Much-loved director and clarinettist step down from Honiton Youth Orchestra

PUBLISHED: 11:00 27 October 2018

(L-R) David Heming, Jenny Heming and Dan Morgan. Photo: Honiton Youth Orchestra

(L-R) David Heming, Jenny Heming and Dan Morgan. Photo: Honiton Youth Orchestra


A pair of popular members of Honiton Youth Orchestra have bid farewell to the group.

Dan Morgan, the group’s musical director for more than 25 years, has been responsible for hundreds of youngsters learning and performing music over several decades, and clarinettist David Heming have both moved on.

Dan studied in Vienna and has played his violin widely across the globe. After settling in Devon with his wife Lynn and their family, he taught music at the Woodroffe School in Lyme Regis, as well as teaching peripatetically across several Devon and Dorset primary schools.

He then teamed up with the orchestra, based at St Paul’s Church in Honiton and has been a key figure ever since.

Helen Roulson, orchestra committee member, said: “Dan’s enthusiasm for music and his ability to engage with young people is just extraordinary.

“The fun and passion he exudes is shown by the years of music making he has spearheaded in Devon. We are also grateful to St Paul’s for accommodating us for the past few years. Honiton and the surrounding areas are so extremely fortunate to have access to this type of group.”

David, dubbed the ‘grandad’ of the orchestra, has played bass clarinet with the group for a few years. Now, well into his 80s, he has left the Honiton orchestra, but remains committed to several other music groups

Helen added: “David has shown our young people that music playing can last a lifetime.”

Shân English will be stepping up into the lead role of musical director following Dan’s departure.

She has also recently started a beginner’s group called SCRATCH, which meets each Tuesday during term time at St Paul’s Church, between 4.30pm and 5.45pm. Helen said: “We are so grateful to Shân and also to musical parents who can support our young musicians during rehearsals.

“We look forward to a new season with HYO and if anyone is looking for a vibrant place to play and develop their musicianship, why not come along on November 1, from 4.30pm to 5.45pm.

“All we ask for is a playing standard of around Grade 1 and above. We are light in the brass section and would particularly welcome those that play Horn, Euphonium, Cornet, Trumpet and Trombone. A percussionist is also a vacant position.”

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