Donna Morse is currently the director and founder of the Monadnock New Horizons Band in Keene, NH as well as the musical director for the Nelson, NH Town Band, a private teacher and free lance musician.
In 2013 Diane Muffitt found Donna’s name on a community band director list and invited her to the New England Adult Music Camp. While at the camp, Donna met Roy Ernst and learned about the New Horizons music programs. With this information, she returned to Keene and started the Monadnock New Horizons Band(MNHB) in the Fall of 2014. The band is going strong with 45 members bringing together adult musicians of all ages to learn to make music together.
About 15 years ago Donna began directing the Nelson Town Band. She loves the concert band repertoire and enjoys the challenge of putting together a piece of music with a group of musicians of different ages and different ability levels.
Currently, Donna is the lead sax player in the Keene Jazz Orchestra, a clarinet/woodwind player in the Windham Orchestra and a frequent lyric opera and pit orchestra player. She plays clarinets, saxophones, flute, piccolo, and piano.
Donna loves to teach private lessons to students of all ages. She has students in the Keene, NH area, at Milford High School, The Putney School, and Bellows Falls High School. Her students have auditioned and have been accepted for NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles, NH All-state, NH Jazz All-State, VT All State, New England Music Festival, NH Honors Band, and the MA Central District Music Festival.
Donna is from a very musical family and her music education began in Miami nearly 50 years ago with piano lessons. She started clarinet in 6th grade and played in Florida All-state festivals, district festivals, and four years in the Orange Bowl parade.
After graduating from Bucknell University, Donna expanded her woodwind playing to flute and saxophone, studying flute with Shirley Gilpin and Julie Armstrong, studying saxophone and applied jazz harmony with Scott Mullett, John Mastriani, and Mark Pinto and studying jazz piano and harmony with Eugene Uman of the Vermont Jazz Center.
As a jazz player, she has been in the Keene Jazz Orchestra since 2003 and has performed with Boston’s White Heat Orchestra, East Bay Jazz Band, the Temptations, the Les DeMerle Big Band on a Caribbean cruise and the Bob Cuniff Orchestra, as well as many private gigs in the northern New England area. From 2006-2015, Donna played keyboard and sang backup vocals for The Nines.