A concert with a difference was staged in Samoa last week.
On Monday, the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture (M.E.S.C), through the National Orchestra of Samoa, and the Samoa Voyaging Society held a charity concert under the stars.
With Va’atele Gaualofa, a traditional voyaging canoe, and the setting sun as the backdrop, the ‘Concert on the Canoe’ event, was held from 5.30 to 7.30pm on the wharf at Mulinu’u Point, adjacent to the Samoa Maritime School.
The concert featured guest musician, Professor Goetz Richter from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, and his wife Dr. Jeanell Carrigan, who performed traditional Samoan songs and other classical pieces alongside the string ensemble from the National Orchestra of Samoa.
Professor Richter was in Samoa to share his expertise with the musicians of the National Orchestra of Samoa and to donate some much needed string instruments.
His visit represented the beginning of a partnership between the National Orchestra and other visiting classical musicians for the future development of Samoa’s young musicians.
The National Orchestra of Samoa aims to foster and preserve traditional Samoan music through the provision of expert training and traditional classical instruments.
It is hoped that this will not only promote classical music in Samoa, but also encourage confidence, capability and well-being in Samoan youth.
The National Orchestra of Samoa and Samoa Voyaging Society partnered together for this event in order to raise awareness as well as funding for classical music and traditional navigation in Samoa. The mission of the Samoa Voyaging Society, or the Aiga Folau o Samoa, is to promote the revival of Samoan cultural traditions related to ocean sailing and navigation as well as to inspire the wise stewardship of our Pacific Island environments.
The Society was established in 2009 after receiving Va’atele Gaualofa on a lease to purchase basis from Okeanos Foundation.
Va’atele Gaualofa is a 22metre-long, double-hulled traditional ocean voyaging canoe that has already voyaged over 50,000 nautical miles, a distance greater than the distance to circumnavigate the globe.
“The event was a great success, with a full-house, beautiful music, and perfect weather for such an occasion. It’s moments like these that reveal how strong a country and her culture is - when people show true resilience in turning up to support our youth just days after a cyclone.” – Fealofani Bruun, Captain of Gaualofa.
Both organizations hope to hold similar events in the future - engaging with youth, villages, government ministries and business – so as to involve all of Samoa in the celebration of classical music and traditional navigation in Samoa.