AL MacDonald Music Teacher

Al MacDonald was a music teacher in the Newburyport and Amesbury school.  He was a 1970 Berklee Graduate.  I remember him as my marching band and stage band teacher in the Nock Middle School during 1978-1982.   I remember him telling me he was in his own jazz band at the time.  I was in the NBPT Middle School Jazz Band in 8th grade and played drums on John Lennon’s Imagine song.  I remember doing a drum riff, if you were to equate it to a guitar, a few bars early on this song and seeing Al MacDonald look at me instantly as if to say what the F”””.  I knew I was a bit early to the chorus of “Imagine all the people”  BUT he never mentioned it,  I knew I was a bit early.  We both knew I was early.  It’s amazing to this day I remember this.  He signed my 8th grade year book and said, “Keep on Swinging”.  I guess what I am trying to say is, he was an incredible music teacher, who knew in a split sec that “you” knew you screwed up, but you did you’re best at the time to fix it! He knew you knew and that was enough.  He is the coolest Kat in music!  Under his skin he was probably freaking out, but he never showed it!  This is a sign of a great teacher!   Al MacDonald thanks for a great experience!!!

Please see his alumni information for more…See 1970.  Al MacDonald

7 Responses to AL MacDonald Music Teacher

  1. I lived across the street on Toppans Ln. from Mr.&Mrs. Nock from 1950-60. Until the mid 50s my grandfather had a large barn for his dairy cows on the land where the Nock School is now.

    Rick Eck March 8, 2009 at 11:26 am Reply
  2. Al MacDonald influenced a lot of kids in both the Newburyport and Amesbury Schools. He must have got his first job in Newburyport, right outta Berklee. He taught elementary, middle and high school instruments, Bless him, he put up with a lot from the kids in the NHS Band in the 70’s! I loved him though, he was one of the reasons I went into music and became a teacher.

    kathy January 10, 2011 at 8:51 pm Reply
  3. I was in NHS band and Stage Band 1976-1980, Mr MacDonald, Mr Savoy and Mr Allman(?) – OMG we tested them so much. I remember a band trip to the Cape and they has all they could do to keep us under control but they were awesome.

    D Cox January 13, 2011 at 12:23 pm Reply
    • Gary Allman deserved a gold medal for putting up with us. He was my drum teacher in the R.A Nock Middle School about 1980.

      Shawn G - Moderator January 14, 2012 at 2:31 am Reply
  4. Al MacDonald came to NHS band when I was a junior if I recall correctly, which was about 1972. He was instrumental in my love of music & striving to be a better musician. I took lessons from him after school, would walk over to the middle school at the time. I’ve been wondering lately how to contact him to thank him for all the time he put in helping me and encouraging me.

    Chris D January 14, 2012 at 1:43 am Reply
  5. Greetings y'all. I recall when Al started … a recent graduate not much older than us kids … Gary Allman was easy going … I recall that after away football games, Gary would get off the bus at the railroad tracks in Peabody and walk home … His signature was easy to forge on permission slips for getting out of classes. One of my favorite music teachers from high school was Mr. (John?) Spinelli … we had stage band, and he arranged the songs, including a great "Proud Mary" and one that slips my mind. He came to police attention once after a home football game because of alcohol. There was another music teacher, ufff, whose name I don't recall. After high school I attended the Boston Conservatory, and he was in wind ensemble with me under the direction of John Corley. My favorite music teacher of all was John Battis, who passed away a couple of years ago. He played clarinet in Tiny Tim's group. He started me on trumpet in third grade at Brown School. Just for memory sake, the chorus teacher was Esther Galbraith. At age 67, I still play trumpet.

    Bob Chase August 5, 2022 at 10:42 am Reply

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