Click on the image above to enjoy performances of some of our excellent opera singers.

Yolisa Ngwexana was a finalist in the overall Opera category. With her is School of Music lecturer Prof Conroy Cupido.


“I am very proud of our students’ and alumni’s achievements,” says Prof Santisa Viljoen.


“They are extremely dedicated and overcame numerous obstacles. I know they will continue to do well in the future.”



Student wins bursary


On 12 and 13 August Lebogang Polori, Edwin Padosa, Lindiwe Lebakeng, Yolisa Ngwexana, Melusi Shandu and Samkelisiwe Sitshinga participated in the Mimi Coertse bursary competition. Out of the nine semi-finalists, six were from the NWU.


Three NWU students were chosen to sing in the finals during which Lebogang showcased her excellence and was chosen as the recipient of the prestigious bursary.


School of Music hits all the right notes

Six singers from the School of Music on the campus in Potchefstroom mesmerised the judges during the 6th Voices of South Africa International Opera Singing Competition that took place from 21 to 28 July in Cape Town.

Songbirds Lebogang Polori (left) and Segomotso Shupinyaneng (right) did extremely well in the 6th Voices of South Africa International Opera Singing Competition. With them is Prof Santisa Viljoen from the School of Music.

Lebogang Polori enjoys the company of iconic South African opera singer Mimi Coertse.

Segomotso Shupinyaneng, Lebogang Polori, Yolisa Ngwexana, Stephen Schalkwyk, and alumni Palesa Malieloa and Nombuso Ndlandla were among the top 25 students who were chosen from hundreds of applicants to participate in this competition.


Hitting the high notes


The NWU singers competed in two categories: the Art Song category and the Opera category, sponsored by Dr Prince Sicelo Nkwanyana.


Nombuso, Stephen, Lebogang and Segomotso were selected as finalists for the Art Song category. Yolisa, Stephen, Segomotso, Palesa and Lebogang were all finalists in the overall Opera Category.


The final results were truly a feather in the School of Music’s cap.Lebogang walked away with the first prize and Segomotso with the third prize in the Opera category.


But this was not all. In the Art Song category Segomotso walked away as the winner, and Lebogang came second.


No end to the winning streak


The School of Music’s winning streak does not end here.


On 17 August two alumni from the School of Music, Thembinkosi Magagula (a former student of Prof Santisa Viljoen) and Palesa Malieloa (a former student of Prof Conroy Cupido), participated in the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition for singers.


After being announced finalists in the Western Art music category, Palesa walked away with first place and Thembinkosi was announced the runner up.


Thembinkosi is currently studying at Zuyd University, Maastricht Conservatorium in the Netherlands, and Palesa at the Hochschule für Muzik und Tanz in Cologne, Germany.




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Taking hands for social change


The 6th Voices of South Africa International Opera Singing Competition was a collaboration between the Voices of South African Trust, a non-profit organisation founded by internationally renowned singer Njabulo Mdlala, and Umculo, an organisation that aims to contribute to social change in South Africa through music.


Umculo was founded by Shirley Apthrop and the Songmaker’s Guild in Cape Town, which promotes the performance of art songs in all languages.




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