In this 1956 photograph, Janetta McStay is shown in the Wellington town hall playing its new Steinway grand piano. McStay, an Invercargill girl, was first taught by Mona Rankin and May O’Byrne. Decades later, she remembered them as ‘quite fabulous … I look back on them as being something quite remarkable’. They were proof, she told the Southland Times that you did not need to travel overseas to find great teachers.
In the accompanying audio file, McStay recalls studying with May O'Byrne in Invercargill and then Frederick Moore in London in the 1930s. McStay’s family did not have much money, so essential funding for her overseas study was organised by the editor of the Southland Times, who started a subscription fund and held a fundraising concert. McStay returned to New Zealand in 1954 and taught at the University of Auckland for 20 years.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.
Sound file from Radio New Zealand Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero. Any re-use of this audio is a breach of copyright. To request a copy of the recording, contact Sound Archives Ngā Taonga Kōrero (Owen Jensen interviews Janetta McStay 29/4/81/Reference ID24998)