We’re always pleased to welcome new Member Choirs to our NZCF community, and this year we’re thrilled to say “nǐ hǎo” to the Music Association of Auckland. MAA was founded back in 2002 with the aim of supporting Chinese communities through music. They’ve provided a friendly home to over 100 singers – from children right through to seniors – who are predominately members of Auckland migrant communities from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan. During their twenty years, they’ve engaged the local Chinese communities, as well as collaborating with many other local community groups and organisations who call Tāmaki Makaurau home, through festivals, events, and concerts and music activities that share the amazing stories and cultures of their native homelands.
The Music Association of Auckland rehearses every Sunday at Cornwall Park Primary School Hall, with a Youth Choir from 5-6pm (during school terms only), and an Adult Choir from 6:30-8:30pm (weekly). Check out the MAA website for more information.
We asked Iris Cheng (Founder and President, as well as soprano soloist in MAA) and Dr. Marie Lin (Music Director) to tell us more about the Music Association of Auckland:
You’re celebrating your 20th anniversary this year – what are some performance highlights from years gone by?
The most memorable events in our organisation’s 20-year history include a performance of “Yellow River Cantata” with the Manukau Symphony Orchestra in 2009, and performing at Carnegie Hall in New York in 2015, at the invitation of Distinguished Concerts International New York. Two of our favourite groups that we’ve collaborated with are the Ngāti Whātua kapa haka group in 2013 (pictured with us below), and the Santa Maria Catholic Primary School Choir in 2020.
You featured in one of our Choral Connect concerts last year – how was that experience?
The invitation from NZCF to perform in one of the Choral Connect concerts was a good experience where the East meets West. I remember hearing applause during the start of us coming onto the stage with more and more members, right until until we were all standing in place on stage – that was a very welcoming gesture. Here’s a video of one of the pieces we performed – “The Youth Dance” – we are really looking forward to the next Choral Connect!
What do you value about joining NZCF?
Our decision to become members of the NZCF began with the invitation to sing at the 2021 Choral Connect. With the cultural diversity of Tāmaki Makaurau, NZCF surely embraced our culture, giving us an opportunity to showcase our Chinese songs. We are lucky to be under the umbrella of the largest choral network in the country.
What is the choir working towards at the moment?
We’re presenting a free Matariki concert on Saturday 9 July at the Balmoral Community Baptist Church in Mt Eden, 7.30pm – with an opening ceremony by Nick Hawke of Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. We’re singing a variety of Māori, Chinese, and French music.
Our 20th Anniversary Concert will be on Saturday 5 November at Holy Trinity Cathedral, and we’ve invited the Santa Maria Catholic Primary School kapa haka group to join us. We’ve made some video recordings as a prelude to our 20th anniversary celebrations and are pleased to share our favourite one with you – Across the Water.