Kate Jourdain Fund

History and Use of the Kate Jourdain Fund

Kate Jourdain   1920-1995


Kate Jourdain was born in Wellington and lived in Hataitai for much of her life. She studied with Valerie Corliss and gained her LTCL in 1945, then studied piano at the Sydney Conservatorium.

On her return to Wellington she took up teaching and performing full time before traveling to England to study at the Royal Academy and gaining an LRAM.


Kate became a member of the (then) Society of Registered Music Teachers on 12 May 1956 and served on the Wellington Committee for over 30 years. She served on the Council of the Institute from 1983-85 and was elected a Fellow of the Institute in 1994. She was consistently helpful and wise and had regard for other people and a youthful outlook.


Kate bequeathed her music books to the Branch and the sale of these raised funds that were set aside for professional development for Branch members.


The Piano Fund


The Branch’s search for premises and a piano started in 1956, when  “The Association [later Wellington Branch IRMT] has been deeply concerned with the fact that it is impossible to hire a room with a first-class piano in a central position in Wellington, in which musical functions, students’ recitals and music examinations could be held.”  (Taken from Wellington Branch records).


Four people started the fund-raising by giving concerts. This grew and after many fund-raising functions, student concerts, teacher performances, requests for donations, and other efforts, nearly 40 years later, over $14,000 had been contributed, but this was still not enough to buy a suitable piano and create funds to rent a suitable space.


Finally, at the Annual Meeting in 1997, the Wellington Branch Committee recommended to members that the fund might be better used for general music education and development purposes (for teachers and their students).


Chairperson Elaine Sharman remarked that “this would be an appropriate time to reflect on the huge contribution made by past members of the IRMT on the musical life of this town. We are very grateful for the financial contributions that they have made and also for the depth of musical knowledge and skill that they have passed on to their students and to the community.”


And so the Piano Fund was added to the “Kate Jourdain Memorial Fund” in memory of a dearly loved and respected teacher.

Applications for assistance will be considered twice per year, on 1st April and 1st October, to ensure that funds are distributed fairly.


Contact wellington@irmt.org.nz with any questions or to submit an application.