Wits has most NRF-rated music researchers

Wits has most NRF-rated music researchers

Wits University has the most National Research Foundation (NRF) rated music researchers in the country. These include Head of the Wits School of Arts, Professor Brett Pyper; Head of Music, Chris Letcher, rated for both his scholarly writings and work in composition; Marie Jorritsma, author of Sonic Spaces of the Karoo; Grant Olwage, editor of Composing Apartheid; and Honorary Professor Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph. In addition, Professor Michael Titlestad (English Department) and Emeritus Professor David Coplan (Anthropology) have also been rated for their music research. The NRF ratings are a measure of the significance of research undertaken by individual researchers in the country. That Wits has the most rated music researchers in the country is an indication of the Music Department’s research...
Wits dominates Naledi nominations

Wits dominates Naledi nominations

Half of the Naledi Theatre Award nominations for 2016 for Best Score/Arrangement featured Wits Music graduates. Kutlwano Masote was nominated for the music for the biographic theatre piece on his father Masote’s Dream; Byran Schimmel with Jonathan Roxmouth for I’m Playing Your Song; and Joseph Makhanza’s African music-inspired music for Lepatata. While the award went to Nataniël, Lepatata won for Best Ensemble...
Wits students making waves on the pop scene: Recent EP and single releases

Wits students making waves on the pop scene: Recent EP and single releases

Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Jean-Louise Parker, who performs under the moniker Academie with Alex Parker, launched the EP Volumes in Johannesburg recently. Listen to their haunting debut single “Sulphur” (https://youtu.be/6Q9hz6EHgNA). New York-based duo Tiger and Man, featuring Wits graduate Andrew Orkin, released their self-titled debut EP in March. Interview Magazine described the track “I’ve Got Nothing” as a “fuzzed, electro-pop anthem” (https://youtu.be/iV3y1XN1MbA), and the single “Wondering” is getting much attention from the alternative music media. Local indie band Zebra & Giraffe, featuring ex-Wits Music student Mike Wright, performed at the prestigious Kirstenbosch Summer Series in Cape Town soon after the release of their EP Slow Motion. One of the tracks on the EP, the ballad “You Are”, features a guest appearance by vocalist Ruby Gill, another ex-Wits Music student (https://soundcloud.com/zebraandgiraffe/zebra-giraffe-ft-ruby-gill-you-are). Ruby has recently released her own single, the upbeat alt folk “Winter”. And Sean J (pictured above), who graduated last year, debuted with the R&B single “Falling” (https://soundcloud.com/seanj-786499510/falling-seanj?utm_source=soundcloud&utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=facebook). You can download these artists’ music on iTunes, and like their Facebook pages to find out about upcoming appearances and...
Wits Music Graduates in the News

Wits Music Graduates in the News

Wits graduate, and current doctoral candidate at Rutgers University (U.S.), Angelique Mouyis recently had her New York City classical music debut at one of the city’s hippest new music venues Poison Rouge. One of Mouyis’s chamber pieces was performed by the ensemble Helix! Later in 2015 Mouyis’s first short opera will be performed in Cape Town by Cape Town Opera. Also in New York, Andrew Orkin composed the music for the film short Promise Not to Tell, which has been shortlisted in the top 10 from over 200 entries in London’s Sci-Fi 48 Hour Film Challenge; and composer Diale Mabitsela (pictured above) has been awarded a prestigious Ertegun Scholarship to the University of Oxford. Elsewhere in the U.S., classical pianist Peter Cartwright will participate in the Aspen Music Festival and School, America’s premier orchestral and operatic summer music festival. The debut album Silver Moonbeams of the Ziza Muftic Quartet, led by Wits graduate Ziza Muftic, is receiving rave reviews. James Sey called it “an exquisite and sophisticated new addition to the South African jazz canon”. Nicol Hammond, who recently completed her doctorate at New York University, has been appointed to an associate professorship at the University of California, Santa Cruz; and Franscois Bezuidenhout to the head of music position at the American International School, Cape Town. Kgomotso Makhene has been selected to take part in the Businesswomen’s Association Entrepreneurship Programme funded by the U.S. State Department; and Felicity Mdhluli won an MTN Radio Award, the country’s premier awards for excellence in radio, for her show on Voice of...
Wits Music’s First Foray into Hospital Spaces

Wits Music’s First Foray into Hospital Spaces

Community Music Students Take Music Into Hospital In what is as far as we know the first project of its kind for South African undergraduate music students, Wits’s six 4th-year community music students have been visiting Wits Donald Gordon Medical Centre across 2015, performing and running mini-workshops with patients, staff and visitors. Thanks to the support of the WDGMC Research Office we have begun collecting information on how the students’ music is perceived by people in the hospital, using specially devised questionnaires. Of the 49 who have responded so far, 92% find the music enjoyable, 71% say it makes them feel a lot better, and 100% would like to hear more music in the hospital. Comments have included:  ‘I like your music – it make my day’, ‘pains is finish when listening music,’ and ‘so impressed – you guys changed my world.’ We hope to publish the results of the study in early 2016 and to develop this project over the coming years. There is a short film about the project here: 2015 music in hospital project,...
WSOA MMus Grad at Aspen Music Festival

WSOA MMus Grad at Aspen Music Festival

WSOA MMus graduate, accompanist and piano literacy lecturer Peter Cartwright attended the Aspen Music Festival and School in the United States this year. He studied solo piano with Professor Anton Nel, and chamber music with Professor Anne Epperson, both from the Butler School of Music at the University of Texas in Austin. In addition he had the opportunity to attend several concerts and masterclasses with international soloists and conductors. It was a most valuable experience as Peter is looking to undertake Doctoral studies in the US. Peter completed a Master of Music Degree in Piano Performance with Distinction at Wits Music in...
4th-year Composer at Kompos Symposium

4th-year Composer at Kompos Symposium

Fourth-year BMus student Doron Kanar recently took part in the week-long Kompos Symposium held at Stellenbosch University. Doron’s orchestral piece ‘Perpetual Oscillation’ was selected as one of six pieces played by the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra at the main gala concert during the symposium. Doron also took part in master classes led by Dutch composer Martijn Padding, and interacted with some of the most established composers in South Africa. Doron also reached the second round of the KZN Philharmonic’s Composition Competition, with his piece read by the orchestra and...
Music Enrichment Workshops (MEWS)

Music Enrichment Workshops (MEWS)

Beginner Keyboard, Guitar & Music Theory Lessons ARE YOU A MUSIC PRODUCER, BEAT-MAKER, CHOIR CONDUCTOR, CHORAL SINGER, RAPPER, CHURCH MUSICIAN OR JUST SIMPLY INTERESTED IN MUSIC? MEWS classes are held every Saturday morning in the Wits School of Arts 2015 Registration: 8:30am, Saturday 7th March. Room 116. For more info contact Diale Mabitsela: diale.pd.mabitsela@gmail.com 0765271225...