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Kevin J. McDonald

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Dr. Kevin J. McDonald brings 30 years of teaching experience and a broad musical background to his positions as Director of Choral Music at Wellesley High School, Conductor of the Chorus of Tenors and Basses at the Handel and Haydn Society Youth Choruses, and Director of Music at Wellesley Village Church.

McDonald is currently in his 19th year at Wellesley High School, where he teaches and conducts five curricular choirs and five extracurricular choral ensembles. Under his direction, ensembles at Wellesley High School have performed at all state and eastern division music education conferences, served as demonstration choirs in music education clinics, and performed with professional organizations such as the Boston Pops Orchestra, Handel and Haydn Society, and the Grammy-winning vocal jazz ensemble New York Voices. McDonald’s ensembles consistently participate in festival gold medal showcase concerts and engage in collaborative music events with community choirs and collegiate ensembles. Wellesley High School choral ensembles have performed locally and abroad, performed for special events such as the New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers Conference at the State House in Boston, and have twice been named the high school champion on the television show Sing That Thing!

Joining the Handel and Haydn Society in their bicentennial year in 2014 as the Conductor of the Chorus of Tenors and Basses, McDonald teaches and conducts students from the greater Boston and MetroWest areas of Massachusetts. Under his direction, ensembles have performed with the professional orchestra and chorus on subscription-series concerts at Symphony Hall, traveled on international tours of Canada and Ireland, and engaged in collaborative events with such ensembles as the Choir School of Newport and the Texas Boys Choir.

McDonald is an active guest conductor, adjudicator, and clinician. He has conducted middle school and high school district and all state festival choirs including the NHMEA All State Jazz Choir, NHMEA All State Women’s Choir, and the Western European Regional Honor Choir in Dusseldorf, Germany. McDonald has 26 years of service as an adjudicator with the Great East Music Festival and has adjudicated for the Heritage Choral Festival, Trills and Thrills Festival, and a variety of district and all state music festivals in the New England area. He consistently presents workshops and clinics at all state and regional music education conferences, to collegiate NAfME chapters, and at ACDA such as “It’s Not What You Sing—It’s How You Sing It: Evoking the Emotional Response,” “Vocal Jazz Repertoire Selection and Performance,” “Recruitment and Retention of Tenors and Basses in the Choral Program,” and “Making Connections in the Choral Classroom.”

McDonald is a recipient of several awards for his dedication to music education and quality of teaching including the 2023 Massachusetts Lowell Mason Award for Music Education, Springfield Chamber of Commerce Teaching Excellence Award, and the Music Educators National Conference Professional Achievement Award. McDonald was named a semifinalist for the 2023 Grammy Music Educator Award and is currently a quarterfinalist for the 2024 Grammy Music Educator Award.

McDonald received his B.M. in music education from the University of New Hampshire, M.M. in low brass performance from the University of Idaho, and his DMA in music education with choral conducting emphasis from the Hartt School, University of Hartford.

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