Arthur Wegelin completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music through Unisa. He also served as Unisa’s examiner for violin.
Born in the Netherlands, Wegelin immigrated to South Africa after the Second World War. A concert violinist, he taught violin at a number of institutions in Cape Town and later at the universities of Potchefstroom, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria. It was at Potchefstroom in the 1950s that he accomplished his degrees through Unisa. As a composer, Wegelin became an early proponent of incorporating African indigenous music into Western classical forms. He was also inspired by the quirks of South African culture; his compositions include a piano piece titled Braaivleis, which translates as ‘barbequed meat’. Fondly nicknamed “Oom (Uncle) Willem” by his students, Wegelin mentored many of South Africa’s now-prominent classical musicians, “opening eyes and ears to the wonders of avant-garde music”. His legacy also includes groundbreaking research which revolutionised music aptitude tests for students.