Top UKZN Student Pianist Awarded Bachelor of Music Degree
Talented pianist Ms Rashalia Pather, who graduated with a Bachelor of Music degree is one of the top students in the 40-year history of the School of Arts.
‘Music has been my passion since childhood and I have always dreamed of becoming a professional pianist. For my degree, it is gratifying and exciting to be at the end of a road, but also at the start of a longer journey,’ said Pather.
Over the course of her undergraduate studies, Pather was constantly challenged to learn and grow both in the academic field and as a person. ‘I have had the pleasure of interacting with a diverse group of peers who have inspired me and supported me through the rigors of undergraduate study,’ she said.
Pather pointed out that the life of a music student was fraught with personal challenges. ‘We are constantly pushing ourselves to play or sing better, to be creative, and to learn more. Two of the biggest challenges I have encountered have been long hours of solitary practice (leaving little time for a social life!), and the nerve-wrecking experience of performing before large crowds or pitting myself against peers in competitions.’
Highlights of her studies included her first performance in 2012 with the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (KZNPO) as part of the UKZN Campus Concert held at UKZN’s Opera Studio and Choral Academy. ‘It was both daunting and exhilarating to perform alongside professional artists!’ she said. Her final Bachelor’s recital at Howard College Theatre was also a special occasion for her.
Pather is grateful to have been the recipient of several prestigious UKZN scholarships, including the Lawrence and Constance Robinson Scholarship, Brenda M. Gourley Scholarship, and College Deputy Vice-Chancellor’s Scholarships in 2014 and 2015. She was also a recipient of the Marc Raubenheimer Bursary – awarded by the KZN Performing Arts Trust – for the duration of her degree.
She thanked her family and friends. ‘Without your care and encouragement I would not have achieved what I have; for this, I will always be sincerely grateful.’
Her parents Arunajalum and Kalaivani Pather said: ‘We are extremely proud of her outstanding achievements. Most especially, we are grateful for her working consistently and determinedly towards achieving her goals. She is a remarkable, intelligent and talented person whom we are privileged to call our daughter.’
Pather intends pursuing postgraduate study in the fields of piano performance and pedagogy.