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Payton MacDonald

West Orange, NJ

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Payton MacDonald is a composer and performer. As a composer he has received grants from American Music Center, American Institute of Indian Studies, as well as fellowships from Yaddo and Ragdale. He also received the Barbara S. Butler composition award. Numerous ensembles have performed his music in the U.S., Japan, Canada, and Europe, including Alarm Will Sound, So Percussion, Quintet Mont Royal, and tabla soloist Shawn Mativetsky. MacDonald recently performed his percussion concerto in Carnegie Hall. His music has been described as ". . . engaging and utterly beautiful." (Sequenza 21)
As a performer he is a founding member of Alarm Will Sound, a new-music group based in New York City. Alarm Will Sound is currently regarded as one of the foremost new music ensembles in the country and has recorded three discs, on the Nonesuch and Cantaloupe labels. The New York Times wrote that they are “the future of classical music.” With Alarm Will Sound MacDonald has performed at New York's finest concert halls including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Miller Theater, Merkin Hall, and Symphony Space. Alarm Will Sound has performed in Holland, Boston, San Francisco, and Minneapolis as well.
MacDonald also frequently appears as a marimba soloist with Super Marimba. With Super Marimba MacDonald performs his own music using looping machines and delay pedals. From 1994-2004 MacDonald performed with Verederos, a flute and percussion duo. Verederos performed concerts nationwide and recorded two CDs under the Equilibrium label. He has also appeared as a soloist in England and Croatia, performed with Present Music, and toured Japan with Keiko Abe and the Galaxy percussion group.
MacDonald earned his BFA from the University of Michigan, where he studied percussion with Michael Udow. He earned his MM, DMA, and the Performer's Certificate from the Eastman School of Music where he studied percussion with John Beck and composition with Sydney Hodkinson, Robert Morris, and Augusta Read Thomas. Further studies include tabla with Bob Becker and Pandit Sharda Sahai. MacDonald is a disciple of Mr. Sahai. MacDonald is an assistant professor at William Paterson University.