Marshall McDonald is an accomplished musician and a seasoned performer. He started clarinet studies with Principal Clarinetist Thomas Thompson of The Pittsburgh Symphony at Carnegie-Mellon University, with William Balawadjer of Carnegie-Mellon University for 6 years and for 2 years with Paris Conservatory graduate Nestor Koval at Duquesne University. He completed his undergraduate studies at University of Pittsburgh with Dr. Nathan Davis and continued his studies in New York City with Miles Davis alumnus, George Coleman. He has also studied with the wonderful woodwind master, Dave Tofani.
Since October 2001, Mr. McDonald has been a member of The World Famous Count Basie Orchestra and holds down the Lead Alto chair in the saxophone section. The orchestra is led by 54 year veteran, Bill Hughes. The band completed a succesful tour of the U.S., Japan, Europe in the fall of 2001, toured the Northeast in the early part of 2002, including an exclusive concert in Malaysia returning once again in 2005 for a concert directed by Frank Foster along with the Malaysian Philharmonic. The Orchestra played a successful run of the Blue Note Clubs of Tokyo, Osaka and Fukuoka Japan in the fall of 2002 and 2004. Mr. McDonald initially performed with The Count Basie Orchestra in 1994 and 1995 under the direction of Frank Foster, including a month long tour of Japan.
From 1991 to 2001, Mr. McDonald was a featured clarinet and saxophone soloist with The Lionel Hampton Orchestra performing with Mr. Hampton and guest artists including Milt Jackson, Nina Simone, Gerry Mulligan, Ray Brown, Art Farmer, Hank Jones, Elvin Jones, and Wynton Marsalis.