He is retiring after nearly 30 years.
At the concert, current eighth-grade members of the Lake Forest Advanced Band presented him with a plaque and a music stand signed by each member.
Originally from Shelbyville, Donegan graduated from Tennessee Tech University with a degree in music education. He later received his masters in administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
He is an accomplished trumpet player, having served in the West Point Band for three years and having played in the Jimmy Stirr Polka Band, both in New York. In 1982, he played in the World’s Fair Band in Knoxville. He has also played in the Chattanooga Symphony on numerous occasions.
Donegan currently serves as minister of music at Valley View Baptist Church. He is an active member of the Cleveland Music Club and continues to play in a Brass Quintet and in The Dexter Thomas Band. When not teaching or performing, he enjoys camping and some writing.
“Mr. Donegan has been my band director for the past three years. He has taught me more about playing music in such a short amount of time than I thought was possible. He has been a wonderful teacher and a great mentor,” said Colby Smith, one of Donegan’s advanced band students.
Danny Coggin, principal at Walker Valley High School, has known Donegan for more than 30 years.
“During that time he has been a colleague and the consummate professional, but most of all he has been a friend,” Coggin said. “We have had many wonderful experiences together as musicians and as educators. His dedication to his craft as a musician shows through his continuing ability to perform and perform well.
“He will be missed as an educator because that is truly who he is, a teacher who cares about his students and the lives they live. His content area is extremely important to him but he has also taught about life and this has touched the very being of each student he has come in contact with.”
Donegan married Sandy Perry Donegan in 1978. They have four sons, Robert, Adam, Bradley and Caleb, as well as two grandchildren, Marc and Amber.
On Wednesday the Lake Forest Music Department will be giving a reception in honor of his accomplishments and upcoming retirement. Former students, friends, and colleagues are invited to drop in to share congratulations anytime between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. in the Lake Forest Library. For more information, you may contact Katie Phillips, Lake Forest Choir director, at email@example.com or 478-8821.