What We Are
Here at Open Music Collective, our mission is to brighten lives and build community by connecting people and inspiring them to learn, perform and express themselves through music.
We do this through classes, private lessons, concerts, community jams, summer camps, providing rehearsal space and everything else we can to create an extraordinary gathering place and a home for musicians of all ages and levels.
We help people experience the remarkable and create new possibilities, bringing alive music of all kinds.
Artistic Director – Jamie MacDonald
Jamie Macdonald, an upright and electric bassist, is known in the New England-area as a professional, musical, and eclectic bassist. Additionally, his students consider him to be a hardworking, challenging, and eye-opening teacher.
Though Macdonald’s degree was conferred over ten years ago, his studies have continued. Jamie Macdonald refers to himself as a “student of music.” In other words, he feels music offers an endless number of lessons, and an endless number of opportunities for growth.
He began his career at Keene State College where he earned two degrees – a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music Theory and Music History and a Bachelor of Music Degree in Performance. He has studied privately with Mike Formanek, Cameron Brown, Don Baldini, and attended master classes with Santi Debriano and Marcus McClaurine.
Professionally, Macdonald performs in a number of genres. His work as a principle bassist in the Keene Chamber Orchestra in New Hampshire led to the opportunity to work as a principal bassist in Vermont’s Windham Orchestra as well. His ten years of employment with the Vermont Jazz Center speaks to his dedication both to jazz music and to passing this musical tradition along to others.
As part of his tenure with VJC, Macdonald worked as a bassist for the Vermont Jazz Center Big Band and he served as a summer faculty member at the Vermont Jazz Center Summer Camp in Brattleboro, Vermont. Here, he taught theory courses, accompanied Sheila Jordan’s vocal class, and played bass for jam sessions. He performed in concert with other faculty members including Gene Rush, Pete Yellin, Satoshi Takeishi, Helmut Kagerer, Jay Clayton, Claire Arenius, James Williams, and Sheila Jordan.
Macdonald has also performed with Bobby Bradford, Rod Levitt Orchestra, Peter Eldridge, Carlos Averhoff, Catherine Legard, Emilie Conway, and Harvey Diamond. He is currently performing as part of the Jazz Demolition Project with David Goodrich on guitar and Doug Raneri on dums. He also regularly performs with Draa Hobbs, Mitch Seidman, and The Diamond Cosmos.
Due to a desire to pursue and teach a variety of musical genres, Macdonald collaborated with Kate Parsons to found The Open Music Collective (a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching and learning a variety of musical styles). He has led a number of jazz student ensembles for a range of students and instruments. He currently works at Brattleboro Union High School as the Jazz Workshop Director in addition to directing jazz ensembles and vocal repertoire courses at OMC.
Parsons speaks very highly of Macdonald’s teaching abilities. She has been a student in a number of his jazz ensembles. “Although I had been studying jazz for twenty years,” she said, “he opened the musical doors for me and changed my approach to learning. He has a unique talent for instilling confidence at the same time he is presenting heavy challenges. I try to emulate his teaching approach and hope my students will want to do the same.”