Invitation to the whole country to join in singing Pokarekare Ana

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Kiwis across Aotearoa-New Zealand and around the world are being invited to raise their voices together in singing well-loved waiata Pokarekare Ana this Saturday, April 18, at 3pm.

The event is to be led by the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, in partnership with composer Ngatai Huata and the Tomoana whanau.

Ms Huata’s grandfather Paraire Henare wrote Pokarekare Ana more than a century ago, as a love song to his future wife Kuini Ripeka Ryland Tomoana.

It has become of one of the best-known and loved waiata ever written and has been performed many times, including a memorable interpretation by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa.

Sir Howard Morrison once said that for him it wasn’t simply that Pokarekare Ana was New Zealand’s unofficial national anthem.

“I think it’s deeper than that.”

On Saturday, at 3pm, all New Zealanders are encouraged to play Pokarekare Ana on any instrument, or sing proudly from their balcony, driveway, front lawn, or even their garden shed.

However, the NZSO and Ms Huata ask participants to maintain their bubble and safe distancing at all timers while taking part.

“In these current challenging times, with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra our whanau Tomoana invites New Zealand and the world to join together in song to uplift our spirits and to share our creative gifts of music and song through this popular iconic love song of New Zealand Pokarekare Ana, written by our grandfather,” Ms Huata said.

“From music, song is born. From song, hope and love transpires – from whence joy, wellness, healing and life is re-energised.”

The celebration of Pokarekare Ana is part of the NZSO’s Engage@Home programme to bring music to all New Zealanders.

More information, lyrics, and sheet music for the treasured waiata can be found online and downloaded at nzso.co.nz/nzso-engage/engageathome.

Participants are also encouraged to upload to social media a recording of themselves preparing or performing Pokarekare Ana on Saturday.

They can also tag the NZSO on Facebook and Instagram, and use the hashtag#NZSOENGAGEAtHome.

A special countdown will begin at 2.50pm at facebook.com/newzealandsymphonyorchestra this Saturday, April 18, before the mass performance begins at 3pm.