Timothy McDonnell came to the faculty of the Department of Music in 2007, having served as Director of Liturgical Music at the Pontifical North American College in the Vatican. Professor McDonnell was the master of the Music Chapel at the NAC, and in that capacity led the seminary choir in various liturgical contexts, including many pontifical functions. As director of the Music Chapel, Dr. McDonnell was responsible for the music at some 20 liturgies per week. In addition to these liturgical duties, he was in charge of the musical formation of the seminarians, providing classes, workshops, and conferences in the many facets of liturgical chant and its execution. Professor McDonnell was also the music director for the annual Christmas Concert for the American Community of Rome, in which he directed the seminary choir and members of the Rome Opera Orchestra.
McDonnell was recently appointed the interim conductor of the Southwest Florida Symphony Chorus and has begun an exciting season which will include performances of works by Vaughan Williams, Handel, and Mahler. Dr. McDonnell is also founding music director of Schola Nova, the resident ensemble of the International Institute for Culture in Philadelphia. Schola Nova has performed a wide variety of programs under Mr. McDonnell, including Mahler and the Heavenly Life, Candlemas in Two Worlds: The Polyphony of 17th Century Mexico, and American Gothic: Philadelphia Composers and the Sacred Choral Tradition. He holds the Master of Music degree in choral conducting from Yale University, and the Doctor of Musical Arts degree in orchestral conducting from the University of South Carolina. Besides his American credits, Mr. McDonnell has conducted in Italy, the Czech Republic, and China. He served as music director of Studio Lirico Opera Festival in Italy in 2001 and has conducted numerous opera productions in Philadelphia and South Carolina, including Don Giovanni, Dido and Aeneas, L’Elisir D’Amore, and Il Trittico.
Mr. McDonnell is very active as a composer and arranger. His works have been performed at Yale University and by the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. His arrangements of lieder by Gustav Mahler have been praised widely, as have his arrangements of works by Lehár and Sibelius. Dr. McDonnell has taught at the University of South Carolina, the International Institute for Culture in Philadelphia, and has served as the director of choral and orchestral studies at the Encore/Coda Summer Music Program in Sweden, Maine.