A most prized accomplishment

MUSIC: City muso to perform at festival

A young Pietermaritzburg musician will be performing at the National Arts Festival in Grahamstown this weekend, as part of the National Youth Orchestra.

Methenjwa Machi (26) started his musical journey on the trumpet and piano at the age of nine. After matriculating from Hilton College, he studied towards a bachelor of music, majoring in musicology and instrumental music studies, at Rhodes University.

In 2003, he moved to Pretoria to pursue his studies in music and is now a production assistant for 5FM, assisting with editing sound for jingles, station identities and features for shows. Methenjwa counts his involvement with the National Youth Orchestra as one of his most prized accomplishments. He has been with the orchestra for six years and has sat in the principal chair.

Every year, Sasol sponsors a course for national teams of youth orchestras, during which the best young talent gets together for a week of intense music making, learning and fun. This year, the National Youth Orchestra is embarking on an ambitious programme for young South African composers, and Methenjwa has been chosen to take part.

The project is supported by the Samro Foundation and has composers Robert Fokkens, Peter Louis van Dijk and Concord Nkabinde as teachers. One of the elements of the course will be collaborating on a song with 5FM's Jon Savage, another will be writing music for the orchestra's 50th anniversary next year.

Methenjwa said: "South Africa needs to experience the beauty and power of being able to make music through authentic instruments. "Most of us are used to producing sounds electronically, be it in our bedrooms or out at functions, and I feel we are missing out on so much that we can learn from orchestral playing."

The young musician, who believes that perseverance and hard work are the fundamental building blocks towards a sustainable career in the music industry, says of music: "It is forever evolving, so I manage to fuse many genres together. "I am a versatile individual, therefore, whatever I learn from other genres, I incorporate into my own music I think it's a dynamic move forward in the industry as a whole, and I know I'm doing something right."

As part of the Sasol concert series, the National Youth Orchestra (conducted by Gerard Korsten) will play at the Guy Butler Theatre in Grahamstown on Saturday at 11 am.

The programme includes Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber and Paul Hindemith, Symphony No. 7 by Antonin Dvo ák, and the premiere of a work by Fokkens commissioned by the Samro Foundation. Tickets can be purchased at Computicket.

Arts Editor. arts@witness.co.za


Photo caption: Methenjwa Machi is performing with the National Youth Orchestra in Grahamstown.

Article Source: Witness