Earl MacDonald

Like musicianship, I see my faith journey as a gradual process of refinement. Sure, I make mistakes – both as a pianist and in all aspects of my life. Thankfully, I’m not defined by those mistakes and I try not to dwell on them. The analogy of being malleable clay in the Potter’s hand (Isaiah 64:8) excites me. It’s inspiring to know that tomorrow, I won’t be exactly the same as I was yesterday. I like being a work in progress.

My Life

Favorite Quote

“Everything in moderation, including moderation.” ― Oscar Wilde

My hobbies

reading, running, website design (www.earlmacdonald.com), learning to play the trumpet with my son

Fantasy dinner guests

My maternal grandparents died when I was young. I think I would enjoy chatting with them in their midlives.

My undergrad alma mater

McGill University (in Montréal, QC)

In college I drove

nothing --- I walked and took public transportation.

If I weren't a professor, I would

compose movie soundtracks or work as a touring jazz musician. If I were to step outside of music, I might choose graphic design or architecture.

Favorite books

A Grander Story (that's how I discovered this site!), Blue: the Murder of Jazz, The Power of Less (by Leo Babauta)

Favorite movies

Groundhog Day, Slapshot, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby

Favorite city

Winnipeg, MB (my hometown)

Favorite coffee

My only stipulations are that it is hot, fresh and without added flavors (I'll pass on the pumpkin spice, thank you.)

Nobody knows I

cried both times my wife and I watched "The Notebook."

My latest accomplishment

I knocked 8 minutes off my person best half-marathon time this fall, finishing in 1:36:50. Now I have my sights set on qualifying for the Boston Marathon.

Current Research

I've become increasingly interested in how jazz musicians, through their music, have played an important role in promoting racial equality, shaping political consciousness, encouraging political activity, and strengthening the scope of social activism in America. I hope to make a similar, impactful contribution through the compositions I write and perform.