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2016: Max Stewart Memorial Concert (May)

Max Stewart - Memorial Concert:

On Sunday 8 May at 2.30pm a memorial concert for Max Stewart will be held at Waikato Diocesan School Chapel. It will be a tribute to a man who brought the joy of music-making into the lives of so many people – children and adults alike.  

There were many aspects to Max’s life in music; organising Saturday morning music classes, active involvement in the Society for Music Education, Music Advisor, Lecturing at the School of Education, conducting the Secondary Schools Orchestra, involvement with Musikmakers and popular Musical Director of Cantando Choir for 7 years.  He had the ability to teach with humour and patience at whatever level was required of him. There are hundreds of people who have benefited from knowing him.

Among those taking part in the concert will be Cantando Choir, St Peters Cathedral Children’s Choir, Elaine Wogan, Musikmakers, and a small orchestra.  The Concert organiser -  Cantando Choir -  is very grateful to the management of Waikato Diocesan School for the use of their chapel free of charge.                                                     All enquiries to

“Max Stewart QSM – a Musical Champion.” 

This is how Max was described in the programme notes for Cantando Choir’s 2011 performance of Handel’s Messiah, the last concert he conducted as Musical Director of the choir. Max was Cantando’s Musical Director from 2004 until 2011 and became its Patron when he retired, a position he held until his death on Christmas Day 2015. 

Following his early years learning piano, violin, clarinet and saxophone, Max became fully involved in music education as Music Advisor to the Southland region and, in 1982, was awarded a QSM for services to the community. He moved to the Waikato with his family to take up the role of Senior Advisor in School Music and later became Senior Lecturer in Music Education at Waikato University. Supported by his wife Ruth (herself an accomplished musician), Max took up the varied musical opportunities offered by the region, conducting the Waikato Youth Orchestra for 14 years and working with the Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra and many other choral and musical theatre groups. The musicians involved in these organisations learned from, and were inspired by, Max’s extensive knowledge of music and his attention to detail, as well as his persuasive charm and sense of humour.

Cantando is proud to dedicate our ANZAC Concert this year to 

Max Stewart, 

Musical Champion.