James' bio

James MacDonald is a freelance professional French Horn player, educator, and conductor from Ontario, Canada who has enjoyed many successes in a wide variety of musical activities over many years of music making. He continues (29 years now) as principal horn with the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra, and also plays with the Ontario Philharmonic, an orchestra based in Durham region just east of Toronto, where he lives in the town of Port Perry. As well, he occasionally works with the orchestras of Brantford, Kingston, Hamilton, Canadian Opera Company, the Toronto Concert Orchestra, Salon Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, and several more. The Radio Orchestra of Frankfurt invited him in 2000 to tour with them to seventeen cities of Japan, and other performances in Germany. In the Czech republic, he has performed with the Zapadocesky Symphony of Maniansky Lazny.
An alumnus of the Boss Brass (6 Junos, 2 Gramie awards and a dozen recordings and many tours over 26 years), James works these years with the Rex Hotel Orchestra, which in 2011 won a Juno award for the CD 'Our First Set'. Countless other recordings include film music, television shows and commercials over many years in the studios of Toronto. James was also often performing for Broadway musicals in the theaters of Toronto for many years.
When James started teaching horn at York University in the mid 1970s, it was a different musical landscape. At that time he co-founded the York Winds, a woodwind quintet that became active in performances, broadcasts and tours. Continuing as horn professor almost forty years later, he conducts the York Brass Ensemble, and teaches horn and brass pedagogy. On February 10, 2012, he as arranged for YorkU to host the annual “International Horn Day” event, which includes performances by many groups, both professional and amateur from all over Ontario. James is also a qualified and experienced music specialist for the school boards of Ontario, and trains and coaches students at all levels.