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February 28, 2010



This is extraordinarily written, paulie. Quite beautiful.


Well done Smalie. CD

Lore Watterson

Paul, this is a very beautiful tribute to an extraordinary friend. We all will miss Mary greatly and she will be remembered by many.

Kobus du Plooy

Dear Paul, I was a piano pupil of Mary, many years ago: 1972. She had just started as a young lecturer at Unisa. She also got married towards spring (if I remember the time correctly!) of that year. I still thoroughly enjoy playing the two pieces I had studied with her: Bach's Partita in B-flat (she introduced me to Bach's Partitas) and Beethoven's Sonata in d minor (Opus 31 no 2). Sharing her interpretation of the latter was a wonderful experience. I learnt about her death today. Will light a candle for her tomorrow in my church. My sincere condolences to you and your family. Kobus du Plooy.

Grace Goedhart

Dear Paul

Thank you for writing about Mary. I met her about four years ago when Natasha Kelly and I went to beg her to please become our music expert in a claim by a German opera singer against the Road Accident Fund. I took one look at this woman with the blonde curly hair and beautiful voice and fell instantly in love with her! It took some proper arguing to convince her to become involved in a legal matter,but we are deeply blessed that she had because that gave all of us the opportunity to get to know her. She was amazing, incredible and she filled and embued us with her energy, her love and her zest for all things musical and human. I loved opera, and in Mary I found a guide. I so wished that I had had more of her! You describe it so aptly - Mary had the unique ability to make everyone she met feel as though they were her lifelong friend. I was at her memorial service on Friday and I think that she would've been quite thrilled. I have never seen so many people speak with so much love and perform with such adoration.
Her passing is a great loss to us all-even those of us who had only known her for a very short time. It was much too soon, much too quick and we hold you, Kath and Oliver in our hearts, though you don't know us. We knew that you were special to Mary and that's all that matters (who did not know how besotted she was with little Oliver??!!)
Much love and sincere condolences to all of you. I miss Mary very much. The world is not quite the same without her.

Grace Goedhart

Dan Morgan

I was deeply upset to hear OF Mary's passing. As a History of Music student from 1978 to 1980 I was simply bowled over by Mary's wonderful lectures on 20th-century music. There was always so much insight and plenty of good humour. I write about music and so often think of her when discussing Shostakovich or Bernstein, Puccini or Penderecki. She taught me so much, and for that I am eternally grateful. A sad time for us all, but also a time to celebrate a life that has helped enrich out own.

Cinzia Honnorat

Dear Paul,
I don't know whether this blog is still functioning, but I will nevertheless post my tribute. I have only now found out about Mary's passing away, from an old South African musician-friend.
I live in Italy and I had resumed my contact with Mary a few years ago, when I asked her for a certificate. I was a music student at Wits between 1979 and 1985 (graduate and post graduate BMUS)and I could say many things about my musical experience with her,but my newly found relationship with her was completely on a spiritual level. What you said about her is totally right: very personal, very enthusiastic, incredibly brilliant and beautiful. And yet I discovered this new side of her: a very spiritual person who thought deeply about all her life experiences and had many realizations.
On my last mail to her, I decided to be brave and send her a very ancient Indian mantra which I consider the highest treasure I have ever received in this lifetime. It was my present to her, accompanied by many love feelings. She never answered that mail, and I kept wondering whether I had somehow disturbed her in some way. I let some time pass and everyday I thought of writing back, but I was afraid of disturbing her. Now I find out that she passed away only 2 weeks after reading my letter. I checked on the calender and, just as I thought, the day she left us was a very very sacred day according to Indian spirituality, the best possible time because it was the celebration of the most compassionate form of the Lord, the embodiment of love of God. To me it's obvious that she received the most unlimited mercy and that her spiritual situation is very bright. It cannot be a coincidence. Her desire to improve and advance in her evolutionary path, together with her curiosity in all dimensions of reality and her love for people, are certainly accompanying her journey and making it full of awareness, bliss and knowledge.
And, yes, she loved her family very much because she told me that.
With my best wishes for your life,
I send you kindest regards
Cinzia Honnorat


Mary Rorich meant a lot to me. She believed in me enough to organise that i attend Wits to study music when i hadn't even applied to do the course and had no where to stay. She was crazy, beautiful, funny and talented beyond compare.
I miss her.

Lionel Green-Thompson

I have just picked up the story of Mary's passing in the note that Wits is planting a tree in her memory.
May I add my tribute to a quite remarkable spirit. I chose her to mentor me during a Research Bootcamp in 2008. She was able to inspire me every time we met.the time I spent with her were the best times of my academic career.
I will always remember her part in my journey.
Lala no xolo, Mary.

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