GEORGE NEWS - The George musicologist, Dr Ronell van Aswegen, will give a music appreciation lecture about Andrew Lloyd-Webber's musical Evita at 10:00 on Tuesday 23 January at her Fancourt residence.
Van Aswegen started the Music@Masada benefit concerts and the music appreciation lecture series in 1998 to raise money to give financial support to talented music pupils.
Since then she helped many learners by giving free masterclasses in piano, singing and piano accompaniment.
To qualify for support, the one proviso was that the learners must take part in the benefit concerts. She also lectured in music appreciation to raise money for the fund. Van Aswegen organised concerts at Masada, the Van Aswegens' previous home at Victoria Bay, where they had a 60-seat theatre.
Top professional musicians and music teachers who joined forces to raise money for the fund include pianists Wessel van Wyk, Laura Pauna, Ammiel Bushakevitz, Margaux Lamont, Drini Malan-Botha, Olive Sandilands, Sulayman Human; singers Rory Rootenberg, Daniélle Pascal, Jannie Moolman, Agos Moahi, Lucretia Geswint, Lida de Villiers, Gretchen Botha, Elisabeth Potgieter; instrumentalists Avigail Bushakevitz, Danél Bower, Surika Louw, Kalene Roux, Elize Munro, and Leonard Heydenrych.
Students given benefaction
During the past 20 years, the Benefit Fund has sponsored students to acquire new instruments and to attend workshops, masterclasses and auditions for international and national competitions. These learners excelled in their music examinations and a number of them went on to university to further their music studies.
In 2008 Neels and Ronell van Aswegen moved to Fancourt Residential Estate in George where she decided to carry on with the benefit concerts on a smaller scale, under the new name "The Music Club". In 2012, Ronell received the George Music Society's "Award for the outstanding participation in and contribution to the development of the music culture of George".
In 2013 the Fancourt management asked Ronell to produce and direct a series of classical music concerts as part of their cultural programme. So far, she has produced 19 concerts and created a platform for Georgian musicians, dancers, and artists. The matinee shows and the Fancourt Outreach Programme are her initiatives to enable schoolgoing and younger children to experience the magical world of classical music. Her motto is still "it is in giving that I receive" and she hopes to continuously make a difference in the lives of young musicians.
Tickets for the lecture on 23 January are R100 per person, to be donated to the Benefit Fund. Booking is essential and can be done through Adriaan Louw on 076 883 6678.
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