Kaitaia's star choral director is at it again, this time taking his community choir to perform at a prestigious national music event in Auckland today.
Abundant Life School music teacher Opeloge Ah Sam has not long returned from Tāmaki Makaurau, where the school's Ministry of Voice choir, which he formed earlier this year, won the Big Sing competition.
The 45-year-old father of three established the Kaitaia Community Voices four years ago, and travelled with 22 of the 32 choir members to perform for the first time at the National Choral Connect '21 Conference at Auckland Girls' Grammar tonight.
The choir comprises of a range of people from around the district of all ages and many nationalities, who will sing a variety of songs including Māori and Pasifika gospel, jazz, classical and pop.
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To prepare, and help fund their trip to Auckland, the choir performed in the atrium at Te Ahu on Sunday, before an appreciative audience.
And while there were some nerves about today's event, Dr Ah Sam said the group were excited to be taking the stage alongside some of New Zealand's most talented singers.
"This is a really good opportunity for our members to take part in one of the most important choral events in the country," he said, "but some are quite nervous because some of New Zealand's top choirs will be performing.
"Our group is the least experienced and least professionally trained, so I've told them that the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy it, and people will feel that."
He had given the exact same message to the Ministry of Voice, which had exceeded all expectations.
Prior to the conference, Kaitaia Community Voices will stage a free half-hour performance at the Auckland Museum this afternoon.