Guidelines for Application

DISA will select up to nine pre-formed classical chamber music ensembles.

Groups should be 2-6 players.

Instrumentation is completely free.

The ensembles must be pre-formed in the sense that they have at minimum one 15-30 minute piece prepared, i.e. performance-ready, for their application and to present during DISA.

The ensembles needn’t have necessarily been together previous to their preparation for DISA, although a history of combined performance and/or the possibility of future performances is a strong benefit.

We encourage a diversity of linguistic backgrounds within the ensemble: in this community engagement and education work communication is paramount, in multiple languages.

Our emphasis is on musicians who are in the early stages of their professional careers, therefore we request that the average age of the group be 21-26 years old.  Exceptions may be made.

Tuition is free. Please contact Brent if you would like to book low-cost accommodation in the residence halls at Stellenbosch University. Meal packages will be available at a low cost as well.

Application materials

We require only two videos, they may be taken with smartphones.  Applying groups are requested to upload their videos to private youtube links.
1) A live, unedited, minimum 10 minute performance of the work you plan to present at DISA.
2) A spoken response to the following questions.  All members of the group must be present in the video, and please try to have as many musicians speak as the size of your group allows.  Ideally we will hear from everyone.

  • What attracts you to the Decoda Institute in South Africa?
  • What are your career goals?
  • How do you intend to use the skills you learn at DISA in your work as a professional musician?
  • How did your group come to know each other?
  • How are you alike and how do you differ from one another?
  • What role does classical music have to play in South African society

Applications will be judged by Decoda musicians based on both the quality of the performance and the thoughtfulness of the spoken responses.

Applications are due March 31, decisions rendered by April 15.