It is with great sadness that we learn of the death of Dr Donald Hunt, OBE. He was the founder of The Elgar Chorale of Worcester, as The Donald Hunt Singers, and first Director of Music. Donald was from Gloucester and had been a chorister at Gloucester Cathedral. From the age of 13 he studied the organ under Herbert Sumsion, Gloucester Cathedral Organist and became his assistant at when he was 17 years old. Moving to Leeds he conducted the Halifax Choral Society and was Organist and Choirmaster at Leeds Parish Church from 1957. He received a Doctorate honoris causa from Leeds University in 1975.
In 1976 he became the Director of Music and Master of the Choristers at Worcester Cathedral starting a long and fruitful association with the Faithful City. While at the Cathedral, Donald founded the Donald Hunt Singers in 1980 which became The Elgar Chorale of Worcester. Known for his knowledge of Elgar and his music, in 1996, he became the Principal of the Elgar School of Music. When he retired from the school in 2007, he continued to lecture on Elgar and his music amongst other subjects. Following a Gala Concert in the Cathedral of Elgar’s The Music Makers, in 2014, Donald retired as Director of Music of the Elgar Chorale. Elected Emeritus Director of Music, Donald retained his connection with the Chorale.
He died on Saturday, 4th August while listening to a recording of himself playing Sumsion on the Worcester Cathedral organ. Our heartfelt condolences to Jo and his family. He will be sorely missed but his music-making will remain with us.
Below are a few photo memories of Donald from members of the Chorale