Donald Spinelli *

Percussion Principal

What city are you living in now? Springfield, VA

Where did you study? Shepherd School of Music (Rice University, Houston, TX)

What is your favorite piece of music? Pictures at an Exhibition (M. Mussorgsky)

What do you enjoy in your spare time? Trading options in the stock market (my 2nd passion)

What is your fondest Annapolis Symphony memory? Concert soloist under the baton of Gisele Ben-Dor (March 1996)


Donald Spinelli has served as the Principal Percussionist of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Maryland Symphony Orchestra since 1989. Originally from Pittsburgh, Donald received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston in 1980. There, he performed with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, and Houston Ballet orchestras from 1979 to 1986. Additionally, during that time, he also worked with such luminaries in the music world as Placido Domingo and Andrea Bocelli. In 1987, he joined The United States Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” in which he served as section percussionist, principal percussionist, and percussion section soloist, until his retirement in 2007.

Donald was often seen at The White House with The President’s Own Marine Band and has performed there with the likes of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder, Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Kathleen Battle, Renee Fleming, and John Williams. He has toured and performed with a number of Broadway shows including The Phantom of the Opera, Ragtime, Les Miserables, Lion King, and Wicked.

In addition, Donald has been seen in performance with all the major and regional orchestras in the D.C. metro area and has been a featured concert soloist with several of these organizations. He now resides in Merida, Mexico, with his wife of 37 years, Diane. They are the parents of seven children – Catherine, Sophie, Bianca, Isabel, Joseph, John Paul, and Mary – and seven grandchildren to date!