About the Society

The Waikanae Music Society was formed after a public meeting late in 1977 and opened its first season with a concert by the Wellington Baroque Ensemble on 23 April 1978. In December 1978 it was registered as an Incorporated Society.

Now in its 38th year, the society has grown from strength to strength over the years and is highly respected in the New Zealand musical community as one of the country's most successful societies outside of the main cities. Since its early years it has been an Associate Society of Chamber Music New Zealand, and has presented concerts by an array of New Zealand's finest musicians, including Michael Houstoun, the New Zealand Chamber Orchestra and The New Zealand String Quartet. Each season has a series of 9 concerts, mainly held in the Waikanae Memorial Hall where the average attendance in recent years is about 330.

The society's aims from the outset have been to provide the best possible concerts while keeping prices within a range that means the concerts are accessible to those on limited or fixed incomes - an important consideration in a district with a high number of retired people. A recent initiative to this end has been the offer of a certain number of complementary tickets to residents of rest homes and retirement villages.

Another important aim has been to foster musical opportunities for young people. To this end the society has two concerts each year for school age musicians to gain performance experience. These concerts are very popular and always well attended.