His recent and in-progress projects include Peace Process (for basset horn and piano), The Creatures' Choir (an evening-long song cycle for voice and piano), Ways To Jump (a choral work concerning frogs, commissioned by Music Worcester), Piano Albums 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 (collections of piano miniatures that attempt to chronicle some difficulties and joys of daily life through musical observation), Four Compositions for flute and piano, and a new work for saxophone and piano commissioned by the Massachusetts Music Teachers Association that responds to Schubert's song cycle Winterreise. Pianist Andrew Rangell has just completed a recording (for Bridge Records; May 2009 release) of Mr. McDonald's Meditation Before A Sonata: Dew Cloth, Dream Drapery, a piece which can function as a preamble to either of the monumental Charles Ives sonatas.
His recordings appear on the Albany, Archetype, Boston, Bridge, Capstone, Neuma, New Ariel, and New World labels, and he has concertized widely as composer and pianist. Recent performances at the Goethe Institut of Boston and at Tufts have been highly acclaimed. His solo piano recital of "Common Injustices" by twenty-five living composers prompted Richard Dyer of The Boston Globe to write "one can hardly imagine anyone else undertaking such a program, or playing it with such modest and unobtrusive but total musical and pianistic mastery." Mr. McDonald has appeared with many ensembles and has maintained long-standing musical partnerships with soprano Karol Bennett, saxophonists Kenneth Radnofsky and Philipp Stäudlin, and several other prominent soloists. Since 2004 he has performed as pianist for The Mockingbird Trio (with Elizabeth Anker, contralto and Scott Woolweaver, viola).more