Festival preparations in full swing
Porirua’s international singing sensation The Fource are among the cast of thousands lining up for the Waitangi Day Festival of the Elements at Te Rauparaha Park.
The four Aotea College students who make up the barbershop quartet are in full swing as they prepare for the February 6 event, billed as the country’s biggest programme of entertainment outside of the official Waitangi Day celebration itself.
‘‘Porirua will be buzzing on the day with an amazing lineup of stars,’’ says event organiser Margaret Armour. ‘‘The Fource epitomises what Porirua is itself – youthful in outlook, talented, energetic and successful.’’
It is 20 years since the first festival and this one will be the biggest ever, Armour says.
‘‘We’ve built and built on the festival each year till we’ve got to the stage where we have the biggest pool of talent in the whole country – and that’s not just the entertainment.
‘‘Stalls and crafts are also a huge part including the colourful display of cultures.
‘‘And on top of this there’s the amazing cast of helpers as well. ‘‘Support for the festival goes right through the whole community. ‘‘We have tremendous backing.’’ The festival’s promoter is the Porirua Community Arts Council and one of its aims is the development of local talent.
‘‘ We have featured The Fource at three previous festivals,’’ says chairman Bob Cater, ‘‘ and we are rapt that these amazing young women have gone on to such success.
‘‘ At next year’s festival, audiences will see more outstand- ing young artists on their way to fame and, hopefully, fortune.’’
Other acts at the festival include Apirana Taylor demonstrating and playing traditional Maori instruments; poet Glenn Colquhoun and singer Maria Kapa.
Among the bands are Tribal Rising, Rosy Tin Teacaddy and the Rodger Fox Wellington Jazz Orchestra.
The Fource quartet won this year’s Rising Star contest, the world’s premier event for female barbershop quartets under 25.
They won the title in October in Houston, Texas.
They also won the New Zealand high schools contest for the third year running.
They’re one of the busiest quartets in New Zealand, performing at many events including Parliamentary and embassy functions, Massey University’s graduation ceremony, Christmas at the Park, Porirua City Council events, charity and awards ceremonies, and TV appearances.
Famous among the famous: Despite their busy schedule, The Fource quartet still find time for rehearsals. The walls of the Aotea College music room feature plenty of inspiration. From left, Theodora Esera, Olivia Samuel, Georgina Peniamina and Knoxana Leasi.