Young and local musicians are being called to apply for the Michael Pilaar Memorial Music Fund that has opened for applications for the first time.

Musicians aged between 8 and 18 years within the Rotorua and Taupō Districts could apply for the grant managed by the Geyser Community Foundation.

Geyser's chairman Kieran Irvine said it was "very exciting" to announce the opening of the very special Fund, which was established in 2017 by the Pilaar family.

Michael Pilaar, a talented musician died from Melanoma in June 2017, aged 19.

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His family created the fund in honour of Michael and to support the development of young people's musical skills.

His mother, Elizabeth Pilaar said Michael was a great communicator who was able to reach people through music.

"He had a great sense of fun, passion and enjoyment, and wanted to make a positive difference in people's lives.

"The family would like to foster this spirit in other young musicians by providing financial
assistance to help with instrument costs, a music camp, tuition, exam fees, etc."

She said there can be considerable costs associated with learning music and there was not a lot of support for young musicians in the area.

"We want to encourage the making of classical music by our young people."

Four scholarships with a value of $500 each were available this year with applications open July 1 through to August 14.