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Thursday, July 20, 2017


(Derek Vaughan-Heapy)

Derek Vaughan-Heapy, a former bassoonist with the KZN Philharmonic Orchestra (formerly the Natal Philharmonic) died of triple heart attacks in Cape Town on July 2, 2017.

Close friend Joyce Davis provides the information that “Derek was born in Colchester, Essex, England, in 1947. His father was Frederick Heapy who died at the aeb. 1921-d.1954 and was only 33. He had lived in England. Mother: Muriel Joy Nash, born March 11, 1921, died on Feb. 9, 1999, in Durban. So genetically Derek life expectancy would have been not long.”

A former member of the Grenadier Guards in the 1960’s, he went to Burleigh Secondary School and later studied at the Royal Military School of Music. He lived in Calitzdorp in the Western Cape.

Facebook tributes indicate how much he was held in respect and affection for his warm and cheerful personality as well as his work in the music field.

Former colleague Charles Grey says: “So shocked by the sad news that Derek Vaughan-Heapy recently passed away! I met Derek over 27 years ago when I started working for NAPAC (now the Playhouse Company). Derek played in the Natal Philharmonic Orchestra. I will miss his great sense of humour.”

Friend and colleague Tom Greer adds: “Derek was a colleague of mine over a couple of spans when I was in the Cape Town Symphony and the Natal Philharmonic. He and I didn't "hang out" together, as I was married, with a family, and he was single and had his own lifestyle. He was kind, a raconteur of singular verve and could always dissolve a tense rehearsal situation with a funny quip.”

Bongani Tembe, CEO and Artistic Director of the KZN Philharmonic says: “I am very sorry to hear this news. Derek was a dedicated member of the orchestra and for a very long time. A strong member in the bassoon section, he was also a very nice human being.”