Bethany College has selected Hentus van Rooyen as the Interim College Organist and Coordinator of Sacred Music.
Hentus is a candidate for the degree Doctor of Musical Arts at the University of North Texas (UNT) where he studied organ performance under the tutelage of Jesse Eschbach, and baroque repertoire studies with Paul Leenhouts. He holds a B.Mus. from the University of Pretoria and a Master of Music from the University of North Texas. His quest for international studies was initiated after winning the Stephanus Zondagh Overseas Music Study Scholarship at the UNISA Overseas Music Scholarship Competition in 2011 while studying with Wim Viljoen. During his study with Viljoen, Hentus also completed the Teacher’s and Performer’s Licentiates through University of South Africa. In 2012, he was awarded the Scholarship for Overseas Study from the Southern-African Church Organists Association (SAKOV), and received a generous scholarship from the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, which enabled him to begin his studies at the University of North Texas in September of that year.
In 2013 Hentus was awarded second prize at the William C. (Bill) Hall Organ Competition in San Antonio, TX, and in 2014 he won first prize at the same competition. At the UNT College of Music, Hentus was named “Outstanding Graduate Student in Organ Performance” in 2014 and 2017. As the teaching fellow for organ, Hentus taught all secondary organ students at UNT, and was nominated for the “Outstanding Teaching Fellow Award” in 2018. He was also the accompanist and continuo organist for the early music vocal ensemble, the UNT Collegium Singers, and played continuo in the UNT Baroque Orchestra. He served as the Associate Organist at Christ the King Catholic Church, Dallas.
“We are lucky to have been able to secure a teacher and player like Prof. Van Rooyen for this interim position,” says Dr. Mark Lucas, Co-Chair of the Department of Music and Director of Choral Activities and the Bethany Oratorio Society. “His experience accompanying early music is especially exciting.”