Global tenor star joins fight to save historic Auckland church for acoustic music centre

Global tenor star Simon O’Neill has added his voice to buy St David’s Church on Khyber Pass in Auckland and repurpose it for acoustic music.

The Presbyterian Church is planning to sell the 100-year-old building, which sits on a large site for potential redevelopment as apartments.

The church failed earthquake standards in 2014 and has faced demolition since.

Friends of St David’s Charitable Trust is urging New Zealanders to help buy the historic World War I Soldiers’ Memorial Church and secure it in perpetuity as a living memorial.

A Givealittle campaign has been launched to raise $1 million to save St David’s from development and establish a much-needed centre for acoustic music.
So far, the campaign has raised close to $35,000.

Auckland District RSAs President Graham Gibson and world-renowned opera star Simon O’Neill stand shoulder-to-shoulder in support of the plan.

Graham Gibson said “not only does this building remember those that went overseas and didn’t return, it will also serve as a living memorial for those young New Zealanders who continue to serve overseas.”

Simon O’Neill, who has performed at the Royal Opera House in London’s Covent Garden, said the church building was made for music and uplifting the human spirit.

“The atmosphere, acoustics and scale of St David’s create an incredibly valuable opportunity for music in New Zealand. Its location in Auckland – Unesco City of Music – is fitting.”

Simon and wife Carmel Walsh-O’Neill are founding patrons of The St David’s Centre for Music.

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