Betty Knieser MacDonald
Class of 1955
Betty MacDonald graduated from Olean High in 1955 and later received her Bachelor of Music Education Degree from the State University of New York at Fredonia. Ms. MacDonald was head of the Elementary String Program in Ossining, N.Y.
In addition to her teaching position, Ms. MacDonald is a professional violinist, vocalist, performer and recording artist. She produced two jazz CDs of her music, “Soulful” and “Dream Come True,” and has a lengthy discography of other recordings on which she has performed.
Along with her professional music career in the United States, Ms. MacDonald was featured in jazz festivals in Russia, India and Turkey. She earned the title of “Jazz Connection for the Hudson Valley” for her many years as a radio personality on WDST in Woodstock, N.Y., and WAMC in Albany, N.Y.
Ms. MacDonald continues to teach string music, conducts jazz and improvisation workshops, and performs in schools and nursing homes encouraging audience participation and spreading the love of music instilled by her parents and her hometown of Olean.