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Aaron Copland School of Music

Donna Doyle

Donna Doyle

Adjunct Assistant Professor

Fields of Study:
Music Theory

Degrees and Studies:
MM, Manhattan School of Music

Biographical Information:
A prize-winning pianist and orchestral violinist in childhood, Donna Doyle left her native Illinois when her mother insisted she confine herself to becoming a midwestern housewife. Working for the Presbyterian Church in Newark's Central Ward and on Manhattan's Lower East Side, Doyle soon realized she was, first and foremost, a musician and that in New York she might be able to have a career. After attending the Juilliard School for two years, while working nights as a waitress, she earned her BS (summa cum laude) from Hunter College. Subsequently she studied on scholarship with Nadia Boulanger (theory and analysis) and her assistant, Annette Dieudonne (solfege), in Fontainebleau and Paris, France. Returning to New York, Doyle was awarded her MM from the Manhattan School of Music (thesis topic, Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire: Avenues of Analysis) while supporting herself as a free-lance pianist and coach. Additionally, she received training in Dalcroze Eurythmics from Robert Abramson and in jazz arranging from John Carisi and Don Sebesky. From 1984 to 1999 she served the Manhattan School as a full-time member of its faculty, developing an innovative Guest Lecture series and being twice elected to its Faculty Council.

Recently, Professor Doyle pursues her doctoral studies at the CUNY Graduate Center, where she has studied Schenkerian analysis with Carl Schachter and Charles Burkhart and is preparing a dissertation on 19th century improvisation with William Rothstein. Doyle also continues to maintain an active private studio, where she coaches conservatory students in theory and ear training.

The recipient of the Heiniger Award for Excellence in Music and an NEH Summer Fellowship Grant, Donna Doyle has presented papers at the University of Colorado at Boulder (on the figured basses of Paul Vidal), Florida State University (on Stefan Wolpe's Form for Piano) and the American Psychoanalytic Association (on Mozart's C Minor Fantasie). She has given lectures for the University of Seoul Summer Abroad program and the American Guild of Organists. She has had her original compositions and arrangements performed in France and the US.

Additionally, having served as President of the Fontainebleau, France, Schools of Fine Arts Alumni Association, Professor Doyle currently sits on its Board of Trustees.



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