Shawn Donahoo


Berklee Graduate, Piano Principal, Music Synthesis (1989) University of Alabama, Masters Degree, Music Composition (1993) The power that music has to connect us with memories can be absolutely magical and intoxicating. It pours itself into each person’s unique mold, and resonates differently to match what we need. I love that. It’s always been a place of safe refuge for me, and it’s comforting to know that it can be for others... I’ve been a student of piano since age 7. Started composing at 11. Won some AMTA state (AL) competitions for composition and performance at 14 & 15 (respectively), but after high school (1985) pursued a degree in electrical engineering at Auburn University my first two years of college (at the urging a of my loving parents, so I wouldn’t become a starving artist), until the pull of music wouldn’t let me continue down that path. So, I got degrees from Berklee (1989) and Univ of Ala (1993) in Music Synthesis and Composition (respectively), but wasn’t allowed to teach without a DMA. Pulled together what I thought was the best of my work and produced Water Circle the year after graduate school (1994). I spent three years promoting it nationally, but couldn’t get distribution. Gave up on music in order to earn a living. Founded a kite/flag store, Forever Flying (1997-2013), but the pull of music has finally overcome my ability to resist it (again) last year. It’s good to be back! The beauty, mystery and power of nature has always been my primary musical inspiration. Every composition has a visual image or story (real or imaginary) that plays in my mind to accompany the music. It all started 40 years ago (captured in my "Nature Suite for Piano" album, which was composed through my high school years, 1981-1985. It has been said, that “Art imitates Life.” We certainly know, thru experience, that music is an expression of life. But it can be so much more. My favorite quote, from C.G. Jung, is his attempt to define Art, “Art is a bridge thrown out toward and unseen shore...” which I interpret to have spiritual, mystical properties—a yearning, reaching toward connecting with something greater than ourselves. Enjoy these soundtracks of the imagination... SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:[email protected]/ If you would like to receive my latest updates, you can subscribe here: To SUBSCRIBE to Shawn's Newsletter Mailing List: --or here--







What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is like a bridge thrown out toward an unseen shore. It connects me with something that cannot be seen with the eyes, or described with words.

What is your music dream?

To be allowed to keep improving my ability to refine that bridge that music creates to connect us all on a deep, spiritual level. I’ve always dreamed of having my music used for TV/film/video.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Total awareness that you cannot be a blessing to others, without being blessed in return.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Vangelis - Theme from Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" series.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

David Foster, Billy Joel, Joe Satriani

What inspires you to make music?

Intense power of the beauty and mystery of Nature, and of course, the longing to connect with kindred spirits.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

There is much more to life than what you know from the surface.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Empowered. Fulfilled...and humbled that I have the opportunity to share the powerful stories that only music can tell.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

So much talent, but so little support. Music education is the key. Until society recognizes (as it once did) the sacred importance of music (and the musician, as messenger) we will never reach our potential. Intellect (science/technology) gives us the vehicle and the direction, but emotion (art) is the fuel--the power--that drives us forward.

What do you think of Drooble?

It's what I've waited for my whole life--the opportunity to connect musically with the world, without the limitations of the (previous) music industry. Music made and shared for music's sake, without greed or prejudice. Someone once said, "God puts us where our greatest joy meets the world's greatest need." Drooble has given me new hope that this could be possible...

What frustrates you most as a musician?

Prejudice. Close-mindedness. Ignorance. Superficial mentality. Selfishness. Greed. Pride.

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

Yes. Going to live shows when money allows, but there's not much of that for the musician who has to work at Walmart to survive.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

I'll let you know when I figure it out. My opinion so far would be that you have to work as many pieces of the puzzle, discovered and developed over a number of years, and be creative and assertive along the way to find (or create) the opportunities to use your abilities.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Shane Wilson Dee Washburn