Camden Haven resident Laurie Orchard has devoted 72 years to music education.
Now the 94-year-old, who calls Laurieton home, has been awarded an OAM in the Australia Day 2022 Honours List for service to music as an educator, and to the community.
Mr Orchard said he was surprised at the honour and humbled to realise "somebody, somewhere" was aware of his efforts.
His involvement as a musician is wide ranging from playing the piano to orchestral experience drawn from knowledge of the flute and choral experience as a director and singer.
A teaching appointment to Tamworth High School in 1950 marked the start of Mr Orchard's career as a music educator.
The career took him to a Sydney demonstration school, Wagga Wagga Teachers' College, Newcastle Teachers' College and the then Bathurst Teachers' College, which became Mitchell College of Advanced Education and Charles Sturt University.
But Mr Orchard's commitment to music education didn't end with retirement.
He continued as a private teacher of flutes and recorders and as an adult educator providing courses to people interested in the history of music, the structure of music and chief composers.
"It has been enormous fun and very rewarding in terms of the people I have met and worked with on many different kinds of music projects including concerts, Gilbert and Sullivan, and opera," Mr Orchard said.
He founded the state's first regional conservatorium at Bathurst in the late 1970s. There are now about 15 conservatoriums throughout regional NSW.
Music devotees on the Mid-North Coast have benefited from Mr Orchard's involvement in the Laurieton Men's Shed Choir.
The choir, which performs old-time classics, has given more than 100 recitals in towns and aged care facilities.
Mr Orchard, the choir's founding director, teaches the music to the choir and accompanies the group on the piano.
Musical composition is another interest.
Mr Orchard recently wrote a musical composition for flute, violin and cello to be played at a function at St Jude's Anglican Church, Randwick.
"As a musician, you have to play music, you have to talk about it, you have to write it and you have to arrange it," he said.
Mr Orchard is also a past member of the Rotary Club of Laurieton and Lismore West Rotary Club, an honorary Rotarian and a former member of Bathurst Lions Club.
The Governor-General announced honours to 1040 Australians in the Australia Day 2022 Honours List.
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