The memory of Rotorua teen Michael Pilaar will be forever preserved through a new fund for young local musicians.

Michael died from melanoma in June at the age of 19.

In his memory, the Pilaar family has established a fund with the Geyser Community Foundation to help young classical musicians in Taupo and Rotorua.

His mother, Elizabeth Pilaar, said the fund was about encouraging and supporting young musicians to achieve their goals.


"There can be considerable costs associated with music and there is not a lot of support for young musicians in our area. We want to encourage the making of classical music for young people generally.

"Michael was a great communicator who was able to reach people through music; he wanted to make a positive difference in their lives. He had a great sense of fun, passion and enjoyment which we would like to encourage in other young musicians."

She said her son had big plans for what he wanted to do with his music so the fund was a way to commemorate that.

"We wanted to get something positive out of something horrible. Through this fund we hope some young musicians will get the same joy and passion out of music that Michael did."

Mrs Pilaar said Michael would have been stoked to have a fund set up in his name.

"He always wanted to help people and he had a ridiculous number of contacts - wherever I go I meet people who knew him well, so this would have made him really happy.

"Setting up the fund does diminish some of the awfulness of his death - it has given us something positive to focus on."

A new fund for young musicians in Rotorua and Taupo has been set up in memory of Michael Pilaar. Photo/Supplied
A new fund for young musicians in Rotorua and Taupo has been set up in memory of Michael Pilaar. Photo/Supplied

Geyser Community Foundation chairman Pat Brown said they were honoured to be chosen to manage the fund on the Pilaar family's behalf.

"Funds placed with the foundation are invested and the capital retained in perpetuity. Once the fund reaches its investment target, the income earned on the capital each year is made available for charitable distribution. This means that your gift keeps giving forever.

"Gifts from the fund could be used in a number of ways including helping young musicians with the costs of tuition, purchasing instruments and music, travelling to lessons and attending music camps."

A youth ball and a concert will be held in the coming months to raise money for the fund.

Donations of any size can be made by credit card on Geyser's website

People can also make donations to the fund in cash, by cheque or direct banking by calling Geyser Community Foundation (07) 349 7496 or email