At the age of fourteen, clarinetist Shannon McDonald performed as a soloist at the Mid-America Music Festival for an audience of over one thousand. The experience solidified in her a love of performing and the realization that sharing music with an audience of any size would become her passion. Since then, Dr. McDonald has performed at Carnegie Hall with the National Wind Ensemble, toured Europe with the American Music Ambassadors, and played in the Georgia Symphony Orchestra (formerly the Cobb Symphony Orchestra), the Frost Symphony Orchestra, and the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
In addition to solo and large ensemble work, Dr. McDonald especially enjoys performing chamber music. She has performed in many chamber ensembles both locally, nationally, and internationally. In the past she has performed with Trio Minvera, along with flutist Jacob Wright and guitarist Alexander Gillen. She is currently co-commissioning a duet for multiple clarinets, including E-flat, B-flat, and bass clarinet from composer Olivia Kieffer. She will premiere the piece with her chamber group Duo 305 along with clarinetist Garrett VanArsdale.
Trio Minerva performing at the 2018 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
Photo credit: Paula Hartsough
Dr. McDonald is an avid researcher. She won the first prize in the International Clarinet Association's Research Competition at Clarinetfest 2021 for her research, "Accommodating Learning Differences in the Clarinet Studio: Private Teacher Experiences and Pedagogical Guidelines."
In 2018, Dr. McDonald, along with research partners Danielle Woolery and Natalie Wright, were awarded the first prize at the International Clarinet Association's Research Contest at Clarinetfest 2018 in Belgium. Their research, "An Examination of the Pedagogical Content of the Clarinet Solos on the Texas University Interscholastic League Prescribed Music List" will be published in
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Dr. McDonald's article "An Analysis of Jennifer Higdon's Clarinet Sonata" was published in the the Winter 2018 edition of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Journal.
Shannon, Danielle, and Natalie presenting their research at the 2017 National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors Conference in Montevallo, AL.
Photo credit: Sara May
Dr. McDonald received her DMA from the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, under the guidance of Dr. Margaret Donaghue Flavin. She holds memberships with Pi Kappa Lambda, the International Clarinet Association, the College Music Society, Texas Music Educators Association, and the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors. Currently she resides in McKinney, Texas, with her husband and three cats, Aja, Eleanor Rigby, and Daryl Dixon.