Don Chapman: Evoltion of Music – A Washington College Parent Showcases His Musical Talent

By Hailli Woo
Lifestyle Editor

Donald Morgan Chapman II has a long background with music.  Parent of sophomore, Matthew Chapman performed in Martha Washington Square on Sept. 19 to help kick off Fall Family Weekend.  Chapman is an acoustic guitarist and vocalist in the Delmarva area.

Chapman was born in Beverly, Mass., but has lived all over the country including California and Alaska where his siblings were born and raised.  He now resides in Leesburg,  Va. with his wife Holly and two sons Matthew and Christopher. His family are members of the Mohegan Tribe in Uncasville, Conn. When Chapman isn’t playing local northern Virginia wineries, he plays at the Birchmere in Alexandria, regional outdoor concerts, and the Tally Ho Theater in Leesburg, Va.

Chapman has more than 25 years of experience with music. He has performed with bands that toured the country, he has composed and recorded his own music, and now he performs solo with his acoustic guitar. Chapman also performs in concert with Firefall’s Larry Burnett. They have worked with America, Poco, Pure Prairie League, the Association, and many other national recording artists. Chapman uses numerous six and 12 string acoustic and electric guitars including the Gibson, Taylor, Gretsch, Fender, Martin, Santa Cruz, and Breedlove instruments.

Don Chapman is an acoustic guitarist and vocalist from the Delmarva area.  Chapman performed in Martha Washington Square Friday Sept. 19.
Don Chapman is an acoustic guitarist and vocalist from the Delmarva area. Chapman performed in Martha Washington Square Friday Sept. 19.

Chapman played Friday evening and filled Martha Washington Square with old favorites from our parent’s generation, and some songs that he wrote himself, including “Gypsy Rider.”  His talent is nothing short of amazing, and he kept the crowd singing and dancing in their seats. In the audience, you could find students, parents and faculty members and their families enjoying the crisp fall air and some feel good tunes.

“I’ve been very, very fortunate. I started my music career right after school and played full time into my mid-30s,” Chapman said. “I stopped the hectic touring life to have a more conventional life with a more ‘normal’ career, family, and home life. But, I have still been able to perform regularly at a professional level and play with folks I idolize, and continue to enjoy the creative release music provides me. I’m very fortunate indeed.”

When Chapman isn’t playing music, he has had careers in “both Native American government policy and executive leadership of tribally owned and operated companies,” said Chapman.

Chapman now focuses more on his family rather than the big time music.  His oldest son Matthew, plays for the baseball team here at Washington College. “I am also Matt’s baseball manager,” said Chapman. He is also involved in the Parents’ Council at WC.  He loves being involved and helping out any way he can.

You can find more information and music from Don Chapman at and For any questions or comments you can email Chapman at

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