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Death Notice

David John Shirt

Published on 30/03/2024

SHIRT David John 1 October 1941 12 March 2024 Lifelong musician, academic and much-loved father, grandfather and husband who touched the lives of many through his violin teaching, playing and conducting. Founder of the Southern Youth Orchestra in the 1960s, David went on to lead and conduct many music groups and orchestras in interesting venues and to unusual repertoires in the north and south of England, and Europe. Aquiring two MAs and a PhD following retirement, he also published a range of poetry, historic and academic writings, including a publication on the Isle of Neave, close to his beloved Achtoty, in the highlands of Scotland. Creative and proactive to the end, in his penultimate major concert last year, David put together a fifty-member Wessex Symphonica orchestra to perform at the Pavilion Ballroom, Bournemouth, to commemorate 130 years since Sir Dan Godfrey first conducted what became Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra, and presented original manuscripts used by Sir Dan when recording for HMV in the 1930s to the Bournemouth library archive, during the charity concert. Dearly missed, his spirit lives on.


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Christian Taylor April 14th, 2024
It was with immense sadness that I heard about David's passing. I knew David for many years when he lived in Maryport and had the privilege to take part as violinist and solo singer in many of his musical groups. The Ellen Ensemble gave so many of us such wonderful experiences in the places we would appear at-including a mini German tour- the people we would meet and the music we would perform. It was always amazing how a vague suggestion of an amazing venue to David could often lead to us playing there just a few months later! Immensely talented, incredibly knowledgeable about so many subjects, kind and generous in spirit. A super friend and a thoroughly decent man. I am so sorry and sad not to be able to attend his funeral. I will miss you David , may you rest in peace and rise in glory.