On Wednesday 4 September 2019, State Library of Queensland will be hosting a visit by ni-Vanuatu choir, Soul Harvest Choir. The choir will be visiting the exhibition, Plantation Voices: Contemporary Conversations with Australian South Sea Islanders followed by a performance at 3pm.
Two gospel choir groups, Soul Harvest and Navataparop Praise have joined together under the banner of Soul Harvest Choir. They are in Australia to perform at the Desert Song Festival in Alice Springs on 5 – 16 September 2019. Both choir groups speak the same local dialect – Nakanamaga [Na-ka-na-ma-nga] and come from the north of the main island Efate, in Vanuatu’s archipelago. This tour will only include an all-female choir team.
Soul Harvest hails from the village of Paunagisu in the northern part of the island of Efate. It was first set up as a church youth choir in 1998, performing at Sunday church services and at church youth activities. After ten years, the founder, Mr Alphongs Jack decided to convert the group into a multi-denominational choir so that other church groups can also be included. The main driving factor behind the group’s set up was to keep the young people occupied and away from the influences of drugs, alcohol and other criminal activities which at that time was a big issue for the community. The group is made up of both young men and women. Leaders of the Soul Harvest use music to help young people to express themselves better, keep them united and away from social pressures, and to explore and take advantage of opportunities that are available to them through music.
Navataparop Praise is a gospel band from the tiny island of Nguna off the northern coast of the island of Efate. Unakap, the village of the Navataparop artists is well known for its pandanus trees. The word “NAVATAPAROP” comes from pandanus and represents submission, unity and peace. Navataparop Praise was established in 2005 and has around 40 youth members ranging from ages 4 to 45 years of age. The group resides in Port Vila. Half the members are students and the rest live and work in the Capital. The group is excited to join other artists at the Desert Song Festival 2019, meet new people, and share new ideas.
Come and see a sneak peak of Soul Harvest Choir’s performance on Wednesday 4 September at 3pm in the Knowledge Walk at State Library of Queensland.
Imelda Miller – Engagement Officer, State Library of Queensland.