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Centre for Performing Arts Empowers Student Musicians

Centre for Performing Arts Empowers Student Musicians

A historic day - UWC's Centre for the Performing Arts’ first certification ceremony -a goal five years in the making.

UWC's Centre for the Performing Arts held its first certification ceremony on 26 July 2016 at the University's main campus – a goal which UWC CPA has been working towards for the past five years.

Henriette Weber, the Director of the Centre for the Performing Arts, welcomed attendees to the ceremony and acknowledged its great importance for the CPA, and for its role in community engagement and its part in empowering students.

“Welcome to the Centre for Performing Arts, and it’s on this rainy and dreary day that we are having a historic day,” she said. “It is our first certificate ceremony – a ceremony we have been working towards for a very long time”. Emeritus Prof Nicholas Basson acknowledged that it’s the first time that the CPA is accrediting music students since the closure of the UWC Music Department in 2001.

When Emeritus Professor Nicholas Basson made Weber his successor in leading the Centre – a wise decision, given her recent accomplishments – it was then that she turned to her passion for community music into accreditation for community music practitioners. “At that point I gave myself five years – I told myself that in five years’ time we would have a course,” Weber commented. “The first of May this year marked my fifth year at UWC, and we are already doing our first certification, and it is a very proud moment as the director to be standing here and proudly acknowledging our students.”

Speaking directly to her predecessor, Prof Basson who was seated in the audience, Weber said as a UWC music student herself that the University was her training ground and that the institution is a community engaged university by default – long before community engagement became a catch-phrase for funding.

She extended her thanks to the many people who had contributed to and supported the UWC CPA – those included former UWC Rector and Vice-Chancellor Professor Brian O’Connell and current Rector Professor Tyrone Pretorius.

UWC Deputy Vice-chancellor: Academic Prof Vivienne Lawack also extended a few words of gratitude for the support of the Department of Arts and Culture, represented at the ceremony by Mr William Masamola. “I do want to say, thank you very much for the contribution the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport is making to UWC – and more importantly to our members of the community and these successful students that are sitting here.”

By: Zandile Bangani

18 August 2016