Home > News > Archive > 5th May 2004

Charles Panapa Joins International Choir Tour

Charles Panapa
Charles Panapa

TOWER New Zealand Youth Choir is proud to announce the beginning of their Journey to St Petersburg for 2004.

Representing the Te Awamutu region will be Charles Panapa (tenor), 23, an accomplished singer and performer in his own right. Charles has recently completed a performing arts degree from (NASDA) the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts in Christchurch, and is currently working in Te Awamutu. His background in television has given him experience in performance, but says the Eastern European tour with the Youth Choir will be the highlight of his singing career so far.

The month-long tour will take in festivals and cultural events in Singapore (en route), Slovenia, Italy, Hungary and Russia. In Gorizia, Northern Italy, the choir will once again compete for international honours against the best choirs in the world at the 43rd International Choral Competition – part of the European ‘Grand Prix’ for Choral Singing.

For the Choir, the tour also provides the opportunity to showcase New Zealand and New Zealand music to the world as cultural ambassadors. In Slovenia, Dr. Karen Grylls (Artistic Director) and members of the Choir will give a presentation to teachers and conductors on New Zealand composers and traditional Maori performance styles, as well as talking about their own experiences as New Zealanders in the arts and cultural life of this country. Says Karen: ‘The choral traditions of countries such as Slovenia, Hungary and Russia are rich and varied, and quite unlike our own’, and the cross-fertilization and collaborations with choirs from these countries will extend our best young singers both musically and culturally.

The TOWER New Zealand Youth Choir was established to promote choral singing of the highest standard among young New Zealanders, and members of the choir come from all corners of the country. In its 25-year existence it has achieved a remarkable number of awards and accolades, including the ‘Grand Prix’ in Slovakia, and the ‘Choir of the World’ award at the International Musical Eisteddfod in Wales, both on its highly successful European tour in 1999. The culmination of each 3-year Choir cycle is an overseas tour, participating in festivals, competitions and cultural events of all kinds.

The choir is currently in intensive rehearsals around the country, and members are fundraising in their regions through concerts and other activities to raise money.

TOWER Voices New Zealand and TOWER New Zealand Youth Choir are funded by Creative New Zealand, and sponsored by TOWER Limited, ClemengerBBDO and Rainbow Print, with special thanks to Lion Foundation and New Zealand Community Trust for their support of the tour.

For more information visit www.youthchoir.org.nz

‘Karen Grylls has created a superb world-class choir, stunning in skill, of huge presence, presenting a challenging, yet entertaining repertoire…’
Harry Brown, The Daily News (New Plymouth, September 2003)

‘Rapturous Reception Deserved… choral singing of the highest standard… a substantial and serious programme.’
Anthony Ritchie, Otago Daily Times (Dunedin, January 2004)