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Rising stars shine

Local jazz vocalist Tshepo Tshabalala and Cape Town soprano Palesa Malieloa are the two winners of the second Unisa National Voice Competition in Pretoria.

Unisa Chancellor Thabo Mbeki congratulates Tshepo Tshabalala (Winner: Jazz Category).

Unisa Chancellor Thabo Mbeki congratulates Palesa Malieloa (Winner: Classical Category).

They were victorious after four gruelling live rounds that took place this past week. Each of them takes home R70 000.

The second-prize winners are Daniëlla Hart (Jazz Category) and Cecilia Rangwanasha (Classical Category). They won R40 000 each.

Cecilia Rangwanasha (Runner-up: Classical Category) is congratulated by acting Unisa Registrar Prof Michael Temane

Unisa Chancellor Thabo Mbeki congratulates Daniëlla Hart (Runner-up: Jazz Category).

Tshabalala dominated the Jazz Category throughout the competition and two special prizes of R5 000 each were also awarded to him for the best performance of an up-tempo jazz standard in the first round and for the best performance of a South African composition in the second round.

Soprano Frances du Plessis won the special prize in the Classical category for the best performance of an art song in the first round. Soprano Leah Gunter won the prize for the best performance of an opera aria in the second round.

Some of South Africa’s most respected voice teachers served on the panel of adjudicators. The jazz vocalists were adjudicated by Debbie Mari, Nthabiseng Motsepe, Mageshen Naidoo, Nicky Schrire, and Amanda Tiffin. The classical vocalists were adjudicated by Lize Coetzer, Conroy Cupido, Hanli Stapela, Hanna van Niekerk, and Thami Zungu.

A shadow jury, chaired by soprano Deirdre Blignaut-Rautenbach had the opportunity to hone their critical listening skills as part of the educational leg of the competition.

They had an important part to play, since the special prizes of the third round were determined by them. They voted for the most promising candidate who did not make it to the final round in each category. Jazz vocalist Kwena Ramahuta and soprano Frances du Plessis received those prizes of R5 000 each.

The finalists have gained automatic entry into the prestigious Unisa International Voice Competition that will take place in 2018.

The competition was made possible by a grant from the National Lotteries Commission (NLC) and additional support from Unisa.

*By Alet Venter

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