Irma Liebenberg is the managing director of the Liebenberg Property Trust in Bethal, Mpumalanga. The Trust mainly provide housing to immigrants from Ethiopia, Egypt, Algeria, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. Since 1991, she is an active community member in her hometown, taking part in local politics, recycling, and planting trees. After her studies she taught High School Mathematics for 5 years and then switched to her other main subject Preschool Music. She was a private preschool music teacher for many years and initiated the first multi-racial Eisteddfod in her hometown. She and her husband raised four sons while she was a full-time chicken-broiler farmer, running her own Masakhane-project in the local township. She enjoys running and is a member of the Comrades Green Number Club. She is also a qualified Yogi, giving regular classes at her studio.
She obtains a BA ed Mus (1982), BMus Hons (1990) and MMus Musicology (2011) from the University of Pretoria.
Irma’s interest in children’s songs started during her first years at university and is now resolving in a PhD study that concerns the women composers of Afrikaans songs for children.
The names of seven woman: Adéle Jooste, Annie Langelaar, Jeanette Pistorius,
Maxie de Villiers, Rhoda Barry, Rykie Pienaar en Saar Engela are found in the children’s section of the FAK-Sangbundels (1961,1979). These women, their music publications for children and their involvement in music education, within a larger South African twentieth century music network, dominated by men, is the topic of her study.
Three of them were composers, two were poets whose work had been set to music by a well-known male composer and the other two translated European children’s folklore to Afrikaans. They were the main music makers, teachers, and creators of children’s songs, but none of them were ever involved in the formal decision-making proses about implementing compulsory music education in schools. Children’s songs were the crux of the school music program and yet up to this date, these women are mostly unknown.
Irma is writing their biographies (in Afrikaans) to include them in the South African music historiography. She also explores the underestimated value of children’s songs and the possible adult ideologic manipulation thereof, within the educational domain.
Her thesis title is:
Die buitenetwerk van Afrikaanse vroue-kinderliedjiekomponiste: ’n biografie van konneksies
Jo-Ann Chan is a lecturer in graphic design and illustration at North-West University, Potchefstroom. She is an active member of the Artist’s Book Club arts collective, has contributed to group exhibitions since 2017 and had her first solo exhibition in 2019. She completed a professional BA degree in Graphic Design at the North-West University in 2013, specialising in illustration and art history. Her final year practice-led research project made use of arts practices to reframe the history of the abandoned Salvamento Quarry through the lenses of identity and environmental ethics. In 2017, she obtained her MA in Graphic Design, which was supervised by Dr Ian Marley and Prof. Rita Swanepoel. Her master’s research project engaged practices from forensic anthropology, printmaking and the book arts to visualise the history of the Redan rock engraving site as a narrative identity marked by the complexity of its circumstances within heritage conservation practices.
Jo-Ann’s research interest is in the connections between memory, history and identity. This is reflected in her PhD research which is concerned with Chinese South African identity.
The Chinese were largely underrepresented in South Africa’s historical record until the mid-1990s despite their presence in South Africa dating back at least 300 years1. In contemporary times, little emphasis has been placed at the macro-level of society on making space for this minority group and its stories in the national effort to build a new post-Apartheid South Africa. This minority South African group, which is now part of a growing global majority, has been inaccurately represented as homogenous in public media narratives2 and historic and contemporary artistic representations of China and the Chinese in South Africa tend to be reductionist3 despite there being a diverse range of communities, both locally and globally, that self-identify as Chinese. Jo-Ann’s artistic research project grapples with the complexities and tensions of Chinese South African identity and how this might be re-storied using book arts practices. Her supervisors are Prof. Willemien Froneman and Heléne van Aswegen.
Dylan Lawrence Gibson obtained his BAMus in Music Education at the University of Pretoria in 2014. During this time, he pursued Ancient Culture Studies as an elective, which introduced and sparked his interest in the fields of Assyriology, Philology, and Cuneiform Studies. He furthered his studies in Musicology at Stellenbosch University, earning a BMus (in 2018) and later a MMus degree (in 2021), with his thesis focused on re-examining ancient Akkadian music-theoretical cuneiform tablets. He is currently receiving tutelage in Akkadian with Dr. Daniel Sánchez Muños.
Dylan is an accredited music teacher (with UNISA) as well as a registered ‘Performing Arts Educator’ (SACE). He provides music theory and guitar tuition at PNXGlobal Performing Arts and numerous schools in the Helderberg area, Western Cape. In addition to teaching, Dylan volunteers at the non-profit organization Save Ancient Studies Alliance (SASA), where he previously served as an intern. He is also on the editorial advisory board, and is an active researcher, in Metal Music Studies
Dylan’s doctoral study can be described as an interdisciplinary study between Assyriology and Musicology, sometimes referred to as Archaeomusicology. His PhD research is dedicated to transliterating and translating ancient instructional music notation inscribed in cuneiform. These clay tablets/fragments, excavated at Ugarit (modern-day Syria) dated to 1400 BCE, are collectively referred to as the Hurrian Hymns. The goal of his research is to provide a catalogue that includes tablaturisation-translations, aiming to decolonise the reliance on using a Western notational system or frame to interpret this ancient music. His intention is to make this three-thousand-year-old ancient music-mathematical information more accessible, to not only Assyriologists and Musicologists, but also non-specialists, with the aim of including others in the discussions concerning ancient Near-Eastern/Western Asian music.
Lindsay Friday received her bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in December 2021, and her master’s degree (cum laude) in Musicology in March 2023. Her master’s research, conducted at AOI, focused on the online intersectional persona curation of South African popular musician, Toya Delazy, and employed a digital ethnographic approach. She was supervised by Dr Marc Röntsch and Professor Willemien Froneman. Lindsay’s work focuses broadly on popular music, digitality, and identity discourse. As of 2023, she manages AOI’s social media.
Lindsay’s PhD research will study the Pam Devereux-Harris archive collection, stored in DOMUS, which houses some of the earliest music videos to be produced in South Africa. The audiovisual content within the archive spans from the 1980s to the early 2000s, providing insight into the music industry during pivotal moments in South African history. Furthermore, Pam Devereux-Harris & Associates ventured into the international market and worked with numerous prominent South African musicians. The resulting archival material has the potential to add detail to the country’s history of the music industry, as well as to further illuminate the impact of the cultural boycotts. Lindsay will research the collection using an interdisciplinary approach, with perspectives taken from musicology and media studies.
Mieke Struwig is currently pursuing PhD studies under the guidance of Dr Carina Venter and Prof. Stephanus Muller. She completed her BMus: Performing Arts (Cum Laude) at Nelson Mandela University, specialising in clarinet performance. Here she received the Nelson Mandela University Vice-Chancellor’s medal in 2019 for the best first degree in the university. After a move to Stellenbosch University, she completed her MMus: Musicology (Cum Laude) in 2020 under the guidance of Dr Carina Venter, where she investigated the decolonisation of the BMus Curriculums of four South African tertiary music departments. Her work has been published in SAMUS.
Energised by various recent efforts to understand the influence of South Africa’s troubled colonial and apartheid history on the shaping of academic disciplines and discourses, Mieke’s PhD research considers the intellectual history of institutionalised music studies in 20th-century South Africa. In particular, she is concerned with the establishment and consolidation of the discipline, the work of individuals instrumental in this project, as well as the ways in which the discipline has responded to political transitions and paradigm shifts in scholarship.
The emphasis on institutionalised music studies brings to the fore a focus on the establishment and development of music departments at universities, the development of discourse through journals and other publications, work produced by postgraduate students as well as the overarching bodies that managed and often directed research activities. Mieke has also been conducting extensive archival research at the National Archives in Pretoria, DOMUS in Stellenbosch, ILAM in Makhanda and NALN in Bloemfontein in order to supplement the aforementioned with an in-depth view of scholars’ lives and significant events such as the formation of disciplinary societies as well as the publication of The South African Music Encyclopedia.
It is envisioned that this systematic overview of institutionalised music studies in South Africa, the first of its kind, will assist scholars in their efforts to grapple with the pasts, present and futures of the discipline.
Alet Lambert is a part-time music teacher and owner of a music business in Durbanville. She completed the degree BMus(Ed) at the University of the Free State, studying piano with Angelina Scholtz and clarinet with Heinrich Armer. She then embarked on a teaching career, heading up music departments in both primary and secondary schools.
After her relocation to the Western Cape she had the opportunity to continue with post-graduate studies, receiving the degrees HonsBMus (cum laude), BAHons(Phil) (cum laude) and MMus(cum laude) from the University of Stellenbosch.
For her HonsBmus degree she conducted sixteen interviews with South African composers, musicologists and friends of the South African composer, Arnold van Wyk as part of an anecdotal study on Van Wyk. She also did research in postmodern aesthetics, as well as minimalist composers.
Her BAHons(Phil) degree included research on topics such as “The relevance of the arts in the aesthetics of Nietzsche, with special reference to music”, and “The importance of Foucault’s ideas on power and sexuality for the feminist movement, with specific reference to feminist musicology”.
Her structured MMus degree included two mini-theses, (1) Feminism and Musicology, and (2) The Music of Arnold van Wyk: a stylistic profile, as illustrated in selected compositions. During this time, she also worked as an assistant and tutor in the Philosophy Department at the University of Stellenbosch.
Following on from previous studies her current research interests include complexity thinking (Paul Cilliers), metamodernism, and aesthetic theories especially as developed (and developing) in the work of theorists including Peter Sloterdijk, Donna Haraway and Giorgio Agamben.
The title of her PhD research is “Aesthetic emergence at the interface of complexity thinking, metamodernism and music”. The aim of the research is to expand and reconfigure current knowledge on complexity thinking, reading it around the metamodernist bend in contemporary theory and in relation to 21st-century cultural identities. Her supervisor is Prof. Willemien Fronemann.
Milton van Wyk is the current head of the music library at De Munt Opera in Brussels. His duties include mediating between conductors and management regarding the choice of score editions, preparing scores for performance, and establishing a digital archive of past performances.
Born in Cape Town he studied piano with Helena van Heerden at the College of Music, University of Cape Town, after which he taught at various high schools on the Cape Flats before immigrating to Belgium in 2001. In Belgium he held various teaching and administrative jobs before being employed in his current function.
In order to retain links with South Africa he embarked on further music studies at the University of South Africa under the tutelage of Niel Geldenhuys, George King, and Marc Duby. His studies included a biography of musician Robbie Jansen for his BMus (Hons) research paper and a biography of Basil ‘Mannenberg’ Coetzee for his MMus thesis. His primary interest is life stories.
Milton’s PhD research is a historiography of the Golden City Dixies, a carnival troupe conceptualised in Johannesburg in the early 1950s. After a series of ‘farewell concerts’ primarily organised as fundraisers, the Golden City Dixies eventually left South Africa for a tour of Europe in 1959. After moderate success in the United Kingdom and Ireland they set sail for Scandinavia where ten of the twenty members applied for political asylum effectively ending the Dixies tour. On returning home the Golden City Dixies regrouped but died a premature death partly a result of apartheid regulations governing freedom of movement and performance restriction. The exiled Golden City Dixies were only allowed to return to South Africa after 1990.
His supervisor is Paula Fourie.
Inge Engelbrecht is a part-time lecturer at the Music Department at Stellenbosch University. She obtained her BMus and HonsBMus (music education) degrees at SU and now lectures in the bridging Certificate in Music Programme. She completed her master’s degree (cum laude) in March 2017. Her master’s research focused on documenting the life and works of three composers who have strong ties to Genadendal, the first mission station in South Africa.
“To acknowledge the sound of coloured people’s voices raised in song [is] an integral part of the very diverse and varied entity known collectively as ‘South African music’”. (Jorritsma, 2011).
The Afrikaans koortjie (little chorus) can be viewed as a vehicle for spiritual and cultural expression for certain groups and individuals of a specific cultural group in South Africa. The koortjie tradition is part of the cultural narrative of the coloured church community and is a largely unexplored field of research. It is an area of music scholarship that Inge is undertaking to establish the Afrikaans koortjie as the focus of her research–an exemplary instance of orally transmitted racial music in the coloured community–an instance that will allows the broader coloured community to create for themselves a rightful place in the musical panorama of South African oral history and culture.
Danell Müller (Herbst) is lecturer in Music Education, Teaching Practice and Aural Training at the Department of Music, Stellenbosch University.
She completed her BMus studies (cum laude) in 2006 at North-West University, Potchefstroom where she specialized in Music Theory & Piano Methodology. Her final year dissertation, supervised by Hannes Taljaard, proposed an integrated approach to music theory instruction material. In 2011 she received her MMus degree (cum laude) in Music Theory Instruction & Music Education from North-West University, Potchefstroom under supervision of Hetta Potgieter and Seugnet Blignaut.
Danell is actively involved in Social Impact initiatives in Cloetesville at ATKV AbbaSorg and Rietenbosch Primary School. In 2013 she and social entrepreneur Andreas Claassens established The Moment Social Mobility Programme. This programme is aligned with the NDP and addresses 16 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (also known as the Global Goals) and provide opportunity for Engaged Learning and Teaching, Engaged Research, Engaged Citizenship and Social Interaction.
The provisional title for her research is ‘Staging the future: an auto-ethnographic account of how an annual school concert cultivates artistic citizenship’. In this research she will investigate how basic music activities in an underprivileged school environment could foster Artistic Citizenship and will also aim to explore the Self-Determination Theory as a pedagogical approach to music that shapes social relations and structures.
Pierre-Henri Wicomb, a South African composer, completed a Masters Degree in composition at the University of Cape Town and Post Graduate studies at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague and is currently working on his PhD at the institute Africa Open realising an Opera underpinned by the superimposition of two dyadic practices: psychoanalysis and music composition.Wicomb is an acoustic composer, but also working in the field of electroacoustic music, which focusses on his experimentations with MIDI. Wicomb’s music has featured at the Festival D’Automne (Paris), New York City Electronic Music Festival (New York), International Computer Music Conference (ICMC, Utrecht), Avignon Festival, Forum Wallis 2013 and 2014 (Leuk, Switzerland), Wilde Bloesem series in Amsterdam, Infecting the City and Unyazi festivals (Cape Town) to name a few, including performances and broadcasts in Sweden, Mozambique, Portugal, Germany and Brazil. He together with a colleague founded the annual Purpur Festival for transgressive arts in Cape Town hosting national and international artists and composers. Wicomb curated the electroacoustic project ‘Concert To’ which included the works of 11 South African composers diffused at the Cape Town Train station, Sasol Arts Museum and festivals abroad, including the featuring of Wicomb’s piece Birds’ Birds over Radio France.Wicomb has been a recipient of residencies in Switzerland, Sweden (VICC) and South Africa and winner of the Fleur du Cap award for best original soundtrack or score, New Music SA commission competition and ensemble DissonArt’s miniature project. He has worked with ensembles such as L’Instant Donne, Ensemble Reconsil, Ensemble Insomnio, Asko ensemble, Stockholm Saxophone Quartet, South African New Music Ensemble (SANME) and the Kwazulu Natal Philharmonic Orchestra.
This project is underpinned by the superimposition of two dyadic practices: psychoanalysis and music composition. The former is exemplified by the different approaches of a psychoanalyst and analysand/s; the latter of a composer and musician (free) improviser. A relationship comprising of a composer and an improvising ensemble is highly unusual because of both parties’ pre-occupation with dominance and authorship within a composition. The conventional composer requires the services of the interpretive musician responsible for performing his/her composition by faithful realisation of the closed score. I propose that these over-determined roles with disciplinary embedded interests be challenged and studied by casting the relational transactions (involving power, dominance, obedience, discipline, trust, safety, vulnerability, inter-subjective dynamics, etc.) between composer and performers as psychological processes. An improvisational opera that enacts these relational transactions, will provide a musical and intellectual laboratory for staging this idea.
Minette du Toit-Pearce (Senior lecturer in Voice) is the current Head of the Singing Division at Stellenbosch University’s Music Department. She began her vocal training in 1993 under the tutelage of Magdalena Oosthuizen. She received the degrees BMus, BMus (Hons) and MMus (Cum Laude) specializing in singing. She completed the University of South Africa (UNISA) Teachers and Performance Licentiates (both Cum Laude) and received the DJ Roode Overseas Scholarship, the Gertrude Buchanan and SAMRO prize during the UNISA bursary competitions. She was the overall winner of the ATKV Musiq competition as well as winner of the singing category and the Mozart prize. She was named first runner up in the SAMRO International Scholarship competition and also won the prize for best performance of a prescribed work. In 2009 she was a finalist in the Kohn Foundation Wigmore Hall International Song Competition in London. In 2010 she was also a finalist in the American Institute of Musical Studies’ (AIMS) Meistersinger Competition in Graz.
She regularly performs as a soloist in Oratorio and her repertoire includes Händel’s Messiah, the St Matthew’s Passion, St John’s Passion and B minor Mass by Bach, Stabat Mater by Pergolesi, Stabat Mater by Karl Jenkins and Mozart’s Requiem to name a few. Minette is an accomplished singer of lieder both locally and abroad and regularly performs at The Songmakers’ Guild in Cape Town. In 2017 she was nominated for a WoordTROfee for her performance of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde. She has performed with all major orchestras in South Africa, most notably the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra.
Minette has performed at several National Arts Festivals in South Africa including the KKNK, Klein Karoo Klassique, AARDKLOP, Woordfees, Cultivaria, Suidooster Fees, Hermanus FynArts and Greyton Classics for All Festival. She has been nominated for three Kyknet Fiësta awards for her contribution to classical music at an arts festival. In 2015 she travelled to France and sang several concerts with the South African pianist Ilse Schumann
Minette regularly adjudicates at Eisteddfods and often travels outside of South Africa to Namibia and Zimbabwe to teach and perform. Since 2016 she has travelled to Maputo, Mozambique to perform at the Xiquitsi Mùsica Clàssica festival, where she also presented master classes. She is the head of the Singing Division at Stellenbosch University and fills the position of Senior Lecturer in Singing. She runs a very successful series of workshops “Working with Young Voices” and regularly presents these to teachers and singers. Minette will make her American debut later this year when she will be performing as soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Minnesota Orchestra in Minneapolis. She will also accompany the orchestra on their South African tour as part of their Mandela 100 celebrations.
Her PhD research is on the archive of the South African Soprano Hanlie van Niekerk and aims to construct the first biography of her life and work. Her supervisor is Paula Fourie.
Erika Jacobs is a trained concert flautist who has worked as a performing musician and teacher for 25 years, as a member of various orchestras and ensembles, and teaching at senior school and tertiary level. She has published several flute-related articles and has extensive experience as an examiner and adjudicator.
Erika’s research interest concerns the question of expressivity and emotion in music performance, and in particular performance as creative practice. Her PhD study examines the artistic voice in music performance through the lens of critical complex thought.
Boitumelo Tlhoaele is an independent curator and former journalist based in Johannesburg. Her research interests are on the intersections of jazz and visual art and the visual and music archives within the context of curatorial engagements. She has co-curated a group exhibition title: (2015) and Considering Genius (2016). Tlhoaele has recently completed her Master’s Degree in Heritage Studies at the University of Witwatersrand.
Jazzuary Masterclass 2016
Edited by Boitumelo Tlhoaele
Considering Genius gives recognition to seven South African jazz greats, namely Dr Philip Tabane, Hugh Masekela, Johnny Dyani, Letta Mbulu, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Pat Matshikiza and Winston Mankunku Ngozi – through the artistic responses of six emerging contemporary artists alongside an established one.
The seven chosen musicians are but a handful in the canon of the jazz genre and are masters of their craft whose work isn’t always lauded or even known by the various publics despite the multi-dimensionality and significance of their work in the broader South African cultural history. These are creative forces, whose sounds have shaped, in many ways the current jazz milieu and as such should be played more often, studied and preserved.
Referencing American jazz critic and essayist Stanley Crouch through his book Considering Genius, the exhibition attempts to interrogate the historical settings of the music, the musicality of the compositions and the ever existing connection between jazz and the visual arts.
Under the umbrella theme of the Jazzuary Masterclass, the exhibition brings to light ideas of ingenuity, creation, historical moments and influences, heritage, public and personal memories.
It uncovers the notions of genius; what does it mean to be a genius and what burdens may or may not come with this state of being?
Considering Genius Inspired by the current, exciting and robust South African jazz scene, the exhibition also brings to contact the relationships between the “old” and “new”, young and old, the past and the future and the re-imaginings and negotiations of these seemingly disparate spaces.
Considering Genius invites the six artists, namely Ayanda Mabulu, Bambo Sibiya, Layziehound Coka, Malcolm Jiyane, Neo Matloga and Palesa Mopeli to create works that interrogate the music of the seven musicians. They are encouraged to respond to, reflect upon and interpret their music using their various forms of visual language.
Acclaimed photographer, Neo Ntsoma, makes up the seventh artist who presents a body of seven images, mainly taken at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival. Her artworks add more names to the list mentioned above as she offers images of some of her outstanding work she’s produced over the years. The exhibition sees various media including painting, print, and installation and a live performance, all of which function in conversation with the intricacies of jazz music as an art.