Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Ina Wiegand Singing Scholarship

This sounds like a press release because it is one!

The scholarship has been set up by singer-songwriter Rob Rodell to help a formerly disadvantaged student to learn how to sing.

Rodell set the scholarship up as a tribute to Ina Wiegand, the owner of the Respiro Vocal Studio in Pretoria. “Ina really helped me a lot by offering me free lessons in preparation for my Licentiate in singing,” says Rodell. “This is my way of paying it forward – by extending the same courtesy to someone who is really desperate to learn how to sing properly. I will always be grateful to Ina for her help. When I thanked her, she encouraged me to do the same for someone else.”

The singing scholarship will afford one student the opportunity of working with Rodell for one year. The incumbent would need to make their own way to the venue for the lesson, but that is the only cost. After that, the winning student will enjoy a one-hour lesson with Rodell for a year, which includes holidays by mutual agreement, and missed lessons. The full value of the scholarship is over R10,000. “There is no doubt in my mind that if a student comes to me for a year and regularly rehearses and works hard, that by the end of that year s/he will be a much better singer,” says Rodell.

There is no age or race limitation for the scholarship. The student needs to write a motivational letter to prove his/her eligibility and a background check will be performed to ensure that the scholarship does indeed go to someone with limited means. Rodell explains that he’s not even necessarily looking for someone with talent – just great desire – since learning to sing correctly is simply a matter of good technique and plain old-fashioned hard work.
The process of finding a suitable candidate for the scholarship will be undertaken by Addi Lang of the Return 2 Roots Foundation and Caitlin’s Castings, non-profit organisations aimed at assisting abused women and children. To apply, please email addi@netactive.co.za. The closing date for the 2009/10 scholarship is 31 July. The chosen student will begin training in September 2009.

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