By Geoff Agombar
Local Journalism Initiative
Among the 135 new appointments to the Order of Canada announced Wednesday, one local name stands out:
Andrew Paul MacDonald, C.M.
For his contributions to contemporary Canadian classical, jazz and electronic music, as an educator, composer and performer.
Since the announcement, MacDonald has been awash in calls and messages from all across the country, “I’ve got a lot of nice messages. It’s really heartwarming.” Colleagues, students, friends, and even a few he had not heard from since high school, “Yes, there have been a few of those,” MacDonald says.
“I knew that I had been nominated, but it’s definitely a surprise to be appointed. It’s very, very exciting because, boy, I don’t know too many other composers who have,” he says. “It’s great for me, but it’s also great for Bishop’s and for Sherbrooke in general.”
Honours aside, MacDonald immediately shifts to his excitement about new works that will result from having his name in the news. After winning a Juno in the mid-nineties, he remembers a decade of increased commissions and inspiring collaborations. “I just know a couple things will happen over the next couple of years now because of this.”
“It goes in waves, eh?” MacDonald laughs. “You see that with pop musicians, but in the classical world too, where you’re the flavour of the month for a while and you do your thing and everyone’s excited by that, then someone else comes along and you step into the background a little bit. Other people are taking over for a while and that’s fine.”
“I’m not finished saying what I’ve got to say yet. I’ve got a lot more music to write.”
The Order of Canada appointment comes just as MacDonald draws a 34-year stint in Bishop’s University’s music department to a close.
He grew up in Guelph enjoying all the amazing things bands like Yes, Jethro Tull, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer and King Crimson were doing to his head, before moving on to a fascination with classical composers.
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