilna Liebenberg and is currently busy with further music studies through the Open University of the UK.
Since the start of Covid at 2020 the competition changed to being a digital competition where competitors are required to submit a video recorded performance that is unedited and in one single take. There is a deadline for this competition and voting will take place on 13 December after which there will be a virtual Prize-Giving Ceremony later on the same day. There are also a variety of prizes to be awarded that include the following:
∙ Unisa South Africa Music Scholarships where the winner will receive R17 700 and the runner-up R13 400.
∙ Samro Piano Scholarship of R14 000 for the best pianist under the age of 20.
∙ Two Du Toit-Van Tonder Music Scholarships of R9 000 each.
To conclude: without considering the prizes that can be won, it is still nevertheless a big achievement to be able to participate on this level of high achievers.

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