ONE of Morpeth’s well-loved and respected musicians and music teachers has died following a long and bravely-born illness.
Moira Dunn, who lived for most of her life at Loansdean, was involved in all aspects of the town’s musical life.
She was born in Blyth in 1935, where her parents managed the Wallaw cinema, her father also playing the organ for silent movies.
Her interest in music and the arts blossomed at school, where Moira began to study piano, eventually going to Whitelands College to train as a music teacher, then to the Royal College of Music for post-graduate study.
On her return she taught at Chantry Middle School, before marrying husband Robin, a Chief Engineer in the Merchant Navy.
Following the birth of her daughters, Alison and Claire, Moira continued her music at home, teaching piano, music theory and accompanying many pupils for their Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music exams. She also worked with Fred Crawshaw, teaching music theory to his Suzuki violin pupils.
She passed on her love of nature and music to her daughters. Claire now plays viola with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Alison, a reader in Evolutionary Ecology at Leeds University and talented violinist, still plays the double bass socially.
Moira will best be remembered for her musical activities in Morpeth.
She was an active member and committee member of Morpeth Music Society, helping with programme planning. She was also a committee member of the Wansbeck Music Festival for almost 40 years, acting for most of that time as Honorary Secretary and latterly Vice Chairman.
During this time she was also one of Morpeth’s best respected and knowledgeable piano and music theory teachers, instilling her pupils with great enthusiasm and love for their music.
Her other interests included cookery, reading, visiting National Trust and English Heritage properties, art galleries, museums, and of course her grandsons Ethan and Aidan, with whom she spent many happy hours.
She was also a guide at Cragside near Rothbury.
Moira travelled widely, firstly with her husband Robin to Australia and the Far East, and then attending academic conferences with daughter Alison and city breaks with daughter Claire to hear the RSNO perform on tour abroad.
Sadly, Moira had a stroke in 2007 and Robin died in 2008. Moira moved into Northlands Care Home, where she was cared for with great consideration.
Thanks to the immense kindness of her many friends, she was able to continue visiting galleries and attending concerts.
She will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by all whom she came into contact with for her wonderful teaching, caring nature and, of course, her music.