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John Hibbard
12 years ago

To Ian, Wendy and Gregory - my deepest condolences. Your dad was a wonderful and brilliant man, and will be sadly missed. Keith Davies created a generation of Musicians and teachers and a world of musical memory in a few short years1965 - 1970 at Murwillumbah High School. I personally owe Keith the honour of being the foundation and continuing inspiration of my 33 years of service to Music Education. I was one of many who had such a brilliant music education because of Keith's dedication, vision and talent. He would collect me from my home on the Pacific Highway for my regular before school lessons on Oboe and later Saxophone. The morning journey from Tumbulgum to Murwillumbah wasn't just about music. Keith's vast knowledge of literature, philosophy and ideas was revealed during our journeys. As well, he drove one of those Volkswagen sedans which weren't a common sight in our local roads. The Blue Volkswagen 1500 sedan began my life-long regard for European cars. To know Murwillumbah, that northern-most NSW rural town in the late 1960's, makes what Keith achieved all the more remarkable. Under Keith's tireless leadership, a huge number of Murwillumbah High School kids learnt to play musical instruments in bands and orchestra. Cadet Band, Jazz Band, Wind Band, Marching Band, Chamber Music and Soloists - Keith had us doing it all. Unlike kids in the more usual band programs in other parts, Keith ensured we had a superb grounding in Australian folk song, songs of The Great War and the Second World War and the classics of all centuries. Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Stravinsky and many more - Keith's brilliant arrangements and repertoire selections ensured we had a our heads and hearts full of the great melodies and a canon of great repertoire; memories of which are personally enriching and also inspired many of us to undertake musical careers. The Hibbard Families (there were 11 of us under Keith's guidance at one stage!) have a particular gratitude for Keith's work. Keith successfully encouraged his Murwillumbah mob ('mob' was how he affectionately referred to us) to attend the inspiring, life-changing North Coast Music Camps at Lake Ainsworth. He also ensured some of us received a places at NSW State Senior Music Camps at Broken Bay. The music making, friendships and inspiring staff at these camps created lifelong associations, friendships and memories. Keith's legacy in music and music education is vast. Many thousands of children and adults in Australia and beyond have benefited from the passion and commitment to music that Keith instilled in those of us who become teachers and performers. We must not forget those who didn't have musical careers, but became parents, inspired for their own kids to have a similar music education to the one Keith gave them. Keith, your presence in our lives was a privilege. On behalf of all your Murwillumbah mob, I salute you. John Hibbard (National Manager, Teaching and Learning, Musica Viva in Schools) John G Hibbard 5 Frazer Street LILYFIELD NSW 2040 Australia mobile: 0429 928 995

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