Since 1980 John McPherson has served as Principal Trombone of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra having previously played with the Toronto Symphony, Hamilton Philharmonic, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble. A native of Edmonton, John was a student of composer, trombonist and U of A professor Dr. Malcolm Forsyth.
The ESO has presented John as a soloist on both trombone and euphonium and have performed many of his compositions and arrangements. In addition to this, his compositions have been performed and recorded by Mark Fewer, the Hammerhead Consort, the NowAge ensemble, the Debut, Wildrose and Beau string quartets and Albertasaurus.
A versatile musician, John has not only played trombone with groups such as Manhattan Transfer, Tommy Banks Big Band, Edmonton Jazz Orchestra and the Bad for Business Big Band, but also recorder with the Plumbers Union, euphonium with The Old Strathcona Town Band and Albertasaurus, and tuba with Diana Krall, Lee Konitz, the Canadian Hot Stars, and with an opening act for Rod Stewart. He has also performed with the Broadway Touring Companies of Wicked, Mary Poppins, A Chorus Line and The Lion King.
As an educator, John has been a clinician for music festivals, workshops and camps, and is the low brass instructor at the University of Alberta Department of Music. He continues to be part of the ESO’s Adopt-A-Player program, recently co-created an educational outreach project for students in Fort McMurray, and with ESWAT (the ESO’s tactical team) has lead over 200 missions of surgical musical strikes on everyone from the Canadian military to City Council in chambers.