ATKV-Crescendo announces their Top 11 Afrikaans talented group of music finalists for mentoring and development this year

After much deliberation, one of SA’s longest-running musical development programmes, ATKV-Crescendo, is proud to announce its top finalists, who are now gearing up for the next round of mentoring and development.

Aimed at equipping songwriters with expertise, ATKV-Crescendo has selected some of SA’s most under-discovered musical talents to move forward to the next round of this year’s mentor programme.

According to SA singer and songwriter Sarah Theron, one of this year’s mentors, the programme goes far beyond being, “just another mentorship programme.”

“It is a healing, safe space for singer-songwriters to be nurtured and empowered while honing their skills. It is a miraculous environment that every artist dreams of,” said Theron. 

According to the project coordinator, Morné van Staden, the 2023 mentoring programme exceeded all expectations and exposed the initial twenty-one finalists to a world of experts. The group learnt from industry stalwarts like top Mzansi musos Petronel Baard, Sarah Theron and Keanu Harker, along with music producer Helmut Meijer, and publicist Clayton Morar from Clayton Morar Media, as well as branding, design and marketing entrepreneur, Jarrod Morkel from COGNITIV.

“The packed weekend programme kept the finalists busy offering training in lyric development, melody development, branding and publicity, industry dynamics and even neuro programming and music.

“The programme is specifically aimed at equipping the finalists with the necessary knowledge, expertise, character and integrity to embark on their careers successfully. It also strives to develop quality songwriters that represent the diversity of the African market,” he said.

Creative director, Robin-Dean Fourie. says that projects like these are a much-needed investment.

“Our present is connected to the future, so we need to invest in artists now if we want to improve the future of art.”

Mentor, Petronel Baard, says that choosing the Top 11 was no easy task. “We encourage all twenty-one artists to flourish with their talents. The Top 11 can be proud to be selected from such excellent quality finalists. 

The process is democratic and reflects good advice from all sides. I feel privileged to be part of

this initiative and congratulate everyone because with ATKV-Crescendo there are only winners,” she said.

The finalists are invited to the Crescendo final training school which will take place from 1 to 8 October 2023. The training school will conclude on the 7th of October with the Crescendo TV production, Sit Dit Aan, which will function as a debut performance for the group.

Fourie says that he is incredibly excited about what is to come concerning this group of musicians.

“I am so humbled to be part of such a process. Seeing how receptive the participants have been to the programme has instilled a conviction in me that the future of music in our country is in good hands.”

During 2023, they will also be seen in various Platform Sessions productions. The finalists are:

1. Jason Baartman (Ceres)

2. Jacques Verster (Mowbray, Cape Town)

3. Nicole van der Merwe (Pretoria)

4. Marizaan Uys (Pretoria)

5. Kerischnie Pfeiffer (Wolseley)

6. Lucia Poggenpoel (Pretoria)

7. PJ Janse van Rensburg (Upington)

8. Tauriq Claasen (Worcester)

9. Nadene Wessels (Graaff-Reinet)

10. Kurt-Lee Hammond (Jeffrey’s Bay)

11. Walonisha Rayners (George)

For more info about ATKV-Crescendo and its upcoming projects, visit the website

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