Stars keen to sing for the Anzacs

JOSH FAGAN
Last updated 05:00 30/03/2014
Bic Runga and Judy Bailey
GETTING THE WORDS RIGHT: Bic Runga and Judy Bailey.

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Bic Runga is determined to get the words right.

Weeks of practice have prepared her for what she says is one of her most daunting performances - singing folk song E Pari Ra for Maori TV's Anzac Day concert.

"I've never sung in Maori, apart from the national anthem," she said.

"It's such a beautiful language; particularly the song E Pari Ra, it's imbued with so much emotion it just feels quite deep to sing."

The Kiwi singer said the concert was a chance to honour her late father Joseph, who served in the military in Vietnam and Borneo.

"It's quite timely because my father was just given his Vietnam medals posthumously," she said. "I think he would really like this show a lot."

Julia Deans, of Fur Patrol fame, was also drawing on an Anzac family link.

Wearing her grandmother's gloves, she said the show was a small tribute to her grandfather who was a prisoner of war in WWII.

"He was captured in Egypt and then trucked around Europe for the next four and a half years," she said.

"He used to paint portraits while he was a POW. He was a pretty amazing man. He passed away just recently."

Deans said the concert was dedicated to the Anzacs and all soldiers serving in conflicts around the world.

"I can't comprehend having to live through that as a relative waiting behind in New Zealand or to have to go off and fight," she said.

Runga said she hoped the concert would resonate with all Kiwis. She said she didn't normally attend Anzac Day services, but her six-year-old son Joe insisted on taking his grandfather's medal in the march this year.

"I think it's a day for families, particularly people who have had relatives serve in the New Zealand army. It's to remember them and their bravery and their sacrifice."

This year is the ninth year Maori Television has dedicated its entire April 25 schedule to Anzac Day commemorations.

Judy Bailey and Julian Wilcox will host the concert, which also features singers Ria Hall, Tama Waipara and Maisey Rika.

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- Sunday Star Times

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