Rochelle Veenemans

The Little Singer with the Sparkling Voice!

Photos by Rina Coetzee

Singer, Rochelle Veenemans is 16-years old and the granddaughter of South African opera star and legend, soprano Barbara Veenemans. 

Rochelle is blind and a Grade 9 pupil at a school for visually impaired children in Pretoria. 

Rochelle made her solo vocal debut at the tender age of four. She joined the famous South African tenor Manuel Escorcio on stage, singing songs such as You raise me up and Tomorrow from the musical Annie.

She is a regular performer at charity events, children’s music theatre productions and she also performs regularly with her aunt and vocal tutor, opera singer Michelle Veenemans.

Rochelle frequently competes at various Eisteddfods. In 2012 at the age of 7, she received a special award from the South African National Eisteddfod Academy for her brilliant rendition of Bach’s aria, Bist du bei mir for Grade 1 pupils. As a result, she was invited to perform at the Young Performers Showcase at the Atterbury Theatre in Pretoria.

In November 2013, she won a Special Gold Medal Award for winning the overall Junior Section for Classical Vocal Music at the National Eisteddfod Academy, singing the Mozart aria, Voi che sapete.

In 2013, at the age of 8, she gave her first radio interviews for RSG Kuns and SAfm Radio

In June 2013, Rochelle was invited to perform at The South African Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind’s Diamond Jubilee Gala Concert at the Joburg Theatre. She sang the aria O mio Babbino Caro with a 70-piece symphony orchestra under the baton of maestro Graham Scott.
From 2011 to 2018, Rochelle won a total of 8 gold medals at the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria for her renditions of classical and oratorio works. In 2018, Rochelle was awarded 100% as well as a gold medal for her rendition of "I could have Danced all Night".

Rochelle became a member of the Girl Group, Devine Broadway Babes, in 2014. The group mainly performed hit songs from contemporary Broadway musicals and films and made their debut at the Pierneef Theatre on 13 September 2014. 

Rochelle participated in the Tribute to ABBA concert series in 2016 and 2017.
Rochelle is a member of the Klassika Vocal Ensemble who performed the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi with great success at the Nazareth Chapel in 2015 and 2019.
Rochelle is also a regular performer at the annual Ten Spyte Van ... concert series at the Pierneef Theatre, supported by the Cordis Trust.
was invited in 2016 to sing in Otjiwarongo in Namibia. This was her first performance abroad.

Rochelle's debut CD, Enchanting, was launched in June 2014.

Her CD project for 2016 included the recording of the Stabat Mater of Pergolesi as part of the Klassika Vocal Ensemble.
She made her television debut on kykNet's JAM in December 2016.
In August 2018, Rochelle performed with the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Schalk van der Merwe.
In 2019, Rochelle performed at the Atterbury Theatre, as singer-dancer in the Hoërskool Zwartkops Dance Academy's gala show.

Rochelle released her second album, This is my Time, in 2020.

Rochelle passed her first ballet Grade 1 Class Award for the Royal Academy of Dance in 2020 with flying colours!

Video Left: 15-year old blind singer, Rochelle Veenemans, performs the Musical Theatre song, Girl in 14G.

She is joined by her aunt, Michelle Veenemans, South African Dramatic Coloratura Soprano as the two noisy neighbours.

The full variety concert, Op 'n Hoë Noot, can be viewed at https://pierneefteater.com/store/veenemans-201009kk

Rochelle Veenemans performs with the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Schalk van der Merwe.


Left: Rochelle, performing as Vocalist and as part of the cor de ballet at the Atterbury Theatre, for the Hoërskool Zwartkops's Dance Academy in 2019.



Right: Rochelle waiting backstage for the ABBA Celebration concert to start at the Pierneef Theatre in May 2017

Video right: 14-year old blind singer, Rochelle Veenemans, sings the beautiful duet "O salutaris hostia" by Ēriks Ešenvalds. She is joined by her aunt, South African Dramatic Coloratura Soprano Michelle Veenemans.






Left: Rochelle performing in the Tribute to ABBA concert at the Pierneef Theatre in Pretoria, 2016.

 

Photo above: Rochelle (10) performing at the Carols by Candlelight concert on
22 Nov 2014 for the SA Guide Dog Association in Johannesburg.

 

Photo above: Rochelle (8) and the late Mixael de Kock - Peformance at the Joburg Theatre 5 June 2013 for the South Africa Guide Dog Association for the Blind

 

Rochelle (8) singing "O mio babbino caro" on the Mandela Joburg Theatre stage with a 70-piece symphony orchestra!

 

 "... The evening commenced with an overture by the University of Pretoria 70 piece orchestra conducted by Graham Scott. The staging with its magnificent sets was by Ivor Jones. A 25 piece orchestra, also from University of Pretoria accompanied by Wessel van Wyk with an outstanding rendition of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Renowned soloists Angela Kilian, Samantha Peo, Sibongile Mngoma, Cito, Judy Page, Abigail Kubeka and young Rochelle Veenemans graced the programme with their spellbinding talents ..." source: http://www.guidedog.org.za/diamond-jubilee-concert/

Me Rosa Anderson Loots, 22 Mei 2018, skryf die volgende oor Rochelle:
"Ek het in Dubai iets beleef van wat gister grootliks tot my deurgedring het .... in Dubai het ek leerlinge gehad uit Lande wat nie Engels magtig is nie en 'n taalversperring / hindernis (barrier) moes oorkom alvorens hulle met inhoudelike kon werk .... meestal hoogs intelligente leerders wat a.g.v. van taalonvermoë sukkel om die nodige leerstof te snap......en sodoende moes ek metodes vind om dit te oorkom .... wanneer daardie kind dan die taal baasraak is daar nie keer aan hom/haar nie .... Gister het ek vir die eerste keer iets verstaan van sintuiglike gestremdheid en dadelik bietjie iesegrimmig geword vir mense wat bedeel is met 5 normale sintuie en dit nie behoorlik waardeer en benut nie!!!!! Ek was bevoorreg om die begeleiding te doen vir 'n meisietjie van 13 jaar oud vir 'n sang eksamen by Prinshofskool vir die Royal Academy Schools eksaminering. In die eerste plek het ek besef wat die gebrek aan sig tot gevolg het. Dit ontbreek die persoon aan kopprentjies soos dit waaraan ons wat normale sig het oor beskik. Daardie persoon is net op klank aangewese en selfs met braille skrif neem dit langer om 'n begrip te vorm van noteskrif, leestekens in musiek en verdere aanwysings ens. Ek salueer die leerkragte wat met hierdie proses leer moet laat plaasvind want by leerder en leerkrag sal daar oneindig meer geduld en deursettingsvermoë aan die dag gelê moet word .... dit is nie 'n geval van ek sien die bladmusiek, ek begryp wat ek sien en nou vertolk ek dit met insig nie! Ek bevoel die Braille en dan neem die proses 'n gang wat nie vir die nie-gestremde toeganklik is nie ... ROCHELLE JORDAAN ..... broerskind van Michelle Veenemans (haar sangonderwyseres) en kleindogter van Barbara Veenemans .... wat 'n klein wonderwerkie is jy nie ..... ek skryf wat ek beleef het van jou in die vlugtige musiekmomente wat ek met jou gedeel het ..... ek beleef 'n ongeskondenheid, 'n verstommende volwassenheid, 'n ongelooflike saamleefbare persoonlikheid en 'n engelagtige stem wat nog groot opgang gaan maak ..... ek beleef iets van wat GOD bedoel het hoe en wat ons moet wees ..... en ek wil met piëteit en respek amper dankie se dat hierdie mensie van geboorte af totaal blind is a.g.v. die oormatige toediening van suurstof by 'n vroeggeboorte .....vreemd dat ek dankbaar is dat jy die lelik van hierdie lewe gespaar gebly het ..... hartseer dat jy die mooi van hierdie lewe misloop .....'n sonsondergang, die blou lug, branders wat breek, weerlig wat uitslaan, 'n volmaakte roos, die gestalte van jou geliefdes en TOG wat dra nou meer gewig ..... Rochelle jy is ongerep ....... volmaak voor jou Skepper ...."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Links: Rosa Anderson Loots as klavier begeleier saam met Rochelle tydens haar eerste sangeksamen by die Prinshofskool vir Siggestremdes, 21 Mei 2018.

Upcoming performances:

Saturday, 8 December 2018: Performance at a private Christmas function in Pretoria

Sunday, 25 November 2018: Performance at a private Christmas service in Centurion

Sunday, 18 November 2018: Performing at a Christmas Service in Johannesburg

Sunday, 2 September 2018: Performance in Johannesburg, Kensington Gardens

Sunday, 26 August 2018: Performance at the NG Kerk Lyttleton Noord, 09:00

Saturday, 25 August 2018: Performance with the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra under the musical direction of Schalk van der Merwe, Henley on Klip, 18:00

Monday, 30 July 2018: Singing for the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria.

Friday, 16 March 2018: Performing at the Dutch Reformed Church in Brooklyn, 20:00

Saturday, 20 January 2018: Performing at Barbara Veenemans's 80th birthday celebrations at the Lemon jack Theatre in Centurion, 19:00

Friday, 01 December 2017: Christmas Concert Protea Retirement Village, Lyttleton

Friday, 03 November 2017: Christmas Concert at the NG Kerk Alberton Suid, featuring Rochelle and Michelle Veenemans, 19:00

Sunday, 01 October 2017:  ABBA Spring Celebration, Pierneef Theater, 15:00

Tuesday, 2 August 2017:  Eisteddfod performance for the Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria 2017, 10:00

Saturday, 06 May 2017:  ABBA Celebration, 19:00, R110 and R120 at the Pierneef Theatre, Pretoria

Sunday, 19 February 2017: Michelle and Rochelle Veenemans in Concert for a Corporate function at Pembury Lodge in Johannesburg, 10:00.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017: Michelle and Rochelle Veenemans in Concert for a corporate function in Centurion, for the Viva Musica Music Club, 19:00.

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11 December 2016: Rochelle makes her television debut on kykNET's television channel 144 at 19:30.

30 October 2016: Vuurkolomfees at NG Kerk Quaggapoort: 15:00 Tickets R30 at the door.

16 October 2016: Ten Spyte van ... Concert series at the Pierneef Theatre: 15:00

6 August 2016: In concert with the Klassika Vocal Ensemble at the Brummeria Renaissance Retirement Village 10:30, Tickets R40

7 May 2016: Tribute to ABBA Concert at the Pierneef Theatre

20 February 2016: Second session of recording of the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi at Cesar Sound as member of the Klassika Vocal Ensemble.

23 January 2016: Rochelle will be recording the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi at Cesar Sound as member of the klassika Vocal Ensemble.

30 October 2015: DVD shoot in Johannesburg

18 October 2015: Rochelle Veenemans: Ten Spyte van ... concert series at the Pierneef Theatre. A special concert for people with disabilities! 

27 September 2015: Stabat Mater by Pergolesi ~ Concert at Nazareth House, Pretoria, 15:00

05 September 2015: Concert at Eldoraigne Familiekerk, 15:00

03 September 2015: Dames 1000, Centurion

11 August 2015: Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria

7 March 2015: Rochelle and the Devine Broadway Babes in concert at the Pierneef Theatre: 18:30

6 December 2014: Performing at a Christmas Concert at Broadaceres Lifestyle Centre

22 November 2014: Performing for the SA Guide Dogs Association for the Blind 's Christmas Concert in Sandton

20 November 2014: Performing for a corporate function for people with disabilities.

15 November 2014: StarBlaze studio's annual award ceremony. Rochelle will perform and also receive an award.

22 October 2014: Performance in the Ten Spyte Van concert series at the Pierneef Theatre, R50, 18:30.

13 September 2014: Devine Babes @ the Pierneef Theatre, 10:00 R60 & R70

26 August 2014: Ensemble singing, Centurion Kunstefees

21 August 2014: Ensemble singing, Centurion Kunstefees

11 August 2014: Solo, Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria

08 August 2014: Recorder-ensemble Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria

17 May 2014: In Concert with Michelle Veenemans, Harmoniehof NG Kerk Hall, 15:00

24 November 2013: The Joys of Christmas: St Alban's College Auditorium

13 October 2013: Performance at the Pierneef Theatre, Ten Spyte van, concert series

12 August 2013: Afrikaanse Kunsvereniging Pretoria

5 June 2013: Joburg Civic Theatre, SA Guide Dogs Association for the Blind Gala Concert

 

Last update: 30/10/2020