Ian McDougall

Ian (Walter) McDougall. Trombonist, composer, b Calgary 14 Jun 1938; B MUS (British Columbia) 1966, M MUS composition (British Columbia) 1970. His father, George McDougall, played banjo and guitar in Calgary dance bands during the 1920s.

McDougall, Ian

Ian (Walter) McDougall. Trombonist, composer, b Calgary 14 Jun 1938; B MUS (British Columbia) 1966, M MUS composition (British Columbia) 1970. His father, George McDougall, played banjo and guitar in Calgary dance bands during the 1920s. The younger McDougall took up the trombone at 11 in Victoria, BC, studying with Jack Kraeling, and began playing in bands at 12. In 1960 he went to England, where he was a member 1960-1 of the John Dankworth Orchestra and also played with the Ted Heath Orchestra.

Returning to Canada in 1961 and settling in Vancouver in 1962, McDougall played 1962-4 in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, was a member of the houseband at the Cave under Chris Gage and Fraser MacPherson, and attended the University of British Columbia (where his teachers included Cortland Hultberg). In 1966 he was briefly a member of the Woody Herman Orchestra. McDougall led jazz groups of various sizes in Vancouver, including a 12-piece big band and an 18-piece brass band, which often were heard on the CBC. In 1970 he founded Pacific Salt, remaining its leader until he moved in 1973 to Toronto. He has, however, sustained his association with Pacific Salt's guitarist, Oliver Gannon, and keyboard player, Ron Johnston, recording the albums Three (1976, Energy E-464) and RIO (1988, Innovation JC-0017). Under the name RIO, the trio toured Canadian jazz festivals in 1989.

In Toronto 1973-86 McDougall was a first-call studio musician, a member of the Boss Brass and Doug Hamilton's Brass Connection, and the leader again of a variety of jazz groups. In 1986 he moved to Victoria, BC. He was a sessional instructor 1986-8 at the University of British Columbia and began teaching trombone, jazz studies, and orchestration at the University of Victoria in 1988.

McDougall's compositions include several extended works for big band, among them The Jazz Suite (1967), The Vancouver Suite (1971), Pellet Suite (1976), and Blue Serge Suit(e) (1983). The first two were commissioned by the CBC, the others written for the Boss Brass, which has recorded Pellet Suite (Umbrella UMB-GEN 1-12). His Symphonic Suite for Jazz Band and Orchestra (1984) was commissioned for and premiered by Boss Brass and the CJRT Orchestra. Other orchestral works include Tidelines (1970, commissioned by the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra), British Columbia Centennial Suite (1971, for brass band), and Mini-suite for the RCMP (1979, commissioned by the RCMP). His Concerto for Clarinet and String Orchestra (1984) was written for and recorded by Stanley McCartney with the CBC Vancouver Orchestra. McDougall also has completed Ojistah (1986, text by Pauline Johnson) for soprano and orchestra (premiered by Rosemary Landry and the CBC Vancouver Orchestra under the composer's direction), Three Pieces for String Quartet (1986, for the Purcell String Quartet), and Three Canadian Folk Songs (1988, written for and recorded by the Vancouver Chamber Choir).

McDougall has written many other pieces for jazz group or big band, including four pieces for the third of his three albums 1980-7 with the Brass Connection, A Five Star Edition (Innovation JC-0015). His other recordings include two albums with John Dankworth (see Discography for Kenny Wheeler), two with Pacific Salt, and more than a dozen 1974-91 with the Boss Brass. McDougall made several broadcast LPs 1968-76 with his own groups (including the Hogtown Trumpets) for the CBC's RM and LM series (listed in the Canadian Jazz Discography).

McDougall's wife, Barbara (b Allen, Vancouver 1 May 1946; B MUS British Columbia 1966) studied violin with Esther Glazer in Vancouver, Oscar Shumsky at the Juilliard School, New York, and Lorand Fenyves at the University of Toronto. She was a member 1969-72 of the Vancouver SO, and a freelance musician 1973-86 in Toronto chamber, symphony, and studio orchestras. She continued to freelance in Victoria and has taught privately.


Further Reading

  • Bavin, Pam. 'Canadians in London, 1: Ian McDougall,' Coda, Sep 1961

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