Following three successful seasons (1996-1999) as Acting Principal Trumpet of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Karen Donnelly was unanimously appointed Principal Trumpet in October 1999, and continues to enjoy each year with this wonderful ensemble.
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Karen picked up a trumpet for the first time in her elementary school band program and she was hooked. Her formal training includes a Bachelor of Arts in Music program at the University of Regina and later a Master's of Music from McGill University.
Karen held the position of Principal Trumpet with Orchestra London (Canada) from 1994-1996, and performed with many ensembles in southwestern Ontario during her time there.
Since she burst on the Ottawa scene in 1996, Ms. Donnelly has done concerts and interviews for CBC (French and English), performances with the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet, and the large ensemble, Capital BrassWorks. In 2008, Capital Brass Works released its third album, “Gabriel’s Sister” featuring Ms. Donnelly as soloist.
Karen has been featured with professional orchestras, community amateur orchestras, and many local school bands. These include the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Kington Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, Hannaford Silver Street Band, Maple Leaf Brass Band, Parkdale Orchestra and the Regina Catholic Schools Honour Band.
Music education has always been, and continues to be, very close to Karen’s heart. Her work with the Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet and Capital BrassWorks creates opportunities for educational concerts and workshops in schools. Through the NAC Music Education programs, Karen has given master classes in Switzerland, Mexico, China, United States, United Kingdom and Canada from coast to coast. Ms. Donnelly joined the teaching staff at the University of Ottawa in 2002, and since 2009, Karen has been assisting with the Leadingnote OrKidstra program.
Douglas Burden has been the Bass Trombonist of the National Arts Centre Orchestra since 1972. He has taught at the University of Ottawa since 1975 and continues to do so. He was the bass trombone instructor at the McGill Faculty of Music in Montréal for six years from 2001 to 2007. For a period of five years from 1987 to 1992, he travelled weekly to Kingston and taught at Queen's University. He was also a member of the Ottawa Symphony Orchestra for seventeen years from 1975 to1992.
After playing the cornet, trumpet, and tenor trombone for seven years, he received his early formal instruction on the bass trombone as a high school student at the Hamilton Conservatory of Music under the guidance of Antal Dvorak. Upon receiving a scholarship to the Eastman School of Music, he continued his studies in Rochester New York under the famous trombone teacher Emory Remington and later with Donald Knaub, graduating in 1975 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Performance "suma cum laude".
In 1979 Mr. Burden received a grant from the Canada Council to continue studies with Arnold Jacobs and Edward Kleinhammer, both members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
As an active member of the musical life of Ottawa, Mr. Burden has performed solo Bass Trombone Recitals for the CBC, solo and chamber music recitals at the University of Ottawa, was a member of the Ottawa Brass Quintet, and was the manager and co-founder of "Classical Brass", a ten-piece brass ensemble. Currently he is the bass trombonist of Capital BrassWorks. Mr. Burden has performed as soloist and chamber musician in the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival on many occasions, Music and Beyond Festival, as well as the Elora Festival. One of Mr. Burden's former students is now the principal trombonist of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and another is the second trombonist of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. Many other students have gone on to successful careers as music educators and military band musicians.
Mr. Burden has been on the trombone faculty of the Domaine Forget Brass Academy in 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2013 as an Instructor of private lessons, coaching orchestral excerpts for low brass, and conducting the Brass Choir and Trombone Choir.
As an adjudicator Mr. Burden has adjudicated the Kiwanis Music Festival in Ottawa and MusicFest Canada.
Mr. Burden has conducted Masterclasses throughout Canada and the world. Some of the highlights are at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, British Columbia; University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta; McGill University in Montreal, Quebec; Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland; Three Oaks Secondary School in Summerside, Prince Edward Island; Beijing Conservatory of Music in Beijing, China; Nottingham Great Britain, and The Royal Danish Academy of Music, Copenhagen, Denmark.
As a free-lance musician Mr. Burden has performed and recorded with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal under Charles Dutoit, The Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, The National Ballet Orchestra, and in the pit orchestras for "Les Miserables" and "The Phantom of the Opera" among many others. Other freelance work has included playing in the backup orchestras for singers and entertainers such as Frank Sinatra, Tom Jones, Holly Cole, and Rich Little.
Douglas is the bass trombonist with Capital BrassWorks and can be heard on all four CDs that they have recorded.
Mr. Burden is a Thein Artist in Canada and can be heard on recordings of the National Arts Centre Orchestra on the RCA, Analekta, and CBC labels and on the London Decca label with L’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. He is in demand across North America as a soloist, conductor, adjudicator, and clinician.
You can also hear Douglas on two Decca recordings with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under Charles Dutoit, most notably the Berlioz Requiem. These recordings are available here.
Douglas enjoys spending time with his family. He enjoys reading a wide range of books that span from Alice Munro, Margaret Atwood, through Patrick O’Brien, to C. S. Forester, Barbara W. Tuchman, Winston Churchill, and Margaret MacMillan. He is a keen student of military history particularly WWI and WWII. During the summer months he enjoys touring on his Honda Goldwing and playing golf. During the winter months, when time allows, he enjoys watching movies both new and classics. Douglas is a big sports fan and follows the NFL, in particular the New England Patriots; as well as the NHL Ottawa Senators.
Douglas enjoys teaching and keeping in touch with his former students.