Alistair McDonald’s professional life has largely been in the service of the symphony, opera and ballet orchestras in South Africa, spanning some 30 years in the former CAPAB, the Cape Town Symphony and Kwazulu Natal Philharmonic orchestras. He joined the full-time teaching staff at the South African College High School in Cape Town in 2006, primarily as brass-instrument teacher and ensemble coach for the concert and jazz bands. In 2011 he was appointed at the Music Department, Stellenbosch University, where he teaches trumpet students enrolled in undergraduate studies. In addition, he teaches community musicians, as well as bandsmen from the SANDF as well as SADC military bands enrolled in the Certificate Programmes in Music Literacy at the Stellenbosch and SA Army Band, Cape Town campuses. He continues to perform on an ad hoc basis with the national orchestras as well as numerous local orchestras. He believes that musicians should be musicians for as long as they are willing and able.