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SAMRO OVERSEAS COMPOSERS SCHOLARSHIPS (article first published : 2006-05-9)

The South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) has announced the highest scholarships available for music study abroad. This year the focus is on composers and there are prizes in both the Jazz/Popular and Western Art (Classical)/Choral Music genres.

Finalists in the above categories have an opportunity to win the single largest Scholarship awarded to a Southern African student for overseas study. This marks the 44th Anniversary of the Scholarships and the 10th Anniversary of the SAMRO Endowment for the National Arts.

In 1962, SAMRO's Board created a modest "SAMRO Overseas Scholarship" of R2,000 per annum to enable one young South African student annually to pursue his/her music studies abroad. In a report submitted to the Board in 1996, former Executive President, Dr Gideon Roos stated: "At that moment, not one member of the Board - nor anyone else, for that matter - could have foreseen that, that little "mustard seed" of cultural faith and vision would grow into the vibrant, imaginative and successful scheme in which SAMRO would be spending in excess of two million Rand per year as a sponsor, and a protector of the Arts in our multi-coloured, multi-endowed and multi-cultural country".

That amount of R2,000 in 1962 has evolved into the founding of the SAMRO Endowment of the National Arts (SENA) and prize-money to the tune of R425,000. The awards are administered by SENA which also funds Bursaries, Sponsorships and Music Education Projects. The Scholarships rotate over a four-year cycle and will accommodate Singers (2007), Instrumentalists (2008) and Keyboard Players (2009), over the next three years.

SAMRO's Overseas Scholarships attract the cream of young composers and musicians. Previous winners include Prof Peter Klatzow (1964), Prof Hans Roosenschoon (1976), Abel "Motsoadi" Moeng (1999), Kesivan Naidoo (2000), Abigail Petersen (2003) and Nicolas Nicolaidis (2003). Last year's winners were Ben Schoeman (Classical) and Durbanís Burton Naidoo (Jazz/Popular).

"We are particularly excited that in 2006, a year with so many positive organisational changes at SAMRO, we will also celebrate a milestone of corporate social investment with the 10th Anniversary of SENA", said SAMRO CEO, Rob Hooijer.

The competition culminates in a gala evening where the finalists' works will be professionally performed and the winners will be announced.

Composers who have already completed, or are about to complete in 2006, a degree or equivalent diploma course, majoring in Composition, are eligible. Only citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho or Swaziland, who were born after May 31, 1972, will be considered.

Copies of the official Regulations and Application Forms may be obtained from the SAMRO Endowment for the National Arts, Po Box 31609, Braamfontein, 2017, or call: Christina or Alpha on 011 489 5000, or e-mail: sena@samro.org.za

Closing date for receipt of applications by SENA is May 31, 2006. Mailed applications must be postmarked not later than May 31, 2006.




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