By Silke Hartung

2017 NZ Ukulele Festival

Images by Trevor Villers

by Silke Hartung

2017 NZ Ukulele Festival

Picture thousands of mostly primary school aged children of all cultures and ethnicities gathering on one very sunny lawn to play music together as one huge band. This happens once a year at the NZ Ukulele Festival.

The Kiwileles (that’s what they’re called) practise songs in school every week, all year, thanks to enthusiastic and vastly undervalued music teachers all across NZ. 

This year the festival took place on December 2 at Mt Roskill Primary School where apart from participating in the Kiwileles, the kids were inspired by performances from fellow musicians who have been making music, with or without ukulele, for a little longer than them. 

This includes festival stalwarts The Nukes and Kevin Fogarty, as well as Operanesia, The Babysitters CircusTim Skedden and Selwyn Leaf and Disney’s Moana – the te reo version of her – Jaedyn Randell.

The event was made possible thanks to the magnificent enthusiasm of the NZ Ukulele Trust who have celebrated the yearly event for the last 10 years, while also providing teaching material to participating schools. 

If you would like to donate to the Trust to keep the festival running, you can do that here.

Here is a selection of photos taken by Trevor Villers.