Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Joanie Hofmeyr achieves early stardom with Juilliard scholarship

This afternoon I tabled a Motion Without Notice in Parliament, congratulating Joanie Hofmeyr on her achievement of winning a scholarship to the prestigious Juilliard school of dance, drama and music in New York. (A Motion Without Notice is an opportunity for MPs to table matters of local or national significance in Parliament).

The motion is set out below, as well as a fuller account of her musical background. 

I met Joanie for the second time after singing evensong on August 2nd at St George's Church, Parktown, Johannesburg where she performed some exquisite solos. She blew everyone away, and I have never seen the church as packed for an evensong as it was then.


What I did not tell Joanie was that I first met her at my good friend JP Landman's 60th birthday at the Cape Town club in June where she performed to the delight of the 50-or-so guests. She really is a remarkable talent and I am sure we will see a lot more of her in the years to come.

Internal Ref Number:
078
-
2015
Date:
12.08.2015
Name:
Toby Chance

I hereby move on behalf of the Democratic Alliance that this House:

(1)          notes that 20-year-old soprano and aspiring opera singer Joanie Hofmeyr, received the news of her dreams in March this year; that she was accepted on a scholarship to the prestigious Julliard School of Music in New York;

(2)          further notes that just getting into this school is a feat in itself but as an overseas student on a scholarship is truly remarkable;

(3)          recalls that Joanie started her training in music at the tender age of 7;

(4)          further recalls that she was just 12 when she made it through to the finals of the National Eisteddfod;

(5)          acknowledges that after the family moved to Johannesburg, Joanie was presented with her first significant singing opportunities;

(6)          further acknowledges that Joanie’s resolve and passion to make her dream come true drew her to Roedean school on the Michelle Fox Arts Scholarship funded by the Ian Fox Foundation;

(7)          congratulates Joanie that through her sheer drive, concert performances, her GoGetFunding campaign, and generous support from funders and from artists who believe that this talent needs to be nurtured, she has managed to raise the money required to take up her scholarship; 

(8)          praises the efforts of St George’s Church, Parktown, and its congregation for their generosity in raising over R120 000 towards Joanie’s fund raising efforts; and

(9)        wishes Joanie well as she jets off to New York this weekend to begin her four year degree.

I so move.

Joanie's musical background

Joanie comes from a small farm outside Makhado (Louis Trichardt).  The family moved closer to town where her mum ran a small pay-phone business.  Her father trained as a theologian and taught at the University of Venda before becoming the National Director of StudieTrust – a charitable organisation founded by Joanie’s great-uncle Prof Jan Hofmeyr which provides bursaries for countless underprivileged youth. 

Joanie started her training in music at the tender age of 7. She was just 12 when she made it through to the finals of the National Eisteddfod. 

After the family moved to Johannesburg, Joanie was presented with her first significant singing opportunities. Joanie’s resolve and passion to make her dream come true drew her to Roedean.  Mrs Mary Williams, the Executive Head of Roedean, recognised Joanie’s extraordinary talent and offered her the Michelle Fox Arts Scholarship. During her time at Roedean, Joanie spent a year as an exchange student in the USA where she received a scholarship to attend the Episcopal Academy in Newtown, Pennsylvania. 

Joanie was one of 4 winners of the Episcopal Academy’s Dora Khayatt Music competition. Consequently, she was invited to sing with the school Chamber Choir in Switzerland. She was also selected to perform with the High School Mixed Honour Choir of the American Choral Director’s Association's (ACDA) National Convention in Dallas, Texas.  She ultimately won the Episcopal Academy’s Malcolm A. Morrison prize for Choral music.  In the mean time she earned a distinction for her grade 7 UNISA voice exam.  Upon her return to South Africa, Joanie resumed singing with the famed Eugenie Chopin – who has performed with no less than Placido Domingo, Jerome Hines and Justino Diaz.  

Last year, in Matric, Joanie received her Roedean Honours Blazer for, among other accolades, full colours in Music. She went on to win the Yamaha/Lovemore Music competition; came 3rd in the Philip H. Moore Music Competition, and went through to the final round of the SACS National Music Competition.  She also toured with the Roedean Choir to Singapore and Australia.  Since application, Joanie was accepted by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and the Juilliard School of Dance, Drama, and Music in New York. 

Joanie accepted the invitation to The Juilliard – widely regarded as one of the world’s leading music schools, and famed for producing, among many others, the likes of Renée Fleming, Philip Glass, John Williams, Van Cliburn, Miles Davis, and Yo-Yo Ma.

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