Singer and guitarist Don Moore fell in love with Celtic-influenced music in the late 1960s after his family relocated to Halifax from Pugwash, N.S.
Moore, whose father was a minister and barbershop quartet singer, grew up immersed in music and learned to harmonize at a young age.
After playing in a high school rock band, he met fellow founding McGinty member Dave Hickey and the band's future business manager Bob Dooley at a time when Celtic music was making a resurgence on the university scene.
"I heard Irish and Scottish music for the first time and I fell for it. We started playing concerts, pubs and universities and it became what we did for fun and for a living," recalls Moore.
Moore and Hickey were in a band called Shanty, while McGinty's other founding member, John Ferguson, was with a band called Kiltarlity when the trio came together in 1977.
For Moore, the highlight of his 33 years with McGinty's original line-up includes several cross-Canada tours and gigs in Rankin Inlet and Ireland. One of those cross-country tours was with the Neptune Theatre production of John Gray's Don Messer's Jubilee. Another memorable highlight for Moore was the Eastern Canada Youth Rally McGinty hosted during Pope John Paul II's visit to Canada in 1984.
Fellow band member Roger Stone says for many people, Moore's voice is the one associated with popularizing several Maritime standards.
"When you think about songs like The Bluenose Song, Donnie's voice is the voice that made that tune popular. His voice was clear and clean, it didn't have an accent. It was Nova Scotian," explains Stone. "While there were three singers in McGinty, everybody recognized Donnie as the lead singer."
Moore says he feels fortunate to be able to continue the group's enduring contribution to the Maritime music scene.
"We are very lucky to have Joe Breen and Roger Stone to take the place of Dave and John. We miss the guys, there's no question...and the band does sound different, but we're still having a lot of fun," says Moore. "With Roger and Joe, the Celtic Maritime tradition has continued and I think that's a very lucky thing. A lot of people are glad to see the band has kept going."