Celebrated NZ singer, recording artist and presenter Ria Hall led 35 ACG Tauranga students in a moving rehearsal this week for their part in a dawn chorus to open this year’s Tauranga Arts Festival.
Taking place in the school’s state-of-the-art new gym, which was officially opened last month, the rehearsal started with Ms Hall’s explanation of the meaning of the waiata, ‘Takiri Ko Te Ata’, before singing practise proper.
Composed by Ms Hall and her cousin Teraania Ormsby-Teki, both Tauranga locals, the song is an ode to the fairies of Hautere (the bush area behind Pyes Pa) who return to their old friend Mauao every night and depart at dawn.
ACG Tauranga Principal Shawn Hutchinson said the rehearsal was moving. “It was beautiful, a fantastic experience for our students. The kids learnt a lot from Ria, they really were blown away by the visit.”
The school will perform the waiata with Ms Hall at 7am on the Tauranga waterfront to open the Tauranga Arts Festival on 18 October.
Tauranga Arts Festival runs from 19-29 October. ACG Tauranga is a silver sponsor.