Two BMus students at the Music and Performance Arts Department, will present papers at the annual national SASRIM Conference, to be held at Nelson Mandela University in July this year.

Musicologists and senior music students were requested to submit a synopsys of their paper or presentation to the SASRIM Committee for consideration before the end of March 2020. 

Two final year students, Akhona Nkumanda and Phakamani Pungu-Pungu were selected to deliver papers at this conference.

Akhona's paper is titled, The Stylistic features of South African Indigenous Choral Music

On the 21-23 of February 2020 I had a privilege of attending the South African Schools Choral Eisteddfod’s (SASCE) Adjudicators workshop organised by the Eastern Cape Department of Education. This workshop was being facilitated by top South African Musicians including Choral Composers whose works were prescribed for this national eisteddfod. It is when a young Eastern Cape Composer Lihle Biata stood at the podium and dissected his work titled “Nelson Mandela” that I felt the need to make a contribution to the 2020 SASRIM’s (South Africa Society of Researchers in Music) National Conference.

My paper brings light to the disregarded unique Stylistic features of indigenous choral music and how they are still incontrovertible in the modern era. This brings me so much joy to be able to present such a paper with the aim to expose the diverse power of storytelling that lies within such works. Providing the History of the marvellous works created by noticeable indigenous choir music composers and engaging in discussions of a rare but yet insightful style of writing that no one can envisage, I speak about how the cultural practices and other art forms such as Drama, fine Art and Dance has influenced the structure of these peculiar compositions.

Phakamani's paper is titled:  The role of Music as an aid to the struggle in South African Politics

The drive to write about this topic stems from having seen that in most political spheres and political history books there is a lack of the recognition of the role music has played towards the realisation of the democratic state we are in today and how music has mediated for shared humanity which serves as basis for this new South Africa.

The paper gives a lengthy journey of the dynamics that have taken place in South African politics looking at both the apartheid era and democracy. In this vein, the paper outlines the role of music in general strikes in the early 50’s,the role played women as forces of change and liberty during the women’s march of 1956,the 1976 youth uprising and how the above mentioned political events pressed for the release of Nelson Mandela to lead the country in the Dawn of democracy. Furthermore, the discussion also places two important figures of state namely former president Jacob Zuma(Umshini wam) and President Cyril Ramaphosa(Thuma mina) and outlines the contrasts in themes as well ho w their presidency is informed by their music.

We wish them all the best with their presentations at this prestigious conference.