Celebrating music and mahi

On Saturday, May 11th at the stunning K’aute Pasifika Fale, the Te Rauhii Celebration brought together students, whaanau, and community members to celebrate our students and musical achievement. While the students managed to squeeze in some last-minute rehearsals, we are certain their favourite part of the event preparation was enjoying the delicious kai provided by the Rapid Relief Team and playing games run by one of our amazing parent volunteers.

As the audience packed in, the excitement was clear. Our Community Choir students welcomed the audience with karakia and song, and we were off!

Throughout the event, each String Scholarship student had the opportunity to shine with solo performances. Regardless of whether they had been learning their instrument for a few months or several years, every student took the stage with remarkable confidence and skill. Their individual pieces, ranging from beginner to advanced levels, showcased the impressive progress made by our young musicians under the guidance of their dedicated tutors: Chris, Samara, Trudi, Martin, and Kristin. 

What made the biggest impression was when the scholarship students came together for their very first ensemble piece of this year, “A Song of Ice and Fire”. This piece, already relatively well known and enjoyed by the audience, was made extra special by watching all scholarship students performing as one group. Behind the scenes (during rehearsals) was incredible to watch as well, as our older/more experienced students mentored our newer students!

The Te Rauhii Community Choir, led by Marieke, alternated songs with our scholarship students, performing an impressive lineup. The students performed a number of songs in different vocal parts, highlighting the development of choral skill acquired as they work together at their weekly classes. The choir also showcased their versatility by performing on a range of instruments, including the xylophone, drums, and ukulele, pairing both their instrumental and vocal talents.

The choir’s repertoire included two Polynesian pieces that featured singing, instruments, and dance. These dances were choreographed and led by students, allowing them to celebrate their culture and involve the entire class. Combining these different performing arts elements allows our students and audience to engage with and combine different artistic styles for a more well-rounded artistic experience.

Guest speaker Landy Tyrell Nonoa from Talents of the Pacific Academy (TOPA) shared her insights on the importance of music in cultural expression. She highlighted the unique opportunities Te Rauhii provides by offering orchestral musical instruments—something many students might not otherwise have the chance to learn. Landy’s inspiring words underscored the vital role music plays in shaping our cultural identity and fostering a sense of community.

We were also treated to a captivating dance performance by the Maeroa Intermediate School Pasifika Group, whose energetic and vibrant presentation added an extra layer of cultural richness to the evening.

The grand finale was undoubtedly the highlight of the evening. All students, tutors, and volunteer teaching assistants came together to perform “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” This collaborative piece featured students on violin, cello, xylophone, ukulele, and vocals, displaying the fun and connection you can create through group music making. The audience even joined in on the singing, adding to the communal spirit of the event.

Performing at the beautiful K’aute Pasifika Fale was an incredible experience for everyone involved. The pride and joy felt throughout the event was palpable, making it a truly unforgettable celebration of music, mahi, and community.


A special thank you goes out to our dedicated team of staff, tutors, volunteers, Trust Board members, and community funders and supporters. Without their unwavering commitment and generosity, events like this would not be possible.