SACM musos win coveted competition

27 August 2007

High note: Monique Hellenberg has won this year's SAMRO Scholarship for the jazz/popular music genre.

For the second year running UCT's South African College of Music (SACM) trained musicians have scooped Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) Overseas Scholarships. Only two are awarded annually, each worth R160 000.

Now in its 45th year, the competition rotates yearly between awarding scholarships to singers, composers, keyboard players and instrumentalists. This year it was the singers' turn to compete for top honours.

In winning this prestigious competition, SACM graduates, Monique Hellenberg (24) and Nokrismisi Skota (28), have the opportunity to further their postgraduate studies at an international institution of their choice.

Hellenberg won the jazz/popular music category and Skota the Western art/classical music genre. The runner-up in the jazz/popular music genre, Lisa Bauer, is also from UCT. And UCT's Monika Voysey walked away with a special award from SAMRO.

Hellenberg and Skota were chosen from a group of ten finalists, of whom half were from UCT. For the first time in 45 years all the finalists were women.

"I feel as though all the hard work over the past few years is paying off," Hellenberg said. "I feel absolutely honoured and grateful to have won this wonderful prize, which is a wonderful opportunity to further my musical knowledge."

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