Knowing Me, Knowing You — Ms Anja Pollard (née Engelbrecht) [alumna]
Instrument(s) / Discipline(s):
Music Therapy, Saxophone.
Period of study at the NWU School of Music / PU for CHE Department of Music:
Qualifications completed at the NWU / PU for CHE:
BMus — Performance (cum laude)
BA Honours — Psychology
Qualifications completed elsewhere:
MMus — Music Therapy at the University of Pretoria.
Notable professional achievements:
Becoming a mother.
Current professional position / occupation:
Music Therapist in private practice.
External examiner and lecturer at the UP Music Therapy department.
Top 5 must-hear music:
1. Ola Gjeilo — Luminous Night of the Soul
2. Jan Garbarek and the Hilliard Ensemble — Officium
3. Imogen Heap — Speak for Yourself
4. Elgar — Enigma Variations
Which personal music experiences are most memorable to you?
• Singing with the Akustika Chamber Singers at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital’s recreation hall for our 2015 gala concert.
• Outdoor concert with the PU choir at the Nelspruit Botanical gardens in 1999.
• Attending a live Dave Matthews Band concert.
• A jazz show in a medieval cellar in Prague.
Top 5 must-read books:
1. The Bible
2. Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
3. Pillars of the Earth
4. God of Small Things
5. Life of Pi
• “The cherry blossom represents the fragility and the beauty of life. It’s a reminder that life is almost overwhelmingly beautiful but that it is also tragically short.” — the meaning of cherry blossoms in Japanese culture.
• “Music is an outburst of the soul.” — Frederick Delius.
Top 5 must-see movies:
2. Pulp Fiction
3. As it is in Heaven
4. A Beautiful Mind
Which television show(s) can you watch over and over again?
The Big Bang Theory.
A good, fragrant curry.
Gin and tonic.
How do you relax?
I love spending time with good friends, gardening, doing yoga or sleeping in.
I’m married to an amazing guy, Thinus, who is an IT Specialist — we’ve been together for 20 years! Together, we have two tiny humans, Quinn (6) and Mikael (1½).
Which places would you still like to visit?
Croatia, Japan, Spain, Russia, New Zealand, Brazil … well, everywhere I haven’t been yet.
What are your funniest / fondest memories of your time at the Conservatory?
Kitsch concert every year! All the different characters made us laugh so hard that tears streamed down our faces. Other special moments were those the students spent together late at night over a ciggie on the steps outside the practice rooms between practice sessions. Music students are amazing beings!