Jennifer Donelson is an associate professor and the director of sacred music at St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoodie) in New York, where she also teaches sacred music courses in the St. Cecilia Academy for Pastoral Musicians.
She has co-edited Mystic Modern: The Music, Thought, and Legacy of Charles Tournemire, published by the Church Music Association of America (CMAA). Her publications also include articles in the New Catholic Encyclopedia, Sacred Music, Antiphon: A Journal for Liturgical Renewal, the proceedings of the Gregorian Institute of Canada, and Liturgy in the Twenty-First Century (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark).
She is the President of the Society for Catholic Liturgy, serves on the board of the CMAA, and is the managing editor of the CMAA’s journal Sacred Music. As academic liaison of the CMAA, she has organized and presented papers at several academic conferences on Charles Tournemire and the work of Msgr. Richard Schuler; she was a co-organizer of the Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 conference in New York.
Donelson received her DMA in piano performance at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she studied piano with Paul Barnes, Mark Clinton, and Ann Chang in addition to her organ studies with Quentin Faulkner.
Having studied Gregorian chant at the Catholic University of America and the Abbey of St. Peter in Solesmes, for six years Donelson served as a co-organizer of the Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference, and has given chant workshops in dioceses and parishes across the U.S. Before coming to Dunwoodie, Dr. Donelson served on the faculty at St. Gregory the Great Seminary in the diocese of Lincoln, Nebraska, and at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, where she taught music theory, music history, piano, and directed the university chorale.
As a choral conductor, Donelson has directed collegiate, semi-professional, amateur, monastic, and children’s choirs. She currently directs the Schola Cantorum of St. Joseph’s Seminary and the Metropolitan Catholic Chorale. She also teaches Gregorian chant to the contemplative sisters at the Monastery of St. Edith Stein in Borough Park, Brooklyn (Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará [SSVM]), and to children using the Ward Method at Neumann Classical School (Tuckahoe, NY) and Colm Cille Club (Pelham, NY).
Dr. Donelson’s current projects involve the adaptation of the Gregorian chants of the Mass proper for the Spanish language, a paper on the use of Dietrich von Hildebrand’s Aesthetics in understanding subjectivity and objectivity in the aesthetics of parish sacred music programs, and several publications occasioned by the 50th anniversary of the Instruction Musicam Sacram.