Donald Joseph Harral

1963 -

Don Harral, a trumpet player, has been extensively involved in instrumental ensembles for over thirty years. During those years he has worked as a draftsman, programmer, and, for a short while, an insurance underwriter.

Don was born in Walla Walla, Washington, the last of eight children of Louis Wilbur and Elizabeth Rachel Harral.  Because his father died when he was three and his mother subsequently married twice, he moved several times during his childhood. Music was an important activity in the family, his mother being a talented amateur pianist who gave him occasional piano lessons in his earliest years.

He started cornet in the seventh grade and then switched to trumpet.  When he attended Gem State Academy in Idaho, he continued lessons with Doug Macaulay, a trombonist, before being referred to Edward Beisley, a trumpet player, in nearby Meridian, Idaho, who taught him for two and a half years.

Don enjoyed his stay at GSA, where he studied piano with Alma Kravig and was influenced by Frank Kravig.  Macaulay was an important and critical person in his musical and personal development as Don played under him in band, traveled with him in a brass ensemble that played widely throughout the Northwest, took basic instruction in conducting from him. Macaulay became a father figure for him during his teenage years.

During his senior year, he became involved with the production of the yearbook; played a leading role in the senior class play, A Marriage Proposal, by Anton Chekov; was preparing a senior trumpet recital; played principal trumpet in the band and the youth symphony in Boise; and assisted Macaulay in direction of the band.   Because of his many commitments, he became seriously ill with colitis in December of his senior year, yet was able to recover and graduate in 1981.

Don enrolled at Walla Walla College, now University upon graduating from academy and by January of his first year the health issue, which had reoccurred in December, was resolved.  During his two and a half years at WWC, he played in the band and brass choir and also studied trumpet with Lloyd Leno and Larry Jess, principal trumpet with the Spokane Symphony. 

He married Anne Marie Diehl in December 1983. They would have a daughter, Faith, and a son, Peter, both of whom have been involved in music activities.

The Harrals served as student missionaries in Guam for a year from 1984-85 before briefly returning to WWC and then moving to Moscow, Idaho, where Don attended the University of Idaho for a semester.  He later attended Lewis and Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho, where he completed a program as a draftsman in 1988. They returned to the Walla Walla area when he was hired by Key Technology that fall.

During these moves, he continued to be active in music, playing principal trumpet in the Guam Symphony Orchestra, in the community band near LCSC, briefly with the Walla Walla Symphony, and as needed with the band at WWC, the latter beginning in the 1990s and continuing to the present.

Harral has also played as a soloist in the several Adventist churches in the area.  In the 1990s he joined and then coordinated brass ensembles ranging in size from three to sixteen associated with the College Place SDA Village church. In more recent years he has continued to do this on an occasional basis.


Sources: Interview with Don Harral, November 2013; personal knowledge.