Rotorua talent is coming together once again on stage in memory of a fellow musician, while also aiming to raise money for aspiring young musicians.

The third A Gift of Music concert in Rotorua will be held in the weekend.

The first concert was held 2017 in memory of Michael Pilaar, a classical musician who died from melanoma at age 19.

It is a variety concert to showcase local young talent and promote the Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund.


The fund will be used to support young aspiring musicians in Rotorua and Taupō.

Elizabeth Pilaar, organiser and Michael's mother, said the concert would feature a wide variety of items - from classical ballet and choir, to solo instrumentalists and poetry performances.

"I think the variety of items is something that will be appealing to a wide range of people."

She said there was also the fact that any proceeds went back into the fund, and those who went along were ultimately helping young musicians further down the track, which was cool.

Pilaar said the fund achieved the $50,000 which the Geyser Community Foundation required as a base line for fund establishment within one year and one week of setting it up.

It now has about $64,000.

"It's exciting and humbling, the fact so many people have given to it."

She said the money is invested and in 2020 they were planning to be able to start giving away the interest.


They anticipated being able to award four grants of $500 to young musicians in the Rotorua/Taupō region next year, she said.

"Raising more money will enable us to support more youngsters."

She said Michael's memory was still very much alive and because so many people still remembered him it would be a bit like Michael giving back to other young musicians.

The concerts have become much more than fundraisers and are now seen as a platform to showcase young Rotorua talent across the arts."

Pilaar said the standard of performers was fantastic and that Rotorua had a lot to offer.

"I want to keep the standard as high as I can to make it a platform for young people to aspire to perform at and for the audience to come along with an expectation it will great."

She said she was always grateful to have a flow of performers and people coming.

"We hope to encourage all, families, young people and older, to come and enjoy the talent of our local youth."

She said one of the teachers at Western Heights High School, with some student help, was organising an afternoon tea of a cuppa and scones, available for a $4 koha.

The details
- What: A Gift of Music variety concert
- When: Sunday, August 4, 2pm
- Where: Western Heights High School Hall
- Tickets: $15 adults, $5 school age. Available at the door and from City Books and Lotto, Tutanekai St