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Regional Arts Development Central West NSW

Orange Regional Conservatorium Director Retires


After a 40 year career in Music Education, ORC Director, Donna Riles has decided to retire.

Media release 27 October 2023

The Orange Regional Conservatorium (ORC) acknowledges the upcoming retirement of its Director, Donna Riles, marking the end of a distinguished 40-year career in music education.

The announcement of Donna’s retirement comes at a time when she has been instrumental in securing a state-of-the-art new facility for the ORC and overseeing a period of steady growth and outstanding performance. Donna leaves at the peak of her career, and her legacy is expected to have a lasting impact on the ORC for many years to come.

‘My time at the Conservatorium as Head of Keyboard/Schools Liaison and the last eleven years as Director, has been remarkably enriching and rewarding. Now that we are on the cusp of an exciting period of development, I feel this is the right time’ said Donna.

Dr. Pam Ryan, Chair of the ORC Management Committee, has expressed deep appreciation of Donna and highlighted her outstanding contributions to the conservatorium and to the Orange community.

Donna Riles has been a pivotal figure in the world of music education, leaving an indelible mark on both the ORC and the wider community. Her leadership over the last 11 years has been characterised by warmth, personal connection, and an uncanny ability to bridge generational and demographic divides.

Throughout her career, Donna has exhibited humility and selflessness in her role as Director. Her unwavering dedication to the ORC and its mission has been paramount, ensuring that the organisation thrived and served the community
effectively. Her influence extended far beyond the Orange region, establishing the ORC as a lighthouse conservatorium that serves as a model for others.

Soon, the ORC Management Committee will embark on a thoughtful and consultative recruitment process to ensure the continued success of the ORC. While the search for a new Director is underway, the immediate focus is on expressing
gratitude to Donna for her exceptional service and celebrating her many accomplishments.

“Both personally and professionally, what an extraordinary legacy she leaves. Thank you, Donna.” Said Dr Ryan.

Visit the conservatorium’s website