APO Connecting Discovery Concert: A Six60 Collaboration

Each year the APO Connecting team works hard to deliver APOPS (APO Partnership Schools), a bespoke music programme offering a range of opportunities for schools and ākonga to create, access, learn and enjoy music. A staple of the APOPS programme is the annual Discovery Concert in the Auckland Town Hall, where secondary school students can hear legendary works performed live by the full orchestra.

In February the APO Connecting team reached out to the popular New Zealand band Six60. The vision? To reimagine their hit song 'Kia Mau Ki Tō Ūkaipō / Don't Forget Your Roots' for orchestra and a huge multi-school choir collaboration at the 2023 Discovery Concert! Awesomely, Six60 agreed.

APO Connecting then engaged composer and expert arranger Mahuia Bridgman-Cooper in March to take a look at the music, while approaching schools to take part for rehearsals beginning in April.

All the elements came together on Wednesday 31 May and the final in-concert performance was breathtaking! Year 11 student Te Rangatira Pi Tipoki-Maihi from Te Kura Māori o Ngā Tapuwae was phenomenal as the leading soloist, backed by 40 students from the Ngā Tapuwae Kapa Haka group, the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, and a choir of 115 participating students from Long Bay College, Avondale College, Sancta Maria College and Westlake choralation.

It was evident from post-concert feedback that this piece was the highlight of the concert for most students, “... the orchestra were given so much hype, you can definitely see their hard work shine through. Really appreciated the school choirs joining in at the end, so much energy for the haka and watching it was beautiful.”

Huge thanks to Six60, Mahuia, and all the schools and kura who took part to make the concert such a huge success, and such an incredible, memorable experience for all involved!

The Discovery Concerts would not be possible were it not for the ongoing support of Potter Masonic Trust, who have supported this Connecting event since 2011. Our sincere thanks and gratitude for the Trust’s ongoing support.

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