The Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra’s Outreach and Education programme was started in 2003 as part of the orchestra’s Transformation Plan; the Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Orchestra (CPYO) and Cape Town Philharmonic Youth Wind Ensemble (CPYWE) were launched in 2004. This programme has expanded over the years to include the CP Music Academy, an instrument bank, study grants, small ensembles, rural outreach and the Masidlale project which teaches strings, woodwinds and brass to learners from the townships to Atlantis and Mamre.
In 2007, the CPO Outreach and Education programme received an award for Outstanding Achievement in Youth Development (Music) from the Western Cape Department of Arts and Culture.
The success of the vast development and education projects have seen several musicians audition for and win positions in the CPO, while many are employed as ad hoc musicians for symphony concerts.
To become a professional musician, 15 years of intensive training is needed. It is crucial that training starts at grass-roots level to ensure a pool of potential new instrumentalists representing our diverse cultures to feed the professional orchestra.
The Masidlale project also creates new employment opportunities by training facilitators from the townships and appointing them as part-time teachers at the project, an opportunity which changes their lives and creates economically viable citizens.
The main target is youth from communities thus far excluded or without financial means to participate in professional training in classical music.