Unauthorized Duet with Anna Coddington: “Purea Nei”

For the past year my only goal with the Giant Drop In Choir Whangarei has been to keep it ticking over until it’s beloved choir director Zoe returns from a year’s sabbatical in UK. Before she left I studied her methods and repertoire with the intent of keeping things as “business as usual” so that Zoe wouldn’t return to find the choir unrecognizable, or worse…decimated. I don’t think channeling others has ever been my strong suit. My own personality, interests, and style kept peaking through, and I’ve lost some choir members and gained new ones. Strive as I might not to affect or become too attached to a program that isn’t mine, I’ve grown quite fond of this community and the time I spend researching and arranging songs for it. So when Zoe reached out to say the good news – she’s fallen in love! – the bad news – she’ll be basing herself in the UK for now, well! My heart swelled immensely for Zoe and even a little bit for myself!

I’m excited to say that the Giant Drop In Choir community space is now my responsibility to foster, develop, and explore with the help of an incredibly passionate and skilled cohort of local choir directors whose support will allow me to balance this directorship with the demands of my other projects. I’ve come to love everything about this space and the community it has brought me closer to. I’m epsecially leaning into learning more repertoire, particularly rounds and waiata – suggestions welcome! In my research for the choir this week, I found a beautiful recording of popular waiata, “Purea Nei”, performed by famed New Zealand singer-songwriter, Anna Coddington. I was playing with harmonies and capturing them on my phone when as I listened back I felt overcome with gratitude. This time. This place. These people. This music.

This is Purea Nei as interpreted by Anna Coddington with me in harmony and sounds of the kitchen by Micky Nogher.

Purea Nei

Purea nei e te hau
Horoia e te ua
Whitiwhitia e te ra
Mahea ake nga p?raruraru
Makere ana nga here.

E rere wairua, e rere
Ki nga ao o te rangi
Whitiwhitia e te ra
Mahea ake nga poraruraru
Makere ana nga here,
Makere ana nga here.

English translation:

Cleansed by the wind
washed by the rain
and warmed by the sun,
all troubles are cleared away
and all restraints got rid of.

Fly o free spirit, fly
to the clouds in the heavens,
warmed by the sun,
with all troubles cleared away
all restraints got rid of,
all restrictions cast aside.

Anna Coddington “Purea Nei” Original Video – watch it! Give Anna Coddington the streaming revenue!

To Zoe – All my love and gratitude for your mentorship while our paths crossed. Congratulations on your new love!!!


Tony has a strong baritone and natural musicianship. He has studied piano for many years and is learning to sing like his father and grandfather before him. Tony is differently abled and has limited funds. Tony studies with Maggie Cocco Music for two hours each week. His goal is to sing with the bands at the local music clubs, but also to sing for fun and his health. Subsidizing needs for Tony are $60/week.

Ciara Lee is in gradeschool and loves all things music, but specially singing! She has weekly half hour lessons where she learns singing and piano. Subsidizing Ciara Lee costs $80/month.

Finances should not be a barrier to music or education! Maggie Cocco Music services are Pay What You Can so that persons who mightn’t otherwise be able to afford them have access to quality music education and services. Support Maggie Cocco Music in this mission by giving a one-time gift or becoming a sustainer on Patreon 🤍

Upcoming Events:

September 1st: ONEONESIX Whangarei Youth Band Masterclass

September 8th: FREE San Detroit Band at The Butter Factory Whangarei *Bring Blankets for Raumanga Kindergarten Blanket Drive!

September 16th: Mac Summer at The Back Bar Hamilton

September 22nd – 25th: Girls Rock Aotearoa Palmerston North

September 4th, 11th, 18th: The Giant Drop In Choir from 6pm at ONEONESIX

October 6th: Maggie Cocco’s Science for Sociopaths featuring Nimmy Santhosh at The Shutter Room Whangarei – tickets go on sale in September

November: North Island Tour featuring Bonnie Schwarz (UK) TBA

Recent Blogs

On Meaningful Creativity – Maggie Cocco for Canvas Rebel Magazine

Just to Be Alive: Song for Awhiworld

Podcast: Northland Artists Conversation

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