Elizabeth Pilaar was "very anxious" ahead of the concert she organised in memory of her late son last year.

Michael, a classical musician, died from melanoma last June at age 19.

She wanted to "bring something good from something bad" but she wasn't sure if the quality of the performers would be enough for the crowd at A Gift of Music.

Western Heights High School Choir perform at Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund concert in 2017. Photo / Stephen Parker
Western Heights High School Choir perform at Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund concert in 2017. Photo / Stephen Parker

Instead, she was "blown away" by the quality, and decided to organise it annually.

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Pilaar admits, putting together a concert is "a phenomenal amount of work", especially when you're mourning.

"Grief is exhausting, but the pain and sorrow propelled me forward. It gave me the impetus" she said.

More than 300 people gathered in St Mary's Church for the funeral of Michael Pilaar. Photo / File
More than 300 people gathered in St Mary's Church for the funeral of Michael Pilaar. Photo / File

The second A Gift of Music concert will fill the Western Heights High School Hall with sound in just over a fortnight.

Once again, it will be a fundraiser for the Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund established with the Geyser Community Foundation last year, to help young musicians from Rotorua and Taupō cover the costs of tuition, instruments and music, traveling to lessons and attending music camps.

There is already more than $42,000 in the fund and when it reaches $50,000 the income earned on the capital each year will be available for charitable distribution.

Pilaar said the community generosity had been "humbling".

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"Even little things like the piano tuner coming over from Tauranga and not charging us."

The concert ticket price will be dropped from $40 to $20 this year because "it is just as much about showcasing talent".

"Michael believed in music as a means of communication. He would have loved to encourage others to do the same. Whether the music was classical, jazz, contemporary, dancing, singing or chamber music, it didn't matter. He did not like boundaries, he liked variety."

Pilaar said: "The worst thing that could happen would be if Michael was forgotten, this way he won't be."

Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund donations of any size can be made by credit card on Geyser's website www.geysercf.org.nz.

They can also be made in cash, by cheque or direct banking by calling Geyser Community Foundation (07) 349 7496.

A Gift of Music
When: Sunday September 23, 2:00pm–4:00pm
Where: Western Heights High School Hall, 70 Old Quarry Rd
Ticket Information: Adults $20, students $5, door sales only