Professional Bio

  • M.M. Trumpet Performance, University of Colorado at Boulder
  • B.M. Trumpet Performance, The Pennsylvania State University

Derek McDonald teaches applied trumpet at Regis University and assists the university jazz ensemble.  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.

Mr. McDonald currently plays principal trumpet with the Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra and the Boulder Chamber Orchestra, and also holds tenured positions with the Fort Collins Symphony Orchestra, the Greeley Philharmonic, and the Colorado Ballet Orchestra. As an active freelance musician in the Denver/Boulder area, Derek frequently substitutes with the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Boulder Philharmonic, and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. 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.

As a teacher, Mr. McDonald served as 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 at CU Boulder, Derek taught undergraduate trumpet students, coached brass quintets, conducted trumpet ensembles, and gave presentations to the trumpet studio. Mr. McDonald continues to teach at Regis University, mentors the brass with the Greater Boulder Youth Orchestras, teaches his private trumpet studio, and does educational outreach for many of the middle and high schools in the Denver/Boulder area.