MacDonald, David

David (George) MacDonald. Organist, conductor, teacher, b Port Morien, NS, 9 Jul 1952, d Halifax 9 Aug 2003; B MUS ED (Dalhousie) 1974, MMA performance (McGill) 1977, Diploma, prix d'excellence (Conservatoire de Rueil-Malmaison, Paris) 1979. At Dalhousie University David MacDonald's organ teachers were Maitland Farmer and John Grew. In Montreal he continued lessons with Grew and with Raymond Daveluy. Scholarships from the Canada Council enabled him to study in Paris with Marie-Claire Alain and Daniel Roth. In 1987 he became director of music at First Baptist Church, Halifax, whose choir he developed into one of the province's principal concert choral ensembles. The choir toured France in 1990. MacDonald was an instructor in organ at the Department of Music, Dalhousie University, and also implemented a curriculum in organ and church music offered by the department in co-operation with the Atlantic School of Theology, where he was organist-choirmaster and lecturer in church music history and hymnology. He wrote and lectured for the Royal Canadian College of Organists, Nova Scotia Registered Music Teachers Association, Nova Scotia Choral Federation, and universities in Ontario and the Maritimes. He appeared with Symphony Nova Scotia as guest conductor, organ concerto soloist, and continuo player. As a concert organist he gave recitals in France, Sweden, Holland, Germany, Switzerland, the Czech Republic, and the UK, and in major concert halls and churches in Quebec, Ontario, and elsewhere in Canada.

His prominence in the musical life of the Maritimes was firmly established by his series of recitals 1985-7 comprising the complete organ works of Bach, presented in various Halifax churches. (MacDonald reprised this series in 1997.) A sample of this accomplishment was preserved in his 1987 CBC recording on the von Beckerath organ at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Montreal. A later recording, David MacDonald Plays the Casavant Organ, won a 1999 East Coast Music Award. MacDonald was a member of the Royal Canadian College of Organists.