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Vocal Women dominate the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition for Singers 2019


Above: Finalists of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition - Keorapetse Kolwane, Daniëlla Hart, Thembinkosi Magagula and Palesa Malieloa

Adjudicators have selected Jazz singers Keorapetse Kolwane and Daniëlla Hart and Western Art vocal powerhouses Thembinkosi Magagula and Palesa Malieloa as the most impressive of 12 incredible semi-finalists who were put through their paces at the competition’s semi-finals at Johannesburg’s Linder Auditorium on 15 August 2019.

These four brilliant vocalists now proceed to the final round on Saturday 17 August 2019, with their sights set firmly on clinching one of two R200 000 scholarships for international study, along with 14 additional subsidiary awards available for all candidates.

Just knee-high when she fell in love with music, Keorapetse Kolwane always knew she wanted to one day be a performing artist and now added her skills as a songwriter, composer, bandleader and music educator. She completed a Diploma in Jazz at TUT and then completed her fourth year (BTech) at the Jazz and Popular Music Department of the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal. Keorapetse also works as a recording artist, session vocalist, sideman, and lyrical contributor in various ensembles. She has performed at several well-known festivals including the Cape Town International Jazz Festival, Redbull Music Festival and Oslo Jazz Festival in Norway.

Daniëlla Hart is a consummate vocalist, composer and music educator who has found her deepest moments of joy through music. The Johannesburg-born artist studied at Tshwane University of Technology and graduated in 2017 with a BTech degree in Jazz and Popular Music. Her recent accomplishments include second place in the UNISA National Voice Competition (Jazz category) in 2017 and competing in the UNISA International Voice Competition in 2018. Daniëlla has been gigging professionally since 2013 and performed in bands with iconic musicians such as Karendra Devroop, Roland Moses, Peter Sklair and Sydney Mavundla, to name a few.

A MMus student in Applied Vocal Studies, Thembinkosi Magagula is currently furthering her skills in the Netherlands under the tutelage of professor Yvonne Schiffelers. Thembinkosi is known for her powerful portrayals as Susanna in Le Nozze di Figaro, Musetta in a production of Puccini’s La Bohème by the Nederlandse Reisopera and the aria Cunegonde in the Netherlands and in Portugal. Her many accolades include winning second prize in the 2018 UNISA International Voice Competition and securing a place in the semi-finals in the International Voice Competition in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. She also recently performed with dynamic professional Dutch orchestra Rotterdam Sinfonia.

Palesa Malieloa, who hails from Kroonstad, obtained her BA in Music and Society at the North-West University’s School of Music and Conservatory Potchefstroom Campus. She has a number of past tributes under her belt, including winning first prize in the ATKV-Muziqanto singing competition in 2016 and theUNISA National Voice Competition IN 2017. She was also a finalist in the Opera Crown Tbilisi International Voice Competition. More recently, Palesa competed in the Stanislaw Moniuszko and the Mirjam Helin International Voice competitions. Palesa is currently focussing on her Master of Performance studies at the Hochschule für Musik und Tans Köln, under Professor Josef Protschka.

Candidates were required to perform their own choice of repertoire as well as a prescribed composition, an indigenous music piece called Wen’use Goli, which was arranged by composers Siya Makuzeni for Jazz and Neo Muyanga for Western Art Music. The best performances of this work in Jazz and Western Art Music stand to win the new Doreen Nteta / SAMRO Indigenous African Music Award of R45 000 each.

The panel of adjudicators was extremely impressed by all 12 candidates. The two dual-genre panelists, UNISA music professor Karendra Devroop and multi-award-winning South African music legend Sibongile Khumalo, were lavish in their praise of the semi-finalists’ quality of performance. The Jazz adjudicators are Gloria Bosman, Debbie Marie, Nthabiseng Motsepe-Notyesi, Tutu Puoane, and Nomfundo Xaluva. The Western Art music adjudicators are Dr Conroy Cupido, Marcus Desando, Minette du Toit-Pearce, Hanna van Niekerk and Prof Jeanne Zaidel-Rudolph. All are music industry luminaries in their own right.

On Saturday night, the panels will again assemble, under the guidance of non-voting chairman Kutlwano Masote, to determine winners in each genre and recipients of a generous number of subsidiary awards.

The final live round of the SAMRO Overseas Scholarships Competition will take place at 6:30pm at the Linder Auditorium in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Saturday, 17 August 2019.

The event will be live-streamed on the SAMRO Foundation’s Youtube channel.

A copy of the programme can be found here.

For more information, email

About SAMRO: Since 1961, SAMRO has been the country’s music rights champion. We protect the rights of composers and authors (music creators) both locally and abroad. Collecting licence fees from music users – television broadcasters, radio stations, in-store radio stations, pubs, clubs, retailers, restaurants and all other businesses that use music. Today, SAMRO has grown into an internationally recognised collecting administration business representing more than 12, 000 music creators. It has built a solid reputation as the primary representative of music Performing Rights in Southern Africa, and is well respected among its global peers in the music industry. SAMRO not only functions as an organization that protects the rights of music creators, but is committed to contributing to the development of music talent in South Africa. This it does through the platform of The SAMRO Foundation.

For more information on SAMRO, please visit

About The SAMRO Foundation The SAMRO Foundation ( is a registered non-profit organisation that replaced the SAMRO Endowment for the National Arts (SENA) in 2012. The Foundation is the social investment and music education arm of the Southern African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) Group of Companies. Since 1962, SAMRO has invested more than R100-million in supporting and nourishing the South African cultural landscape through bursaries, scholarships, commissions, the preservation of music heritage and other industry enrichment projects.

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