DON MACDONALD

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Don Macdonald (born 1966) is an award-winning composer of film and concert music and his credits include orchestral and chamber music, opera, music for theatre and dance, published choral works, and forays into everything from rock and jazz to world and folk music. A multiple Canadian Film Awards nominee and 3 time Leo Award winner, he has over 50 film music credits and has worked with many of the major studios including 20th Century Fox and Lions Gate Films. Recognized internationally as a choral composer, his choral works have been performed and recorded by many fine ensembles including Rajaton (Finland), the Vancouver Chamber Choir(Can), the Luther College Nordic Choir (USA),Cantus (USA), and the Raffles Singers(Singapore). His published choral works are available from ECS, Hal Leonard, and Cypress. In 2021 he became the “Composer in Residence” (a 3-year appointment) for Chor Leoni Men’s Choir. Don lives in Nelson, BC Canada and teaches at the Selkirk College Contemporary Music and Technology Program. visit:  donmacdonaldmusic.com

Ave Maria

by Don Macdonald

SATB    –  –  CP 1107   – 2:45
With varied dynamics, close harmonies, and several Soprano divisi sections, this composition is a gratifying and fulfilling challenge.

Ave Maris Stella

by Don Macdonald

SATB    –  –  CP 1550   – 4:20
This gorgeous composition . “Hail, Star of the Sea”, is among Macdonald’s finest with long phrases and lush harmonies. Give a listen and you’l be convinced!

Blues for a Green Boy

by Don Macdonald

SSATB a cappella    –  –  CP 1345   – 3:25
Does a person need to be sad to play the blues? Don’s wife, Allison wrote the lyrics. Could the happy guitar playing boy they describe be their own son? Charming and meaningful.

also sett for TTBB – ask about it!

Eva

by Don Macdonald

SSATB a cappella    –  –  CP 1251   – 4:20
This is a charming Jamaican folk song about a little girl named Eva.  Jazzy, rhythmic, and full of great harmony! Listen to the recording.

Moonset; mvt 1- FIRE FLOWERS

by Don Macdonald

SSATB a cappella – CP 1835   – duration 3:45
SSAA  a cappella – CP 1863

O! soft responsive voices of the night
I join your minstrelsy,
And call across the fading silver light
As something calls to me;

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
Canadian poet of the Mohawk Nation

The Giant Oak; mvt 2 - FIRE FLOWERS

by Don Macdonald

SATB a cappella – CP 2129   – duration 3:55
SSAA  a cappella – CP 2136

And then the sound of marching armies ‘woke
Amid the branches of the soldier oak,

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
Canadian poet of the Mohawk Nation

Mosses; mvt 3 - FIRE FLOWERS

by Don Macdonald

SATB a cappella – CP 2130   – duration 1:20
SSAA  a cappella – CP 2137

The lost wind wandering, forever grieves
Low overhead,
Above grey mosses whispering of leaves
Fallen and dead.

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
Canadian poet of the Mohawk Nation

The Firs; mvt 4 - FIRE FLOWERS

by Don Macdonald

SSAA a cappella – CP 2131   – duration 2:30

There is a lonely minor chord that sings
Faintly and far along the forest ways,
When the firs finger faintly on the strings
Of that rare violin the night wind plays,

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
Canadian poet of the Mohawk Nation

And He Said Fight On; mvt 5 - FIRE FLOWERS

by Don Macdonald

SATB a cappella – CP 2132   – duration 2:05
SSAA  a cappella – CP 2138

Time and its ally, Dark Disarmament,
Have compassed me about,
Have massed their armies, and on battle bent
My forces put to rout;
But though I fight alone, and fall, and die,
Talk terms of Peace? Not I.

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
Canadian poet of the Mohawk Nation

Goodbye; mvt 6 - FIRE FLOWERS

by Don Macdonald

SATB a cappella – CP 2133   – duration 2:55
SSAA  a cappella – CP 2139

Sounds of the seas grow fainter,
Sounds of the sands have sped;
The sweep of gales,
The far white sails,
Are silent, spent and dead.

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
Canadian poet of the Mohawk Nation

Fire Flowers; mvt 7 - FIRE FLOWERS

by Don Macdonald

SATB a cappella – CP 2134   – duration 3:40
SSAA  a cappella – CP 2140

And only where the forest fires have sped,
Scorching relentlessly the cool north lands,
A sweet wild flower lifts its purple head,
And, like some gentle spirit sorrow-fed,
It hides the scars with almost human hands.

Emily Pauline Johnson (1861-1913)
Canadian poet of the Mohawk Nation

FIRE FLOWERS - the complete set (7 movements)

by Don Macdonald

SATB a cappella – CP 2128   – duration 21:00
SSAA  a cappella – CP 2135

Please see above.  This is a fabulous collection by a luminary Canadian First Nations poet and one of Canada’s finest choral composers.

The Piano

by Don Macdonald

SSATB a cappella    –  –  CP 1353   – 3:50
Who knew that a text by D.H. Lawrence could receive such a becoming choral setting!? Anyone who has ever played the piano will love this piece.

Tabula Rasa

by Don Macdonald

SATB (with divisi) – CP 1169 – 3:40
SSAA – CP 1318
TTBB – CP 1707
Tabula Rasa  – This Latin phrase translates as “Blank Slate” in English.  The composer had a specific image in mind when composing this music. A quiet moment between a mother and child when the mother sees, as she has never seen, the potential of the precious life she holds in her arms. A silent acknowledgement of her child and every child as a “blank slate” with seemingly limitless potential.

This emotionally uplifting work relies on gentle dissonances that ebb and flow with the Spanish text. It has been performed by youth choirs as well as professional ensembles and would make a great choice for festival competition. TABULA RASA was the winning composition of the 2010 DaCapo Chamber Choir NewWorks competition.

There Is No Rose

by Don Macdonald

SSATBB    –   CP 1222    – 4:30  
SSAA    –    CP 1106 
Don captures the glory and mystery of the Virgin birth with this exquisite composition.

Winter Sun

by Don Macdonald

SSAATB    –   CP 1288   – 3:20
SSSAAA    –    CP 1305 
“To light, to water, and the flow of birds through ancient stars.” Don has set the poignant poem of Canadian poet Malca Litovitz in his inimitable style. Don employs contemporary techniques with classical tonality – unusual and attractive at once and very convincing. Please give a listen.