'Talofa, my name is Reina, I'm from Tagata Pasifika on TV 1. I'm here in Samoa and I know that this is very last minute but I was wondering whether you might be available tomorrow please? I would love to shoot a story on your group.'
'Hi Reina, yes. That sounds really cool. We can't wait to meet you'.
I had no idea that this conversation would be the beginning of something incredibly special.
I met the most down to earth, talented and amazing group of young musicians. They're called the National Orchestra of Samoa and this is their story:
As you would have seen in the story, Tipazo and his fellow musicians dream of playing in the Opera house one day. A bittersweet dream because Tipazo knows that his mother won't be there to see him achieve this. Regardless, he knows that as long as he is playing the violin, she will be always close by. 'When she was still alive, every achievement we had, she would always run up to the stage and carry us around. If I was to play in an Opera house, she would not think of any palagis or whatever. She would not do the classical style, she would do the Samoan style. She would run up to me and grab me and she would even carry me. She would be very proud.'
To my dearest friends; Tipazo, TJ, Enoch, Anton, Franz and PJ, thank you for allowing me to share your story. This is the beginning of something truly beautiful. When you have your first concert at the Opera house, I'll be there. In the front row. Yelling 'cheehooo' because just like your incredible mother said, Tipazo, no classical style, just Samoan style.