Pokarekareana, from “The Front Row Choir”
Pokarekareana is a Maori love song. It is anthemic in New Zealand and widely know internationally thanks to Dame Kiri te Kanawa, and Hayley Westenra. It is claimed by different regional Maori groups by inclusion of their local placenames. In this unusual presentation the Front Row Choir sings both in Maori and in English.
The Front Row Choir is a boys choir, from prominent choral school Aorere College. The “Front Row” of their name is a set of positions in a rugby team. The boys wear their rugby uniform when performing on stage. They are ably directed by student William Pati.
The Front Row choir was clearly the crowd favourite at the festival and awarded as such. They moved beautifully with their songs, they sang with obvious power, and they were boys.