Hawaiian troupe tour choral islands
More than 1000 people witnessed a high-energy performance at Te Rauparaha Arena last week from the Brigham Young UniversityHawaii Concert Choir.
Led by director Michael Belnap, 45 students presented vibrant renditions of music from around the world, to the theme Music of the Islands.
Irish, French, American and Latvian folk songs rubbed shoulders with Swahili, Hawaiian, Tahitian, Maori and Samoan music.
Hymns and traditional classic music were also part of their lively show.
United States ambassador to New Zealand David Huebner, who attended the show and hosted the choir at the US Embassy, said he thoroughly enjoyed the concert.
‘‘The choir’s broad range of traditional songs from the North and South Pacific were a particular pleasure.’’
He said such a tour could only strengthen the US-New Zealand relationship.
‘‘[They] deepen the people-topeople connections that are – and always have been – the foundation of the warm, strong relationship between our two countries.’’
Porirua deputy mayor Liz Kelly said this concert was another example of the city punching above its weight in cultural exchange and global links.
‘‘What a brilliant night, the pro- nunciation and attention to detail across the items was outstanding and demonstrates how much these students understand and value the Polynesian cultural diversity.’’
The Rookies, an award-winning barbershop quartet from Aotea College, also sang at both concerts to the delight of many of the local Porirua youth who attended the evening concert.
Magical night: Porirua deputy mayor Liz Kelly and US ambassador to New Zealand David Huebner were among the invited guests who enjoyed a night of high-quality choral singing.