Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

Tagata Pasifika

The Pacific voice on
New Zealand television
since 1987

New Zealand Symphony Orchestra embarks on first visit to Kingdom of Tonga

The Conducting Fellows Anne Filimoehala (L) and Sam Uatahausi (R)

The New Zealand Symphony Orchestra will embark on a groundbreaking tour of the Kingdom of Tonga from 19 June, where it will perform with young Tongan musicians, The Royal Corps of Musicians and the Royal Tongan Police Band, as well as present music workshops at several schools.

The tour is the national orchestra’s first visit to the Kingdom of Tonga. The touring party will comprise 10 NZSO brass musicians, two NZSO percussionists, two NZSO Conducting Fellows, and three support staff.

NZSO Section Principal Trombonist David Bremner has taught and performed in Tonga for several years.

“Tonga is a very special place for me. They have had such a tough time recently, and we are so excited to be heading over to perform and work with the schools. I know the NZSO Brass and Percussion are going to have a huge impact over there, and we can’t wait to perform and teach in this wonderful country.”

Photo: Kaniva Tonga

The Conducting Fellows Anne Filimoehala and Sam Uatahausi, who are training as conductors with the NZSO, are Tongan-born and will be presenters during the NZSO tour and visit some of the schools to talk about their achievements as musicians and as leaders in their community.

Anne says, “For the tour, I am most looking forward to listening to top tier musicians. As brass is appreciated so dearly in Tonga, it is so amazing to be part of such an awesome motive and I am very excited to be part of it.”

“As a second-generation kiwi, my parents have always instilled Tongan values towards myself and my siblings. A connection with the NZSO team is one thing, but to have the opportunity to go with them to Tonga – there really are no words to describe how grateful and blessed I feel to give back in a way I never have imagined.”

Photo: Kaniva Tonga

The NZSO recently developed their first ever Pasifika strategy. During the week-long tour on Tonga’s main island Tongatapu, the NZSO will donate a timpani and drum kit for use by Tongan musicians.

The NZSO will join forces with The Royal Corps of Musicians and the Royal Tongan Police Band for a combined performance on 21 June.

On 23 June the NZSO will play side-by-side with musicians from Tupou College, during an evening extravaganza which includes separate performances by the college’s musicians and the NZSO.

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