Hana the Glowworm and the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra to light up the world of music

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra (APO) and award-winning children’s musician Chris Sanders have teamed up again for a new education project that will be distributed free to primary schools across New Zealand.

Hana the Glowworm is a collection of original songs with accompanying teaching resources, that follow the adventures of Hana, a curious glowworm, who is drawn out of her cave by the beautiful sounds of a faraway orchestra. She embarks on an adventure to find the music, discovering and making new friends amongst New Zealand’s unique native fauna along the way and all while learning about the instruments of the orchestra.

“The Hana story is full of fantasy, adventure and drama intertwined with magnificent orchestral music” says musician Chris Sanders.

“It will be a huge sensory experience for children that will help them learn about different sections of the orchestra, celebrate our native wildlife and there’s plenty of opportunities for them to sing along and dance too!”

Hana the Glowworm will be released in three parts, with the first instalment available now, and it is free to all primary schools across the motu.

This first release includes two original songs ‘Curious Creature’ and ‘World of Wonderful’ and stars 11-year-old Auckland singer and performer Emerson bringing the part of Hana to life.

Included alongside these recorded tracks is a teaching kit of 10 accompanying lesson plans and additional education resources for teachers to use in their classroom.

A second tranche of songs, stories and accompanying education kit will be released in 2024 and audiences can look forward to meeting Hana the Glowworm live on stage in 2025.

The Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra has always taken a pro-active role in bringing music into all corners of the community. Through its education, outreach and community programme, APO Connecting, Auckland’s orchestra is breaking down pre-conceived ideas around orchestral music and showing why this artform remains relevant within today’s cultural landscape.

“All of us here at the APO know that music opens minds” says Director of APO Connecting Thomas Hamill “and what better way to share this with teachers and students throughout New Zealand than through an inspiring, fun, locally-produced resource like Hana the Glowworm.

Our APO Connecting team recognise the difference music education can make to our communities and we are grateful to have received funding from the Douglas Goodfellow Charitable Trust enabling us to partner with Chris and ensure Hana the Glowworm will be a very special and unique offering for our tamariki.”

This is the third collaboration for award-winning creator Chris Sanders and the APO. Previous projects include the ‘111 Ambulance Song’ and the creation of the Teddy Bear Hunt Songbook.

The Hana the Glowworm project is a multifaceted collaboration showcasing creative talent from across Aotearoa. Music has been written by Chris Sanders and scored by New Zealand-based arrangers Adrian Hollay and Linda Dallimore respectively. Kiwi music icon Rikki Morris is in the music producer seat and breakthrough artist Natalie Conaty has developed the original illustrations for use within the teaching resource kits and in a future picture book.

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