Limpopo Youth Orchestra conductor Bafana Baloyi describes Maremo Seabela as “brilliant”.
“When you teach him you feel he has music in him,” Baloyi said and added that working with Maremo was a remarkable experience.
Violin teacher Neo Thekiso has been teaching Maremo for two and a half years and described him as an excellent violinist, disciplined and someone who can take it far. At only 14 Maremo is the principal violinist of the Limpopo Youth Orchestra (LYO). He is also one of a select group of upcoming musicians invited to participate at the High Scorers’ Concert of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music in South Africa (ABRSM) at the prestigious World of Yamaha Theatre in Sandton this Saturday. Participants in this concert were selected from candidates who achieved a mark of 135/150 or higher in the May/June ABRSM exam.
Maremo, who played his Grade 5 violin exam at the time, will perform German composer, violinist and music teacher’s Oskar Rieding’s Pastorale (Op 23 No 1 for violin and orchestra). The piece they have been selected to play is based on the highest mark achieved for their pieces.
According to his mother, Ruth Seabela, Maremo practises two and a half hours per day, seven days a week. He also sings in the school choir at Capricorn High School where he is a Grade 8 learner. “Music has always been my passion,” Maremo said. He taught himself to play the piano at a young age and when his mother realised he had a talent for music, she enrolled him with the LYO in 2010 where he fell in love with the sound of the violin.
“The vibrato touched my soul,” he confessed. From then it was all systems go! Maremo skipped his Grade 1 music exams and has passed all his exams since with distinction. He eats, sleeps and dreams music. His favourite composer is Johann Sebastian Bach and he loves classical music. He has an aunt who is an opera singer, and his grandparents are also talented musicians. His granny gave him his first harmonica and also taught him to play the instrument.
He intends studying to be either a scientist or a geologist – he has not decided yet – and continue with his music part-time. Asked if he did not intend to make music his career, he said some musicians don’t make it, and he did not want to be “stranded without a job.”
He intends finishing his Grade 8 music exams, the highest one can go, and then take a break to concentrate on his school work. He said he would weigh his options, should an opportunity come along to make music his full-time career.
Simone Aronje-Adetoye, founder and director of the orchestra is very proud of the invitation he got to play at the prestigious event. She explained that the Grade 5 exams he passed is the equivalent of entrance level at university to study music. She praised his natural talent and his role as principal violinist in the orchestra. He has performed abroad with the orchestra twice, in Dakar and Dublin.
Ruth said he kept on surprising her and that she did not think he would go this far with his music. Maremo has two violins and will soon outgrow his current violin. To replace it would cost around R12 000 or more. He would also love to learn to play the cello.