John T. McDonnell co-founded the Pennsbury Community Chorus in September 2000, together
with James D. Moyer.
Mr. McDonnell was the Director of Choral Music in the Pennsbury School District for
34 years until his retirement in January of 2003. In addition to his teaching responsibilities,
Mr. McDonnell served as Coordinator of Vocal Music in the Pennsbury Schools for twelve
years. His outstanding career as a music educator includes having developed skills-based
curricula for K-12 music, music theory, and choral music, as well as serving as a
mentor and peer coach for numerous teachers. He also served as cooperating teacher
for numerous student teachers from Westminster Choir College and The College of New
Jersey. He has held various offices in the Pennsbury Education Association, including
President, and attended numerous state, regional, and national conferences of the
MENC and ACDA.
John received his Masters of Music degree in Choral Conducting at The College of
New Jersey, where he taught Women’s Ensemble and Student Teaching, Music. He has
served on the adjunct faculty of Westminster Choir College.
Mr. McDonnell has received such prestigious honors as the Distinguished Humanitarian
Award for Heroism, which was presented by the Pennsbury School District Board of
School Directors, and the Distinguished Music Alumnus Award, presented by West Chester
University. In addition, Mr. McDonnell was invited by the National Choral Council
to conduct a portion of the “Messiah Sing” in Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center,
and he has also conducted several Pennsbury Choirs selected for appearances at PMEA
and MENC conferences. He was invited to conduct the Middle School Honor Chorus at
the 2005 Bucks County Music Educators Association festival.