Cash boost for music groups

The Nelson School of Music on Nile Street.
The Nelson School of Music on Nile Street.

Groups affected by the closure of the Nelson School of Music have been a given boost by Nelson City Council, after losing their primary rehearsal and performance venue.

Nelson Civic Choir will receive $4150 and Nelson Male Voice Choir will receive $1200 annually for the next four years, and Nelson Symphony Orchestra will receive $1600 annually for the next two years.

Nelson Civic Choir treasurer Frits Hofman said the choir had managed to maintain its number of performances and rehearsals since the closure of NSOM, but it had been a stretch.

"It's been breaking our bank a little bit. There was a stage when we had to raise a float because we were really quite broke."

It was decided at the latest full council meeting that the money would come from funds originally allocated to the NSOM.

The groups had been seeking council assistance after the earthquake-prone NSOM building was closed last December.

Hofman said the success of the Elijah performance at the weekend had raised some funds, but the council's assistance would be a huge help over the next four years.

"All the little costs add up."

Hofman said the choir was open to the public and he hoped it would continue to grow over the next few years. "We are not a choir that works on auditions, it's not like a professional choir. One of our main is aims is to enjoy singing choral music and other music, and to bring it out to the Nelson and the Richmond communities."

The Nelson Mail