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Last modified: 16 Nov 2022 3:08pm

Traditional Filipino music and Christmas carols will take centre stage at Te Ara Ātea on Saturday 26 November, when the Musika Filipinas Aotearoa Choir come to Rolleston.

This is the first time the group will perform in Selwyn, thanks to the support of Selwyn District Council’s Creative Communities Scheme Funding.

Creative Communities supports community-based arts activities, with the aim of increasing participation in, and access to, the arts.

The scheme is delivered in partnership between Creative Communities NZ and councils. Applications for the latest round of funding are now open until Friday 25 November.

Musical Director Kristian Rubi says the Christchurch-based choir has been rehearsing twice a week in preparation for the free concert.

“We’re really excited about coming to Rolleston. We have a few members who live in Selwyn including our president and one of our sopranos. It’s inspired us to give back to the community.

“Selwyn is a fast-growing community and there are many Filipinos there. We love reaching out to communities and sharing our culture and music with people,” he says.

The performance, ‘Ating Musika’ (Our Music) will include songs adapted from Filipino to English and Te Reo Māori. It will be split into two acts, with the first featuring Filipino songs, and the second act being a tribute to one of the group’s favourite traditions – Christmas.

Kristian says for many Filipinos, Christmas preparations begin in September, with celebrations happening until Chinese New Year.

“I really recommend artists and groups go into the Selwyn community because it is thriving, especially in arts, culture and performances,” Kristian says. “It’s great to provide entertainment and cultural experiences for the community.”

The Ating Musika coral concert will run from 1pm - 3pm on 26 November at Te Ara Ātea, with doors open from 12.30pm - 12.55pm. Admission is free.

Forms and criteria can be found on the Selwyn District Council website.