Topic: Arts

Tauranga Arts Festival opens with Māori chorus

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The Tauranga Arts Festival officially opened this morning with a dawn chorus celebrating the people, place and artists participating in the festival.

It’s the first time organisers have commissioned someone to compose a song especially for the event.  ‘Takiri ko te ata’ composed by local women Terania Ormsby-Teki and celebrated performer Ria Hall. 

The adult choir then learned the song and performed it in celebration of the event this morning.

Hall has only recently returned from Brazil with the New Zealand Arts and Craft Institute showcasing art works from New Zealand, however before she departed our shores she was helping with the tutoring in the melody of the song, Hall says “the words composed by Terania showcases the beauty of Tauranga this song is something special to be treasured by the festival and for the generations to come.”

Te Rania Ormsby-Teki says when she was approached to compose the song she knew that it had to be done in the Māori language, Ormsby-Teki says “‘Takiri ko te ata’ is a celebration of the arts and the people of Tauranga moana.”

Over ten days and nights the festival brings the best of music, theatre, circus and dance and includes a  number of exhibitions, one of those exhibitions includes portraits by Bob Tulloch, faces of Tauranga Moana.

Tulloch spent many months visiting Marae, getting to know the people and their whakapapa and then captured them in an unprecedented collection.    

The Tauranga Arts Festival begins today and finishes early next month.