Young violinist can’t wait to compete

David Handley, from Newlands, will compete in the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition in September.

A young Newlands violinist can’t wait to compete against other top musicians in the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition next month.

The competition, in its 31st year, will take place at the Hugo Lambrechts Music Centre in Parow, from Monday September 16 till Friday September 20.

It promotes the country’s fresh musical talent, protects the rights of composers and helps musicians perform nationally and internationally.

David Handley, 13, started playing the violin at the age of 6, while living in England. He was inspired by his brother who also played the violin and decided to give it a try.

This will be the third time the Grade 7 Bishops Preparatory School pupil takes part in this prestigious competition.

“My violin teacher recommended that I enter SAMRO two years ago, and I was keen to compare my ability against others. It is a really tough competition as there are many talented young musicians in South Africa,” said David.

Besides the violin, David also plays the piano and oboe. His other hobbies include hockey, cricket, rugby and squash.

On being a finalist, he said: “I am extremely proud of this achievement, and I find it rewarding for all the effort my teachers and I have put in over the years.”

David was recognised as the top-strings entrant in the 14-years-and-under category at the Cape Town Eisteddfod held earlier this year and received a music scholarship to attend Bishops College next year.

His mother, Melanie, said David was hard-working, energetic and driven.

“He has many interests and is always keen to try new things. I am immensely proud of all that he achieves and the effort he puts into what he does. David has been fortunate to have had excellent music tuition over the years at Bishops Prep.”

Hilda Boonzaaier, chairwoman of the Tygerberg branch of the South African Society of Music Teachers, said they were looking forward to the competition.

“The standard of playing in the audition round was heart-warming, and I predict a very special time in September.”

Dr Marlene le Roux, who was appointed as patron of the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy National Music Competition, said South Africa had phenomenal musical talent.

“It is crucial that musical training must be expanded and encouraged, especially on primary school level and especially in communities that do not have access to music education, so that each child has the opportunity to compete in such a prestigious competition as the SAMRO Hubert van der Spuy Music Competition.”