Don McComas began playing the bugle at the age of five when he found his father’s bugle in the attic at their home in Billings, Montana. He soon moved to the trumpet. As a child, McComas played duets with his mother who was an accomplished pianist and organist. In the first grade, McComas met his wife of fifty-five years, Sharlene. He went to college at the University of Michigan and upon graduation was called into service by the US Army where he played in the US Army Band in Fort Myer, Virginia. When he finished his time in active duty, he joined the Buffalo Symphony, the National Symphony in Washington, DC, and then the Philadelphia Orchestra where played for thirty-two years. He played under conductors such as Stokowski, Ormandy, Bernstein, Muti, and Sawallish. In addition to his orchestral career, McComas worked with trumpet students from all over the US.
McComas played trumpet into the final weeks of his life, practicing lyrical pieces for the trumpet and Cliff Lillya transcriptions.
Sources: Billings Gazette, Allen Pekar