WelCom February 2024
Signature Choir, an ecumenical Christian choir, performed with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra at a one-off concert at Spark Arena in Auckland, last November. The choir sang folk songs in six different Pasifika languages from the islands of Tokelau, Samoa, Niue, Cook Islands, Fiji and the Kingdom of Tonga.
Several choir members from the Archdiocese of Wellington travelled to Auckland to take part in the special concert. Music directors Fepulea’i Helen Tupai and Jadrah Tupai come from the Catholic Parish of Wellington South and the Pacific Island Presbyterian Church in Newtown.
The 50 members from Wellington arrived on 22 November to join 30 Auckland singers and others to form the 180-member choir and to perform with the NZSO.
A sold-out crowd of over 7000 people from all over Auckland and New Zealand came to support and witness the ‘colossal performance’ says Melania Luka-Lui, Pasifika Community Engagement contact for the Archdiocese of Wellington. ‘People danced in the aisles and near the stage, and cheered on the choir and orchestra.’
The performance was described by many as a moment of ‘pheromonal pride and cultural experience that will never be forgotten’. As it was a one-night only concert, tickets sold out quickly from the success of the Wellington concert the previous year.
For many, it was the first time they had heard the NZSO, especially as they played each country’s popular songs’ says Melania. ‘The concert was an immediate success and reported over social media, radio and television news making it a global Pasifika news success. Our community is very proud of Signature Choir for this grand achievement and looks forward to more.’