logo HWI overlay
homepagebiographiesHAyley's Concert Appearancesaudio multimediagalleriesnewsalbums
media scansRadio HWIreviewsVideo Player 1996 - 2002wallpapers
source: credit:

Review 05 - By Kristin Taylor - 14th December 2001

"Hayley Westenra by Kristin T"

Since the first time I heard Hayley's voice, when she was just 11 years old performing on 'McDonalds Young Entertainers', I knew she'd go far. So earlier this year when my Mum brought home Hayleys CD 'Hayley Westenra' I remembered her straight away when the opening track came on: Walking in the air. This is the same song she had sung 3 years earlier on the well known NewZealand kids talent show. Only difference was how much her voice had matured.

Now I'm not usually the type of person who listens to a whole CD of classical music, (after all I am a 16 year old girl) but from the moment you hear Hayley's voice it's pretty hard not to listen; the clarity and richness of a voice so young is a real rarety and it was so nice to see that this was coming from a New Zealander! While many people have compared Hayley to Charlotte Church I really don't think there needs to be any comparison. To me Hayley's voice was the best I'd ever heard and a lot clearer and more perfected than Charlotte's. I told Hayley this in the first letter I wrote to her. And I was quite surprised when Hayley emailed me only a week later offering tickets to a show she was performing in up here in Auckland! Needless to say, I accepted the tickets and the invitation to go backstage and see Hayley at half time! After listening to the CD, I thought there was no way I'd ever hear anything better. But when I saw Hayley perform live at the 'Bruce Mason Theatre' in May I realised I had been wrong...

Hearing Hayleys voice on CD is one thing, but actually seeing her performing live is totally another. I've seen quite a few people sing live, and their voices are often not up to the same quality as they are on the CD - but Hayley amazed me once again by singing pitch perfect and having the whole audience in awe of her.

By half time I was quite excited about meeting Hayley and after missioning through the backstage area I finally saw Hayley waiting in the room by the stage. When she saw me she ran up to me and gave me a hug like we were old friends. Well I guess we'd gotten to know each other a bit after spending quite some time on the phone the previous week!

When you see someone who gets as much praise for their talents as Hayley does, you may expect them to be a little big-headed. But not Hayley - she's the nicest, most down to earth person I've ever met and after spending the second half of the show in Hayley's dressing room with her and her Mum, and looking through her photo albums, I was still even more amazed. At the end of the second half Hayley went back on-stage and sang 'Time to say Goodbye'. I watched from the wings with Hayley's mum and had to smile when all the Irish dancers, who were also performing, just stood behind me with their mouths open as Hayley sang.

Following that show Hayley and I regularly talked on the phone, and on more than one occasion I could hear her younger sister Sophie in the background practicing her music or singing. Clearly Hayley wasn't the only talent in the family.

And after attending a concert on Hayleys NZ tour I knew that she would go far. Though there were a lot of supporting people in the show, Hayley was the clear star. And with 11 year old Sophie and 8 year old Isacc Westenra joining her for a few songs the families talent was clear. Hayley's and Sophie's duet of 'Panis Angelicus' was the best I've ever heard and their voices complemented each other so well.

While there were some songs like 'Ava Maria' and 'Pie Jesu' that clearly showed off Hayley's range; when Hayley began 'Bright Eyes' I heard many happy murmurs from the audience - especailly from younger girls.....and the old man behind me.

It was obvious from these concerts and Hayley's CD that she had the talent and character to make her world famous. Although I knew any follow up CD of the first one was likely to be very good, I had no idea that Hayley could actually make anything better than that first CD. How wrong could I have been? When I got 'My Gift To You' I was amazed yet again.There were some old favourites like 'Silent Night' and also some not-so-well-known songs such as 'Mary Did You Know', but all were sung to perfection and better than any previous version I had ever heard. Then there were the 2 songs that just made me hit repeat time and time again. 'Do you hear what I hear?' and 'Through These Eyes' were my two favourites from the CD after listening to them only once. Sophie joined Hayley on these two songs, doing the backing vocals, and it really made the songs. The two voices go together and compliment each other so well, it leaves you wanting more. Although 'My gift to you' had a lot of Christmas songs I knew that I'd be listening to it all year round.

And it's not only those who like classical music who appreciate Hayley's voice. Everyone that's ever heard her voice agrees that it's simply amazing, and you can never hear too much of it! Although most of my friends prefer listening to rock music, many of them have commented on Hayley's talent and asked me to tell her she's 'a very good singer' or 'really pretty'. And finally we have some new kiwi music...while I do like all the hip hop and r&b it's nice to know we can make music in other genres.

I know I've said this word many times but I feel its the best way to describe Hayley - AMAZING! And she really is a true star. I have no doubt that she can go as far as she wants to with her talent - and that she will. After all it would be sad to deprive the rest of the world of Hayley's talent after we've got so much joy out of it! Im sure that this will not be the last we hear of Hayley Westenra.

To Hayley, and the rest of her family, thank you on behalf of everyone for showing us what genuine talent really is.

From your biggest and most devoted fan and friend,

- Krissi

source :
credits :
Top Of Page
~ Hayley Westenra's own little shop-on-the-web ~ HWI supports

HW ShopUNICEFbikes for GhanaUNICEF

An Independent Online Store UNICEF NZ