Jennifer Donelson-Nowicka 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, Liturgy in the Twenty-First Century (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark), and a chapter in the forthcoming Messiaen in Context (Cambridge University Press).
She was the sometime president and is currently a board member of the Society for Catholic Liturgy. She also 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, 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, presented papers at the Sacra Liturgia conferences in New York, London, and Milan, and will be presenting a paper at the upcoming conference in San Francisco (summer 2022). She also served as the conference organizer for the annual meeting of the Society for Catholic Liturgy in Miami. Donelson-Nowicka serves as a Consultant to the USCCB’s Committee on Divine Worship and serves on the Archdiocese of New York’s Liturgical Music Commission.
Donelson-Nowicka 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-Nowicka served as a co-organizer of the Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference, and has given chant workshops in dioceses, parishes, and monasteries across the U.S. and Europe. She is a regular member of the faculty at the Church Music Association of America’s annual Sacred Music Colloquium. Before coming to Dunwoodie, Dr. Donelson-Nowicka 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-Nowicka 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 has taught extensively for religious orders, including 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 the Benedictine nuns of Priorij Nazareth Tegelen in the Netherlands. She currently serves also as a choral conducting coach for graduate organ students in Yale University’s Institute of Sacred Music. Additionally, she teaches chant to children using the Ward Method at the Colm Cille Club (Pelham, NY) and Immaculate Conception Children’s Schola Cantorum (Sleepy Hollow), and formerly served on the faculty at Cardinal Kung Academy in Stamford, Connecticut.
Dr. Donelson-Nowicka is currently working on a project to adapt the Gregorian chants of the Mass proper for the Spanish language. She also hosts a weekly podcast entitled “Square Notes: The Sacred Music Podcast.”