Welcome to the Music Portfolio of Matthew Donnelly
Matthew Donnelly is open to taking commissions! Please contact him using the
form provided on the contact page.
Brought to you by the year 1986
Matthew Donnelly was born on a particularly unremarkable day in October (though I’m sure his parents would disagree). Starting his life in a small mining town, he soon relocated to the booming metropolis of North Bay, Ont., where he spent the next 18 years of his life.
Matt’s upbringing was not a particularly musical one. Before music entered his life,
he spent a lot of his time playing outside with his two younger sisters and his
neighbourhood friends. It was, in many aspects, a good, wholesome Northern
Then, it happened.
When Matt entered grade seven, he was placed in a mandatory instrumental music class. Every student was given a list of instruments and told to pick one. When it came his turn to pick, he asked about the saxophone. He was told it was out for repairs and he would have to wait a week to try it out. When the instrument finally made its way into his hands, he stood odd to the side, looked down and thought “I want to be a musician.”
He’s never looked back.
When he reached high school, he was able to experiment with string instruments. The year before, he had seen a concert at St. Joseph Scollard Hall, his soon-to-be high school, and had taken particular notice of a wooden behemoth being played on the left-hand side of the stage. The only thought that crossed his mind was “I want to play that,” and so he did. When Matt entered his high school string music class, he made a
beeline for the double bass. This was the instrument that would carry him through the rest of his high school and university careers.
Deciding not to follow in the footsteps of his family and work for Ontario Northland, Matthew enrolled at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont. where he studied music. Matt chose to pursue a major in composition while still performing and taking lessons. In 2010 Matthew received his B.Mus. in contemporary music: composition.
Since finishing school, Matt has continued to play with a variety of different groups in the Kitchener-Waterloo area. While his primary instrument is still double bass, it is not uncommon to see him on stage wielding a saxophone, mandolin, clarinet, flute or any other instrument you can think of (except harp).
Matt is looking at pursuing a masters degree in music performance while still keeping up with his compositions.
Matt currently lives just outside of Kitchener with his partner Ashley, rambunctious cat named Mariah and a hamster named Animatronio (Annie for short) that has a very hard time distinguishing the difference between food and human flesh.
Matthew Donnelly is the 2013 winner of the Canadian Band Association's annual Composition Competition. His piece, River Valley Sketches will be performed and recorded by multiple premiere wind bands across the country. Read more about it at http://www.canadianband.ca/Composition%20Competition/compositioncompe.html.
Check out the winning piece on the Recordings page.
New Article on Matt
A new article has appeared in the Waterloo Region Record about Matt's CBA win.
Read here: http://www.therecord.com/whatson/artsentertainment/article/874660--young-composer-wins-prestigious-prize
Check out more of Matthew on social media!