Colin MacDonald is a freelance saxophonist, composer and arranger living in Vancouver, British Columbia. He completed a B.Mus. in saxophone at the University of British Columbia, where he studied with Julia Nolan and David Branter. He teaches classical saxophone at Douglas College and St. George’s School.
Colin has studied jazz arranging with Fred Stride, world rhythms with Glen Velez and Trichy Sankaran, and Balinese gamelan with Michael Tenzer and Dewa Ketut Alit. His works have been premiered by the Turning Point Ensemble, Continuum Contemporary Music, Ad Mare Wind Quintet, and The Microscore Project. The Vancouver-based Fringe Percussion commissioned and recorded the percussion quartet Enginuity. His compositions Ex Libris and Dragons in the Air were part of the successful Vertical Orchestra spatial-music performances at the Vancouver Public Library. In 2006 he formed his own chamber orchestra, The Colin MacDonald Pocket Orchestra, to present his original works. Colin’s debut CD recording, Circle of Wind, was released on Cryptic Music Records in 2011.
Colin was a founding member and co-artistic director of the new music group Ensemble Symposium from 1995 – 2005. He has been a member of the Saxophilia saxophone quartet since 1996, and produces concerts of his own music as a soloist. He has performed with and composed for the Balinese gamelan semara dana called Sekaha Gong Gita Asmara, and sang with the One Voice Harmonic Choir, a men’s overtone choir.
He has worked as a reviewer of new music events for the Georgia Straight newspaper, Discorder magazine, and Musicworks magazine, and hosted the radio program Are You Serious? Music on CiTR 101.9 FM for three years. In 2003 he was made an Associate Composer of the Canadian Music Centre.