The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024

Meadows mourns Qavane

Memorial scheduled for Tuesday night

SMU opera student Simphiwe Qavane died Aug. 3 in the GrooteSchuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa of kidney failure andlung complications. To honor his memory, Meadows School of the Artswill host a memorial celebration at 7 p.m. Sept. 7 in CaruthAuditorium.

“Simphiwe was a wonderful student with a beautiful voiceand amazing time and energy on stage,” said Barbara-HillMoore, Qavane’s professor of voice, in an e-mail.

Moore said she discovered Qavane in South Africa and feltimmediately he was a prime candidate for the Artist CertificateProgram. Aviva Pellam, a well-known South African opera singer andcolleague, convinced him to apply to the SMU program.

According to Meadows School of the Arts, the Artist Certificateis intended only for the exceptional performer who already holds abachelor’s degree or equivalent credentials, and who is inthe final stages of preparation to enter major competitions,audition for major orchestras or begin a professional career.”Acceptance into the program requires a personal auditionwith the faculty at or above the recital level expected forcompletion of the Bachelor of Music degree inperformance.”

Qavane began his certificate program in August 2002. Moore saidshe was always amazed by his ability to immerse himself in thevarious characters he played on stage. “People just believehe is the character he is portraying!” she exclaimed.

While earning his certificate, Qavane was challenged by thedemands of the program, particularly the performance and study ofart songs in French, German, Italian and English in addition toopera performance.

“Simphiwe had not worked very much with art song repertoryprior to SMU, and this repertory challenged him to discover newcolors in his voice and more subtle means of expression inperformance,” Moore said.

In an email to Moore, Katherine Terrell, another student inMoore’s studio family, said she would never forgetQavane’s sincere positive attitude.

“Simphiwe was the most supportive, encouraging student Ihave known in my time here, and a mentor as well…I willtreasure the memory of his jovial and truly good nature,” shesaid.

While studying with Moore, Qavane was invited to sing at theceremony awarding the honorary doctor of law degree to UnitedNations Secretary General Koffi Annan. At SMU, he performed in thetitle roles of The Marriage of Figaro, by Mozart, andPuccini’s Gianni Schicchi. He also played Porgy inGershwin’s Porgy and Bess at the Myerson in February 2004 andin Durban, Cape Town and Pretoria, South Africa in March 2004.

Qavane received the Artistic Certificate from SMU in May2004.

Moore said she remembers many hours spent talking about music,composers and Qavane’s career. He especially wanted to focuson making a difference for other South African singers andartists.

“I enjoyed these times very much, and I know I have nevertaught anyone more focused on giving back to others than SimphiweQavane,” Moore said. “He was a source of great joy,inspiration and pride for me and for all who knew him.”

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