After a varied career as a teacher, Senior Adviser (Arts and Culture) in the Prime Minister’s Department and Assistant Director, National Film and Sound Archive, Don is now a freelance conductor. He has his own music consultancy – Music Co-ordination Australia – and is Artistic Adviser for ACFEA Tour Consultants in Australia, an international company which specialises in concert tours for performing groups.

However Don is probably best known as the founder (with wife Barbara) and for 28 years Director of the Woden Valley Youth Choir. From 1969 until he retired from the Choir at the end of 1996 it built up an enviable reputation both nationally and internationally. Under Don’s direction the WVYC completed highly successful tours of the West Coast of USA/Canada, Japan, New Zealand, UK/Europe and United States.

Don has broad musical tastes and originally studied piano before moving in to choral singing and conducting. An experienced adjudicator, Don has been on judging panels for the former ABC Vocal and Instrumental Competition, the Shell Aria Competition, and has adjudicated for the National Eisteddfod, the St. Cecilia Music Scholarships (Eurobodalla Shire) and the ACT Lieder Society’s Festival of Song.

He also presents workshops on conducting and choral technique. An experienced conductor of music theatre, he conducted ten shows for Canberra Philharmonic Society including Showboat, The Music Man, Annie Get Your Gun, South Pacific, White Horse Inn, My Fair Lady, The Pirates of Penzance, Guys and Dolls, The Sentimental Bloke and Oliver. He was also MD for the Canberra Theatre Trust’s production of HMS Pinafore which starred Dennis Olsen and June Bronhill and Figaro on Tour for Opera ACT.

He has also conducted the RMC Band, the Canberra Youth Orchestra and Canberra Symphony Orchestra. He was a member of the Council of the Canberra School of Music for 5 years and the ACT Arts Development Board for 2 years and is currently on the Board of the Wesley Music Foundation (which sponsors young music scholars).

Don was awarded an OAM (Medal of the Order of Australia) in 1980 for service to music, the Rotary Award for Vocational Excellence in 1984, was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary in 1996, is a Life Member of Canberra Philharmonic and was Canberra Citizen of the Year in 1997. In 2001 he was also named by The Canberra Times in its 75th Anniversary Year as one of the 75 Faces of Canberra that have helped shape Canberra.