September 29, 2013
Hal Freedman and Willi Rudowsky
The Studio@620 is pleased to offer a unique opportunity to our community as we welcome Jacques Snyman, a gifted counter tenor from South Africa, to perform on Sunday September 29th at 5 PM. Jacques is continuing his education and vocal training here in the United States. His Visa does not allow him to receive scholarships or grants to help with his education. Your admission fee will go to support his educational efforts and you in exchange will be treated to a lovely afternoon of song.
Admission $20, Students or Seniors $15
Please note that because this is a fund raising event red Studio@620 membership tickets will not be accepted for admission.
JACQUES VILJOEN SNYMAN
Jacques primary passion is singing. His second passion is spreading an Anti-bullying campaign worldwide. He was born in the wine country of Stellenbosch, South Africa in 1973. While Jacques' interest in Baroque music is more recent, perhaps it was in his blood all this time and reawakened when he discovered his countertenor voice in 2010 in Cape Town and then traveled to London to study under Brian Parsons of the Conservatory de Lyon.
From his earliest childhood, Jacques sang in school or church choirs and with his entire family in homemade holiday pageants. He literally found his musicality by laying his ear on the lid of the piano played by his classically trained grandmother who sang operatic arias to him before she tragically underwent a surgical removal of her goiter and her vocal cords were damaged in the process.
From his grandfather, who competed in the Olympics, he inherited his great love of sport. From age 6 he pestered his mother to let him join a class of much older children being trained as gymnasts. At this early age he also excelled in cricket, rugby, soccer, track and field and swimming. In middle school, Jacques had become too large to perform on the gymnastic apparatus, so he concentrated on rugby, a sport where his size and speed were a huge advantage. Early on he discovered his preference for the solo events of swimming, track and field, like the decathlon --- "One day, for the first time, I hurled the javelin. It just went far - really far."
Jacques was chosen to represent the South African national team in gymnastics, rugby and track and field, but was sometimes prevented from competing internationally because of the isolation of South Africa due to Apartheid. He competed in the Gay Games in Chicago in 2006 and won 4 gold medals. Jacques still plays the occasional rugby match and still takes part in the veteran's track and field competitions. He says that being an athlete and playing rugby is a large part of his life and together with his love for music has helped him to cope with being bullied. Fitness plays a key role in not only his physical wellbeing but also his mental wellbeing. Jacques is also a Master Personal Trainer.
Jacques' family moved frequently during his youth but he was always known as the 'big guy who plays sports and can sing". If anyone had a problem with the mix, Jacques would meet him on the pitch to settle it. Although he never suffered the pain of bullying that some other youngsters have experienced because they are different, Jacques always felt the need to stand up for the underdog or the little guy that didn't fit in-even if it meant taking on a whole group of bullies.
Jacques believed in his personal powers and learned to be fearless. He uses his voice to raise awareness for the anti-bullying campaign and to encourage everyone to combat intolerance in every form. Jacques knows that life really does get better. His message for the anti-Bullying campaign is a simple one of refusal to submit to intolerance. "Never let anyone define you or label you. Never be bullied into silence. Never be afraid to tell the truth, but to believe in you and be yourself. Remember, 'Bullying is Smoke . . . Courage is Fire'." - Benjamin Disraeli