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DHB Staff Come Together For Orchestral Matariki Performances

Musicians and singers from Hutt Valley and Capital & Coast DHBs came together last year to play music as Manawa Ora – the 2DHB orchestra.

Now they are putting on three concerts in DHB hospitals across the region to mark the Māori New Year festival of Matariki.

Dr Manjula Ricciardi was instrumental in the formation of the orchestra in early 2020 after seeing how much musical performances were enjoyed by patients, visitors, and staff alike.

“Music is a simple way to connect people – patients, whānau and staff appreciate the music and are grateful for a moment of joy,” she said.

“It feels like we’re welcoming people to a place where we want them to feel safe.”

With the increasing sharing of staff and services between the two DHBs, it felt natural that the orchestra include staff from both DHBs. Staff juggle on-call rosters and hospital shifts to rehearse together.

“It takes commitment from everyone to make it this far – but everyone wanted to perform well and be there at the concerts. It’s wonderful to see so many musicians and singers from different roles and backgrounds coming together.”

A debut concert last Christmas is now being followed up with a trio of performances celebrating Matariki.

“Matariki has great cultural significance in New Zealand, and we felt that a concert was a great way to celebrate Māori New Year.”

The first Matariki concert took place in the atrium of Wellington Regional Hospital in late May, with around 42 musicians and singers performing. A hospital choir featuring soprano soloist Jess Segal “took our performance to the next level.”

Two more performances are scheduled for late June and early July, at Kenepuru Community and Hutt hospitals respectively.

Manawa Ora is supported by Wellington Hospitals Foundation, while its name was gifted by 2DHB director of Māori Health, Arawhetu Gray.

“Arawhetu felt that Manawa Ora was the right name as it encompasses a sense of joy, hope, and acknowledgement that music can lighten the heart.”

© Scoop Media

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