Igelese Ete has been awarded Creative New Zealand's Senior Pacific Artists' Award, in Auckland on 17 November, 2008.
Ete completed his Diploma in Teaching from Whitireia in 1999 and has gone on to become a renowned teacher and internationally acclaimed musician. The award recognises the contribution of a senior Pacific artist in maintaining or developing his or her art form in New Zealand.
Creative New Zealand staff view Ete as "a creative powerhouse, empowering a new generation of Pacific composers, artists and performers".
Ete was commissioned in 1998 to create a choral piece involving a 300-strong student choir for the opening of Te Papa Tongarewa. The Te Papa commission inspired the work Malaga.. The Journey, for which he was named in North and South magazine as one of the "100 New Zealanders who had made a difference in New Zealand music."
Other exciting projects followed, including working as the New Zealand choirmaster for Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring alongside Oscar award-winning composer, Howard Shore. He was conductor for the America's Cup opening ceremony 2002/2003 and conductor/composer for the South Pacific Games in Samoa 2007.
Motivated by his desire to "inspire, empower, educate and uplift all through Pacific creative and performing arts", the Samoan-born musicians' accomplishments are as diverse as his capabilities.