The beautiful melody of a classical piano filled Western Heights High School's hall yesterday afternoon, a recording of the late Michael Pilaar.

Pilaar was a classical musician who died from melanoma at age 19 in 2017.

This was the third annual "A Gift of Music" concert in Rotorua which is in memory of Pilaar.

The variety concert put local young talent under the dazzling spotlight and was also to promote the Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund.

Advertisement

About 150 people were seated when Western Heights High School's Forte Choir gave the lively performance of Come Alive from the musical The Greatest Showman.

Elizabeth Pilaar, organiser and Michael's mother, had been at the school since 9.30am while everyone did their warm-up before the show.

Pilaar said it always felt as though Michael was in the room as this was a passion.

She said the concert was a great way to showcase the young talent in the city.

"Seeing the excitement and the nerves ... and drawing together the different arts," she said, was beautiful to see.

Forte Choir from Western Heights High School open the variety concert for the Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund. Photo / Stephen Parker
Forte Choir from Western Heights High School open the variety concert for the Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund. Photo / Stephen Parker

Christian Pilaar spoke to the crowd and said money raised from the concert would "make a difference" to young musicians to harness their passion.

He said four $500 grants would be distributed each year from next year and the people would be chosen based on their desire to perform.

"It's not just high achievers but those with their heart in the music," he said.

Advertisement

Bev Morrisson was a close friend of the family and said the concert was a good cause as well as providing quality musical entertainment.

Morrisson said it was a "wonderful project" for young people and the community and was also a good cause.