12th World Symposium on Choral Music

Steven Rapana


Country: New Zealand

A workshop in which attendees are taught a setting of an adapted Samoan nursery rhyme, “Si manu la’iti’iti”, with appropriate dance gestures. Questions about language, the sourcing of Pacific songs and arrangements, and cultural appropriateness when it comes to adding movement will be addressed along the way.  

A New Zealander of Māori and Samoan extraction, Steven Rapana is best known for his arrangements and compositions of Pacific choral music. Tracing his family lineage back to his ancestral lands of the Hokianga in the north of Aotearoa, New Zealand, as well as to the Samoan villages of Sāfune and Sāmauga in Savai'i, and Vailoa (Aleipata) in Upolu, he was greatly influenced by the customs and music of both cultures. In particular his childhood involvement in traditional Samoan church life, through the insistence of his maternal grandparents, meant that music, both religious and cultural, was always a feature of his upbringing.

A graduate of the University of Auckland in vocal performance and choral studies, Steven has arranged and composed music for many notable national choirs including the New Zealand Secondary Students' Choir and the New Zealand Youth Choir. He currently works as a singing teacher, choral director, language coach (phonology and languages for singers), a professional singer, arranger, and composer in and around New Zealand.

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