The New Zealand Ukulele Festival says aloha to ukulele superstars


Thursday November 3, 2016 - There’s just one month to go until The New Zealand Ukulele Festival takes over Vector Arena for its 10 year celebration, with teen Hawaiian YouTube sensations Honoka and Azita announced today as the festival’s international guest act.

New Zealand Ukulele Trust Chairperson Mary Cornish says she’s thrilled that Honoka and Azita agreed to play at the festival.

“Honoka and Azita are superstars of the ukulele world and internet stars, but what excites me most about having them on the line-up is that they are young, they showcase how much fun music can be - and  that it can take you places.”

The festival will be hosted by MC Jackie Clarke and will also feature Malcolm Lakatani’s Creative Souls Project, The Nukes, a Teen Talent Showcase, workshops, free lessons, face-painting, pop up performances, competitions and giveaways.

But the headline act is the Kiwileles massed ukulele orchestra of 2500 children who will perform a 75 minute set of mostly New Zealand music from the Vector Arena stage.

Mary Cornish says that Saturday 3 December marks the culmination of months of preparation and rehearsals for the Kiwileles who each year rise to the challenge of learning to sing and play to an audience of thousands.

“We released the CD and songbook and started running teacher workshops for this year’s festival in May. Ever since then, teachers and children from 122 schools from all over New Zealand have been practicing for the big day. “It’s a huge undertaking for our volunteers and the teachers, with schools from out of Auckland fundraising throughout the year to allow them to come to Auckland to take part.

“We’re very proud to be celebrating 10 years of this wonderful programme that has seen 24,000 primary school children not only discover music, but learn to sing and play the songs that bring New Zealanders together.  

“Every year we witness a new batch of children become confident singers, instrumentalists and performers as part of the Kiwileles initiative. It is a transformational experience for these children and audiences are blown away by how good they sound. Rehearsals are all but completed and our 2016 Kiwileles are sounding better than ever and they can’t wait to say “I performed at Vector Arena!”” 

The New Zealand Ukulele Festival
Saturday December 3
11am - 4pm
Vector Arena

Josie CampbellComment