Aaron McDonald is the Principal Timpanist of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and the Classical Tahoe Orchestra. Prior to joining the VSO he was timpanist with the West Virginia Symphony and performed and toured with the Cleveland Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Indianapolis Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. Since moving to Canada, he has performed with the NAC Orchestra, Calgary Philharmonic, VSO Chamber Players, and Turning Point Ensemble. As a soloist he has performed concertos with the VSO, Calgary Philharmonic, and Classical Tahoe Orchestra.
Aaron currently teaches at the UBC School of Music, the VSO School of Music, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute. His students have performed as soloists with the VSO and Vancouver Youth Symphony Orchestra, and participated in the Juilliard Summer Percussion Seminar, the Manhattan School of Music Virtual Percussion Summit, Eastman Summer Music Camp, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Vancouver Symphony Orchestral Institute, and the Marrowstone Music Festival. His students have also go on to attend many prestigious universities, including Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, Northwestern, Manhattan School of Music, University of North Texas, University of Toronto, and the University of British Columbia.
Aaron received his Masters in Orchestra Performance from the Manhattan School of Music where studied with Chris Lamb of the New York Philharmonic and Duncan Patton of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He then moved to Cleveland to Study with Tom Freer of the Cleveland Orchestra. Music festivals he has participated in include the Music Academy of the West, Tanglewood, and the Israel International Symphony Orchestra.