James MacDonald earned his BA from Queen’s University and his M. Mus from Western University, where he completed his master’s thesis ‘Virtuosi and the horn repertoire.’ His teachers included Eugene Rittich in Toronto (1970-1), Frantisek Solc at the Janáček Academy of Music, Brno, Czechoslovakia, and Barry Tuckwell in London. He also studied in 1978 with Wilhelm Lansky-Otto in Stockholm, Sweden.
In 1974, James began teaching part-time at York University. He joined the Boss Brass in 1972. He has been a member of the CJRT Orchestra, the Kingston Symphony, the Mississauga Symphony Orchestra and Sinfonia, the National Ballet of Canada orchestra, the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra. He also has played in the Hannaford Street Silver Band and the Brigham Phillips Big Band, and since 2001 has been a member of the Rex Hotel Jazz Orchestra.
James is sponsored by York University