Music project with a mission

The Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Festival (SICMF) is taking place at the university this coming week, with a line-up of performers from abroad. The mission of the SICMF is to use music as a vehicle to empower individuals and facilitate social cohesion.

Festival director Peter Martens says: “Divisions in this country are very much an issue of class, and the most obvious class barrier must surely be the dividing line between the working class and the unemployed. Not only does the SICMF foster the development of top students, but more importantly, it provides a stepping stone into the world of the working class for many who may have had no prospect of finding employment outside of the music world. Our bursary support system is an instrumental first step for many such aspiring young musicians. Such is the allure of chamber music across all spectrums of South African society, that without quotas, 50% of our student base is non-white.”

The success of the SICMF proves how chamber music specifically facilitates racial integration and social cohesion. This is just one aspect of the SICMF magic that makes it a life changing experience for 300 or so student participants annually.

This year’s SICMF offering will also include a full symphony orchestra concert at Chris Hani High School in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, opposite the Makhaza shopping centre, on Sunday July 9, at noon. Tickets cost R25 and R50 at the door, and patrons will be welcomed by the local music group Heavenly Quartez.

Tickets are available through Computicket, and will be available at the door. For more information about concert venues, or to secure a day pass for the entire event, visit, or contact Fiona Grayer at or 021 808 2358.