Ann Hoy and husband Peter moved to Moss Vale in the Southern Highlands about eight years ago, lured by the climate, and its proximity to the city and the coast.
Mrs Hoy still teaches piano to a few students, and is an examiner for the Australian Music Examinations Board (AMEB).
She also enjoys concert-going, gardening, photography, and travel within Australia and overseas.
“It was a very enjoyable time living in Tamworth, because I had the chance to be part of many children’s lives – and you hope that you’ve enriched them in some way,” Mrs Hoy told the Leader yesterday.
“It’s a very good place for community and a really good place to bring a up a family [Mr and Mrs Hoy have a son and daughter, who are now a professional cellist and a criminal lawyer, respectively].
“We have a lot of great memories there.”
Here, we revisit the story we ran when Mrs Hoy received her Medal of the Order of Australia in 2012.
Ann Hoy, OAM
DEDICATION to spreading the joy of music has seen a former Tamworth resident awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia.
Ann Hoy received the accolade for her long and extensive service to music, particularly through the Tamworth Regional Conservatorium, where she taught for 14 years.
"Apart from being absolutely and totally shocked, I hope I've been able to enrich the lives of young students and, having been involved in music education for the length of time I have, I've always believed music is of prime importance to young people's development," Mrs Hoy said of the honour.
"It's great to know the community has valued the work I've been involved in."
During her years at the conservatorium she was head of piano, and for four of those years she was also conductor of the Tamworth Regional Youth Orchestra.
She also founded the training orchestra, and acted as organiser of the Biennial Orchestra Festival and co-ordinator of the orchestra program.
Mrs Hoy has been teaching music for 45 years, having developed a passion for it when she began learning piano at the age of nine.
Now living in Moss Vale, she continues to teach piano and says she can't imagine her life without it.
She said her award was not only an honour for her, but highlighted the excellent work done in regional conservatoriums such as Tamworth's, whose high standards hold up against those of city institutions.
In addition to her long service at the Conservatorium, Mrs Hoy was also responsible for building and developing the Calrossy Anglican Girls' School's choral and orchestral programs during her 14 years of work as the school's director of music.
For 16 years she was also the convenor of regional piano master classes with the Music Teachers' Association of NSW.
Also on her impressive musical resume are private piano teacher, accompanist at Australian Music Examinations Board exams, official accompanist with the Tamworth Eisteddfod Society and rehearsal pianist with the Tamworth Arts Council and Tamworth Musical Society.
Prior to this honour, she received the Australian Music Examinations Board Shield for having students who achieved the highest overall marks in piano from preliminary to grade six in 1998.
- Natalie Croxon