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, the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars Quarterly, the Adoremus Bulletin, 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, is the managing editor of the CMAA’s journal Sacred Music, and serves on the Archdiocese of New York Music Commission. As academic liaison of the CMAA, she has organized and presented papers at several academic conferences on Charles Tournemire, the work of Msgr. Richard Schuler, and the role of Gregorian chant in pastoral ministry and religious education; she was a co-organizer of the Sacra Liturgia USA 2015 conference in New York and is currently serving as the conference organizer for the upcoming meeting of the Society for Catholic Liturgy in Miami.
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.
She received her undergraduate degree in vocal music education and North Dakota State University, where she studied piano with Dr. Robert Groves and conducting with Dr. JoAnn Miller.
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. and Europe. 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 the Colm Cille Club (Pelham, NY).
Dr. Donelson is currently working on a project to adapt the Gregorian chants of the Mass proper for the Spanish language.