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Donna Cox

Professor; Choral Music: Ebony Heritage Singers, Sacred Music; Coordinator of Music Studies Program

Full-Time Faculty

College of Arts and Sciences: Music


Email: Donna Cox
Phone: 937-229-3946
FH 467


Dr. Donna Cox, professor of music at the University of Dayton, is a graduate of the Masters program in Theological Studies. She is also a graduate of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where she received both the Ph.D. and M.M. degrees in performance practices: choral conducting. In addition to serving as chair of the Department of Music for seven years and Coordinator of Vocal Activities for another seven, Dr. Cox is a choral conductor. Her ensemble, the Ebony Heritage Singers, has performed for several professional conferences and in various parts of the world.  A much-sought lecturer and choral adjudicator, she regularly presents for professional music organizations such as the American Choral Directors divisional and national conferences, International Association of Women in Music, Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, American Music Therapy Association, Ohio Music Education Conference, Music Educators National Conference, Chicago Children's Choir, Midwest Kodaly Music Educators Association and symposiums held at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Berea College, and University of Colorado at Boulder. Cox is very interested in the application of music to issues of diversity and has presented multiple sessions at the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education.

Dr. Cox has also presented lecture/recitals at several universities including Duke University Divinity School, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Tiffin University, University of Colorado at Boulder, Hampton University, Virginia Union University and Berea College. Dr. Cox has performed, studied and taught in various parts of the world. She has taught and performed in Dublin, Ireland where she and a small group of singers opened for the 1998 Tour de France. She has studied Irish traditional music and performed recitals of African American Arts Songs and Spirituals in Ireland and London. She has traveled several times to Ghana, West Africa to conduct choral and vocal workshops and master classes and has been featured in recital at the National Theatre of Ghana. She and groups of singers have traveled to Ghana to study drumming and dance and presented concert tours in Rome, Fossano and Florence, Italy as well as Honolulu, Hawaii. Recently, she was staff musician for the Festival of Gospel Music in Prague, Czech Republic. Dr. Cox is a recipient of the Montgomery County Arts and Cultural District Individual Artist Fellowship Award in the Master Artist area.

Faculty Perspective

"I love UD! I have been so fortunate over the nearly twenty years I've been here to work with some truly excellent students. As well, my colleagues are caring, dedicated and creative. It is so wonderful to broach new ideas (such as study trips to Ghana) and have them accepted and embraced. I enjoy making music with my choir, the Ebony Heritage Singers. I also enjoy performing on my own. I am a recipient of the Montgomery County Individual Artists Fellowship Award for the work I do in preserving and performing African American sacred music. As you can tell, I love to travel and meet new people. I especially enjoy leading groups and helping them explore new worlds and horizon-broadening experiences.  It is my association with UD that has helped foster this love and when I am able to do so, my work on campus is invigorated."

Personal Interests

Dr. Cox, Pastor-at-Large, is a licensed minister and enjoys teaching Bible studies, leading retreats for married and engaged couples and working with young adults. She is a die-hard crafter and enjoys the creative process immensely. Her home is filled with her handicrafts.

Research Interests

  • African American sacred music
  • Irish traditional music
  • African and African American culture

Selected Publications

The Performance Series: Anthology of Spirituals and Art Songs by Contemporary African American Composers, PBM Press, LLC, 2012.

No Longer Afraid: Breaking Free From The Fear That Has You Bound, PBM Press, LLC, 2011.

Hezekiah Loves Music: Learning Rhythms The Food Way, PBM Press, LLC, Ohio 2006.

Regular contributor to the African American Lectionary, Vanderbilt University.

Angels Encamped About Me: Provision In The Wilderness, PBM Press, LLC, 2006.

Gospel Songs Your Choir Will Love To Sing: An Annotated Resource Guide, PBM Press, LLC, 2006.

"Conducting Gospel Music," Triad, May-June 2001, Volume LXVIII, Number 6, (21-25).

Music In The Curriculum: An Integrative Approach, Erudition Press, 2000.

Triad, May-June 2000, Volume LXVII, Number 6. Celebration!

The University of Dayton, The First One Hundred-Fifty Years, Compact Disc, 2000.