Donna McElroy

Professor

"Usually a person comes to Berklee as a voice student because they want a record deal . . . so that's perfect for me because I can speak from experience on that topic. They may want to be a professional singer and go out on the road, or do jingles and session work, and I've done all that."

"I realized that I have a special gift I bring to teaching, which is experience. Most people get out of school and begin to teach. They haven't done 23 years of hacking away at it."

"The students love me because I've gone through all those things and I still have the love to share with them. I'm not bitter, I'm not depressed, and I'm not crazy . . . well, I'm crazy, but . . . (LAUGHS). But they love the fact that I can still have fun and that I love the music. The music comes first, and then I still have a lot of attention, space, and joy left to share with them. That's what they love. And that's a gift. I don't claim that; I just accept it, maintain it, and manage it because I know that it's a gift from God. I know it is."

Career Highlights

 

  • B.M., Fisk University
  • Arranger/background vocalist on gold and platinum releases "Why Haven't I Heard From You?" by Reba McEntire; "We Shall Be Free" by Garth Brooks, "Addictive Love" by BeBe and CeCe Winans, and "House of Love" by Amy Grant
  • Recipient of Grammy nomination for Bigger World (WB), a Dove Award for Songs from the Loft (Reunion), and a 1993 Best Actress Award for the Circle Players' performance of Sister Mary Regina (Nunsense)
  • Television appearances include Arsenio Hall, Tonight Show, and Grammy Awards
  • Missionary with International Christian Artists Reaching the Earth, Ghana