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Donna McElroy

  • Broadcast in Music



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Donna McElroy was born in Louisville, KY, and educated in Nashville, TN, at Fisk University, Donna worked for 23 years in Music City as a background vocalist, actress, songwriter, educator, and, briefly, as an artist signed the Warner Brothers' Nashville label. Donna is the first to say she was not ready or well-schooled on the responsibilities or expectations of a recording artist, singing only in the backup position for many years. Her work singing with Kenny Rogers, Dottie West, Crystal Gayle, some appearances on Bobby Jones Gospel, and her longest run as a backup singer with Amy Grant, as well as many appearances in the Fisk Universtiy Chapel to help raise funds for the Fisk University Alumni Association (1977) played a roll in building her work resume, but not her knowledge of the Artist's role in the "record deal". Having learned what she liked about the record industry, and more importantly what she didn't like, Donna's transition to vocal instructor and professor at Berklee College in 1996 was a perfect way to phase from performer to mentor, and it is in this new role as instructor, concert coordinator, and mentor that she has come into her own. The students at Berklee call her "Mother", and she lives up to the moniker, marvelously leading recording studio ensembles, performance ensembles, and her passion, the recently developed Jubilee Spirit Ensemble, teaching the SATB tradition of the Jubilee Singers!