Derek McDonald resides in Boulder, Colorado and is principal trumpet of the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra and a member of the trumpet section of the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. Before moving to Colorado, Mr. McDonald earned his Bachelor’s degree in trumpet performance from the Pennsylvania State University, where he studied under John Daniel and Dr. Langston J. Fitzgerald, III. After completing his Bachelor’s degree, Mr. McDonald moved to Colorado and earned a Master of Music degree in trumpet performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder where he studied with and was a graduate teaching assistant for Professor Terry Sawchuk.
While attending the University of Colorado at Boulder, Mr. McDonald performed extensively with The Flatirons Brass Quintet with whom he was a prize winner and finalist at the National Fischoff Chamber Music Competition in 2009. Mr. McDonald also served as a guest artist in residence at Renmin University in Beijing with the Flatirons Brass Quintet in 2011, where he gave master classes and performed a concert for their students and faculty.
As an active performer in the Denver/Boulder area, Derek has performed numerous times with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, notably on Mahler Symphony no. 9 under the direction of Marin Alsop, and Verdi’s Requiem and Mahler Symphony no. 6 under artistic director Andrew Litton. Other organizations that Mr. McDonald frequently performs with include the Boulder Philharmonic, Boulder Brass, and the Steamboat Springs Symphony, among others. Mr. McDonald also performs annually at the International Ballet Festival held in Vail, Colorado. Before moving to Colorado, Derek served as associate principal trumpet of the Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra, and second trumpet of the Penn’s Woods Festival Orchestra.
Aside from performing, Mr. McDonald was a graduate teaching assistant for five years at the University of Colorado while earning his Master’s and working toward his Doctorate in trumpet performance and pedagogy. While serving as a teaching assistant, Derek taught undergraduate trumpet students, coached brass quintets, conducted trumpet ensembles, and gave presentations to the trumpet studio. Mr. McDonald continues to teach with his own trumpet studio and does educational outreach for many of the middle and high schools in the Denver/Boulder area.