John built his Australian Academy of Music business in Brisbane to the point where it was arguably the leading music retail store in the country. John was a passionate supporter of music and worked constantly with the Queensland Government to ensure that Queensland students had access to a music education through their schools. Today part of the John Morris legacy is Queensland’s leadership in terms of music education provision within Australia.
As the photo suggests John was a saxophonist and a keen jazz and big band musician who developed his skills during the war along side the in flux of US servicemen.
By trade John was an electrician.
John was also a great promoter. A great deal of the philosophy surrounding the development of the Australian Academy of Music was that the business would provide opportunities for people to make music. The idea that the Australian Academy of Music was a place where or through music was made and not just sold was central John’s thinking. As a result John established the Queensland Music Festival and numerous other events to inspire and encourage students to continue to play. The long terms success of the Queensland Music Festival, an event where thousand of students participated each year became the model for several other similar events that are now staged in other cities.
John was also a keen supporter of the industry. He formed the Queensland Music Association and was for a time a member of the Australian Music Association Executive Committee. During that time he was the driving force behind the Music. Be In It campaign. John sadly passed away in late 2007.