Financial support for a beloved Waikato music institution has been tuned up thanks to a new addition to the region’s endowment fund.

The Hamilton Civic Choir Foundation has set up a dedicated ‘Named Fund’ with the Momentum Waikato Community Foundation, to provide a sustainable new stream of investment income.

VOCAL LOCALS: Hamilton City Choir perform at St Peters Cathedral on 9 April 2022.

Choir Foundation Chair Ray Harlow says choral fans can donate directly to the Choir, which supports its immediate activities, and/or donate to the Foundation either via Momentum or directly, which supports the Choir into the future.

Brian Prestidge, who has been a Choir Foundation trustee since its inception, says the new Fund realises the aspirations of its founders.

“The Hamilton Civic Choir is an outstanding choir for a city the size of Hamilton,” says Brian. “It really is quite something, the city and region can be rightfully proud of it.”

“The Foundation supports the quality of the Choir’s music direction.”

Foundation Treasurer Linda Rademaker says they are pleased to be joining the stable of community groups taking advantage of Momentum’s multiplying effect.

“Momentum Waikato has established itself as a trusted community-connected organisation,” says Linda. “It supports the breadth of local activity, the richness of our community, and we’re pleased to be adding to that wider picture.”

The Hamilton Civic Choir was founded in 1946 by Dame Hilda Ross, later-Mayor Roderick Braithwaite and other town councillors of the day, picking up from an earlier choral society led by Dame Hilda in the 1920s and 1930s.

The Choir has been singing for audiences ever since, drawing in choristers from across the Waikato and holding concerts three or four times a year, with the occasional national or international outing. The current Mayor of Hamilton is always its ex officio President, although it is not routinely funded by the Hamilton City Council.

The Hamilton Civic Choir Foundation was established in 1999 to provide income to support the Choir’s musical direction and quality of performance. Its Patron is renowned soprano and local legend Dame Malvina Major.

The creation of the ‘Hamilton Civic Choir Foundation Fund’ sees it transfer a significant portion of its capital to Momentum Waikato, which will be added to its regional endowment fund invested with Craigs Investment Partners and Forsyth Barr.      

The Choir’s first concert in 1946 was held at the Theatre Royal, later The Embassy theatre, which stood in the south end of Victoria Street until 1994. This was adjacent to where the new Waikato Regional Theatre, championed by Momentum Waikato, is currently under construction – classical music fans can look forward to enjoying the Choir with the world-class acoustics of its auditorium when it opens in 2024.