The Gisborne International Music Competition (GIMC) has been established to provide high quality professional development to young New Zealand musicians.

  • The GIMC provides a platform for New Zealand musicians on the cusp of professional careers to benchmark their musical performance against the best young musicians currently playing on the international stage
  • All entrants are able to receive one-on-one feedback from jurors who are themselves active professional musicians of the highest calibre
  • Musicians are provided the opportunity to develop their skills and confidence in community engagement activity
  • New Zealand musicians are able to experience the pressure and excellence of a fully international competition without the expense of travelling internationally
  • The GIMC is the only international multi-instrumental music competition held in New Zealand


The GIMC has developed an extensive community engagement programme for the benefit of Gisborne residents of all ages and from all parts of the community.

  • Each year the GIMC hosts a multi-day creative music residency at a local school, enabling professional musicians to collaborate with students of all abilities to develop a range of highly creative music-based projects. To date, residency programmes have been held at Wainui Beach School, Cobham School, Ilminster Intermediate School, Matapuna Training Centre and Gisborne Girls' High School.*
  • A small ensemble of GIMC musicians perform for students at a local primary school, demonstrating how orchestral instruments produce their sound. Most students will not have seen or heard orchestral instruments played at such a high level before and for many, the experience is entrancing. 
  • GIMC musicians conduct lessons at a local secondary school, on instruments specifically requested by the school. Gisborne students frequently struggle to access high-level, specialist music tuition and so greatly appreciate the opportunity to learn from the visiting musicians. This is an excellent way in which GIMC youth can support Gisborne youth.
  • A group of GIMC musicians present a recital at a Gisborne retirement home whose residents are unable to attend the competition recitals at the War Memorial Theatre because of mobility and/or health issues.
  • Free admission is offered to Gisborne residents to all rounds of the competition (over 25 hours of high quality, live classical music).

*The GIMC was honoured to receive a Highly Commended citation at the 2019 Te Putanga Toi Arts Access Awards held at Parliament, for the music and dance residency hosted by the GIMC at Gisborne Girls' High School in 2018. The judges commented: This opportunity for mainstream and learning support students to participate in a high quality music and dance residency fostered inclusion, developed relationships and benefited all the particpants in a range of ways. A wonderful project!

Senior students from Cobham School, Courtesy of The Gisborne Herald

Senior students from Cobham School, Courtesy of The Gisborne Herald