News Story

BYU—Hawaii Concert Choir Brings Smiles to Hamilton

From performances of rehearsed songs to spontaneous jam sessions, visitors make friends in Waikoto

Rain and cold did not keep over 500 people from attending the Brigham Young University—Hawaii Concert Choir's performance in Hamilton, New Zealand on Tuesday June 4.


The performance was held at the David O. McKay Stake and Cultural Events Centre in the Hamilton suburb of Temple View.

According to one attendee, "the Choir’s repertoire of classical folk and island favourites was delightful."

Another member of the audience, Hamilton woman Paula Matenga, said, “It is always lively having these Hawaiian groups here, it makes one nostalgic."

The evening brought back fond memories for Mrs Matenga, as she studied and performed at BYU—Hawaii from 1978 to 1983.


She added, "It is good for teenagers to see these young performers as it encourages them to consider going to college and maybe to BYU-Hawaii."

The choir traveled from Auckland to Hamilton for the third leg of their "Voyages of Light" South Pacific concert tour.

Along the way they stopped at the world famous Waitomo glow worm caves. Other visitors were treated to an impromptu concert in an area of the caves called "the Cathedral."

On the morning of the June 4 concert in Hamilton, as in previous legs of their journey, choir members stopped to give community service at a local school.

This time it was students at Fraser High School who had the chance to meet and learn from the visiting university choir members.

A special bond was created when the choir took turns sharing the stage with the students. Following the performances choir members mingled with the Hamilton students. Spontaneous jam sessions broke out and choir members helped the students gain an understanding of university life.

Prior to the concert, the choir toured the Matthew Cowley Pacific Church History Centre at Temple View. This was especially moving to choir member Anna Sheffield, who is Matthew Cowley’s great grand-daughter.

Matthew Cowley is a significant Latter-day Saint historical figure in New Zealand. He served two missions in Aotearoa, including as mission president.

The next leg of the tour will be in Hastings where they will perform at the Bridge Pa Stake Centre at 7:00 pm, June 6.

BYU—Hawaii is owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. One of the reasons for their tour to the South Pacific this year is to celebrate the 175th anniversary of the arrival of the first Latter-day Saint missionaries to this part of the world.

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