Ben MacDonald is a recognized performing saxophonist whose musical endeavors have propelled him to the vanguard of creative and collaborative musicianship. MacDonald has presented concerts across the United States and Europe in venues such as Carnegie Hall and the Croatian National Theatre. During his career, Ben has received awards and recognition in prestigious solo competitions such the Patricia Nixon Woodwind Competition, the Music Teacher’s National Association Young Artist Solo Competition, and the Central Michigan University School of Music Concerto Competition. As a champion of new music, Ben has premiered works from twenty-three different composers including David Maslanka, Roger Zare, Christopher E. Hass, and Kevin Day.
As a jazz saxophonist and multi-instrumentalist, MacDonald performs with ensembles that span across numerous genres. He can currently be heard performing in pit orchestras as a member of music theatre companies including Arizona Broadway Theatre. MacDonald is also a member of Sycamore, a fiddle-guitar duo that performs Celtic, bluegrass, and traditional music.
Ben is a founding member of the Zenith Saxophone Quartet, a dynamic chamber ensemble focused on the development of chamber music performance through memorization and artistic staging. Their debut album, Convergence, was released in January 2021 and consists of seven works written for the Zenith Saxophone Quartet and the Zen Duo. Ben strives to make contributions to the music community not only through performances, but also academic research. Ben’s most recent research paper is entitled “Improving the Quality of Saxophone Quartet Rehearsals: Interviews with Members of Kenari, h2, Sinta, and Fuego Quartets” and is published in the 44th edition of the North American Saxophone Alliance’s peer-reviewed journal, the Saxophone Symposium.
Ben holds a Bachelor of Music Education Degree (2019) from Central Michigan University, Master of Music Degree (2021) from the University of Oklahoma and is currently a doctoral student at Arizona State University. Ben plans to utilize his experiences in music education, live performance, and arts administration to better serve our SOUNDS Academy community. Together, we can bring the arts to those who are in need of an expressive outlet and welcome them to join our musical family!