NMU student to blow up a storm at Dutch music event

A dream has come true for Nelson Mandela University first-year music student Sonya Leurquain-Steyn, who will be working alongside internationally acclaimed bass trombone soloist Ben van Dijk later this year.
Leurquain-Steyn, 29, will be flying the South African flag high at this year’s Dutch Bass Trombone Open as the only South African ever, and one of only 50 players from around the world, to be invited to attend the world’s only exclusive event for bass trombone.
She took to the brass instrument during her years at Stirling High School in East London and after school went on to play for different bands, orchestras and ensembles in the Bay, Johannesburg and Belgium.
“The bass trombone is a relatively young instrument and support for aspiring bass trombonists seems to be relatively minimal, mostly due to a lack of information and understanding of the instrument,” she said.
“I am really excited about [being chosen].
“It is also really important for me, as a female bass trombonist, to be recognised.
“The open is a unique opportunity for bass trombonists from around the world to meet and network, to learn and grow as musicians playing this incredibly versatile and dynamic instrument.
“Of the 50 attendees this year, there are only nine female bass trombonists, a first for the open so this is also an opportunity to begin breaking that mould.”The open takes place every two years and will be held from September 14 to 16 at the Akoesticum in Ede, in the Netherlands.
The event creates a platform for musicians to participate in workshops, masterclasses and active playing.
Leurquain-Steyn also plays the tuba and piano.
“Everything about music is special to me,” she said.
“Somehow across every culture in the world, we create music to express ourselves in a kind of universal mother tongue.
“We use sound and rhythm to evoke the full range of human emotion. There is a divinity in it.
“I am really looking forward to learning from Ben van Dijk and the rest of the teacher team as well as meeting other bass trombonists.
“It’s going to be a great learning experience.”

FREE TO READ | Just register if you’re new, or sign in.

Questions or problems? Email helpdesk@heraldlive.co.za or call 0860 52 52 00.