Originally born in Mission Viejo, California, Mr. James McDonald moved to Hickory, North Carolina at a young age. Upon his arrival in North Carolina, Mr. McDonald became very interested in compositional studies, musical performance, and music education. Mr. McDonald currently holds a bachelors degree in Music Education with a concentration in Commercial & Electronic Music from Western Carolina University (2016).
While at Western Carolina University Mr. McDonald worked with the award winning Pride of the Mountains Marching Band, serving as their visual coordinator for his last two years as a student, and even received the Bandsman of the Year award upon his final year on their instructional staff. During this time he travelled with the group to Bands of America Regionals and national championships, as well as the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Additionally, Mr. McDonald has performed with various ensembles at WCU, including the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Tuba/Euphonium Ensemble, Catamount Singers & Electric Soul, and the Western Carolina Jazz Ensemble.
Outside of his attendance at WCU, Mr. McDonald has been an active member of the Drum Corps International performance activity. Performing for a total of four summers, Mr. McDonald toured the country and competed with two world class organizations: Spirit of Atlanta and Cadets Drum & Bugle Corps. As a member of these two world class organizations, Mr. McDonald was the recipient of multiple awards for displaying character and leadership including Veteran Member of the Year (Spirit), Rookie of the Year (Cadets), and a Distinguished Service award in 2015 for his work as a section leader with the Cadets. Mr. McDonald has also been an active recording artist in his time outside of school - recording, mixing, and writing various full length studio albums.
Currently, Mr. McDonald is a visual technician with the Boston Crusaders Drum & Bugle Corps and is an active member of NafME National Association of Music Educators), NCMEA (NC Music Educators Association), TMEA (Texas Music Educators Association), and is an alumni of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia. Mr. McDonald is looking forward to being a future resident of McDonough, GA, and enjoys running, writing, reading, and watching films.
Ola Indoor Performance Ensemble at WGI World Championships