Sarita Hauptfleisch became the first learner in South Africa to obtain eight distinctions in her matric examination, including both Instrumental Music and Practical Music. She also received the Papillon Rising Star Award as the most versatile female matriculant in South Africa in her matric year.
She continued her studies at the University of Stellenbosch where she obtained a BMus (Musicology), BMus (Hons) (Musicology) and MMus (Musicology), all of them with distinction. During her Master’s studies she also obtained a Teacher’s Licentiate in Music (Piano) from the University of South Africa. In 1998, she obtained the degree DMus from the University of Pretoria with a thesis entitled Transforming South African music education: a systems view.
She has been involved with choirs from her school days and subsequently became a member of the Stellenbosch Conservatoire Ladies Choir, Impromptu Chamber Choir and assistant conductor of the Ad Libitum Choir. She formed Palissander in 1992.
In 1993 Sarita made a career change and moved into business administration. Owing to time pressures, she relinquished her involvement in music education and musicology on a national level and has been focusing her music efforts exclusively on Palissander. She is currently a senior manager at Deloitte & Touche.
She is also responsible for the choir conducting module in the BMus Honours (Music Education) course at the University of Pretoria. Sarita has served as adjudicator for the national choir competition, Applous, and the Pretoria Eisteddfod.