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Music in Cathedral Square Celebrates Maori Language Week

23 July 2003

Free Friday Lunchtime Concert Friday July 25th, 12.15 to 1.15pm, Cathedral Square.

This Friday lunchtime will see three performances in Cathedral Square, each unique in their own way, but together celebrating the importance of Maori language and acknowledging Maori Language Week from 27 July to August 3rd.

Students from total immersion school Te Kura Whakapumau are taught the New Zealand curriculum in a Maori language environment. The school caters to students aged 5 to 17 years, and on Friday children aged 9 to 13 years will demonstrate Waiata and chanting in a Kapa Haka performance accompanied by acoustic guitar.

Merita Waitoa, a senior teacher at the school, says her students come from a Kohanga Reo environment and are accustomed to speaking Maori.
" It’s an everyday thing for us, " she says, " but it’s great to have it acknowledged nationally and to celebrate it. We notice that children have a greater respect for elders and are more confident in their day to day lives. Consequently they are well prepared to walk in both worlds."

Sheree Waitoa joins the celebration performing her original songs which all feature on the new album ‘Waha Ngo Wawata’, which translated means Speaking Your Mind.

Sheree is indeed sharing her own personal experiences and emotions in songs which were co-written with her sister and brother Joseph, who will accompany her onstage with rapping. Her music is influenced by reggae, R & B, and Hip Hop and is available for sale on www.maorimusic.

Te Huaki Puanaki completes Friday’s programme. He has been playing his brand of Hip Hop, reggae, jazz and pacific sounds for about 5 years, and he describes his music as ‘catering to young and old’. He likes to play a wide range of styles, from 60’s favourites, and modern interpretations, through to songs in Maori.

Huaki grew up in a supportive environment, with parents keenly interested in all things musical. He plays original compositions as well as covers, and has performed at many community events, and even as far away as Singapore. He has also produced a 14 track CD.

The Free Friday Lunchtime Concert series is proudly presented by Christchurch City Council Leisure.

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