Artist Spotlight: Christie Macdonald

Artist Spotlight: Christie Macdonald

Senior Christie Macdonald and junior Thomas Gardner rehearse for her senior project. Macdonald’s senior project is singing at elderly homes along with teaching guitar lessons.

Sarah Kearby, Lifestyles Editor

Senior Christie Macdonald typically contributes to the music for plays as a member of the pit orchestra, but for her senior project she plans to be onstage, front and center, at elderly and disabled homes around the county.

“I decided to play guitar for the elderly and disabled because I want to spread my love of music and bring joy to other people,” Macdonald said. She also invited junior Thomas Gardner to get involved with her senior project.

“He’s just a good singer, and I think together we can provide the elderly and disabled with a good show,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald not only wants to brighten other people’s days with her own music, but  also to inspire and teach others how to play her favorite instrument, the guitar. “Some of the biggest influences in my life have been guitar teachers. I’ve also had to teach the underclassmen in band about percussion and I genuinely like teaching,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald has been playing guitar for eight years. She got her first electric guitar for her ninth birthday but previously played an old acoustic guitar that her father owned. “I was always a music nerd since as long as I can remember. I would just sit around and listen to his [her dad’s] old records all day when I was kid,” Macdonald said.

The bass guitar, the drum set, the mandolin, banjitar, and ukulele are a few other instruments Macdonald can play. “I also dabble very lightly in piano. It sounds like a lot, but they’re all related and once you play one, you have the others in the bag,” Macdonald said.

Macdonald has performed in seven different pit orchestras with theater groups like Children’s Playhouse of Maryland and Cockpit in Court at the Community College of Baltimore County, Tidewater Players in Havre de Grace, and Vagabond Players in Fells Point.

Macdonald has played the guitar in the JC pits for “Bye Bye Birdie,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Suessical the Musical,” “Peter Pan,” and “How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying.” She also plans to be in the pit for “Cinderella” this upcoming spring.

Even though Macdonald seems to have easily mastered multiple musical aspects, she has faced some challenges over the years in learning how to read bass clef and pit music, saying that, “it’s completely different than reading jazz or classical music.” But she is “confident it will all pay off one day.”

Sarah Kearby is a Lifestyles Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.