News & Events




Press Release



May 6, 2015

Donatelli graces the Robert Brown Theatre stage for the final time

Concert Band/Concert Choir


Displaying the same energy and enthusiasm she has for the past 20 years, Cowley College vocal music director Connie Donatelli took to the Robert Brown Theatre stage for the final time during Tuesday night’s emotional Concert Choir and Concert Band performance.


Donatelli, who recently announced she would be retiring May 31, 2015, has spent more than 20 years sharing her gift of music with students at Cowley College.


Numerous former students of Donatelli’s were in attendance and came on stage to surprise Donatelli by singing “Always by your side and in your heart”. Donatelli was whisked off stage to enjoy the performance while sitting in the crowd.


“This is overwhelming,” Donatelli said. “I am the luckiest girl on the planet. I truly am.”


Following the concert a reception was held in the Earle N. Wright Community Room where a memory book for Donatelli was made available for individuals to sign.


Cowley College vocal instructor Lindsay Allen thanked Donatelli for being such an inspiration to the students and mentioned what an honor it was to work with her.


“Cowley has been a better place with Connie in it,” Allen said. “She has become a part of the fabric that makes Cowley such a wonderful place to learn, work, and make music.”


The Concert Choir performed Music that Inspires. The Choir will sing Viva La Musica!, Christ the Appletree, The Tree of Peace, Ubi Caritas, Live your Dream, We Are One, His Eye is on the Sparrow, and Praise His Holy Name.


Donatelli informed the crowd that she was going to “get crazy” on the Concert Choir’s final song, Praise His Holy Name. With the audience clapping along, the song brought the near capacity crowd to its feet for a standing ovation for Donatelli.


“Making music and achieving excellence on a daily basis with all of the wonderful students that have come through my door has given me so much joy throughout these many years,” Donatelli said.


Interim president Tony Crouch, whose son, Tommy, was a former student of Donatelli’s in the music program at Cowley, was among those that shared in their admiration of the work Connie has done over the past 20 years at Cowley.


“Connie has a special place in my heart because of the opportunities she gave my son when he was a student at Cowley, but that is what she does for all her students: she encourages them and gives them opportunities to grow and mature as musicians and people. She has enriched many, many lives during her time here,” Crouch said.


Prior to the Concert Choir’s performance, the Concert Band warmed up the crowd by playing light hearted pieces that left the audience feeling a sense of hope and optimism.


“The band was so exquisite,” Donatelli said.


The Concert Band, under the direction of Josh Fleig, performed A Joyful Fanfare by Franco Cesarini, Contrapunctus V by J.S. Bach, Double Happiness by Joseph Curiale, Gravity Wave by Brian Balmages, An Unending Legacy by Barry Milner, and Celebration Tribalesque by Randall D. Standridge.


Both Allen and Fleig are former students of Donatelli’s.


“They were my students and now they are my dear colleagues and friends,” Donatelli said. “They make this place great.”


Fleig said Cowley simply will not be the same without Donatelli.


“Connie is a remarkable woman, and the impact she has made on all of us is indelible,” Fleig said.


Along with Allen and Fleig, Donatelli thanked her husband, John, technical director of theatre Jamison Rhoads, theatre director John Sefel, her students, the teachers, staff, administration, and the college’s custodial staff.


“Thank you to everyone,” Donatelli said. “You have made every day a joy to be here. The friendships and personal connections made will remain with me forever.”


The students in the Concert Band are: Holly Brizendine, Sami Twenhafel, Catherine Mills, Taylor Ging, Malori Clark, Jillian Rhinehart, Edna Vega, Jaci Goode, Alex Cobberley, Kodie Patterson, Meghan Talbert, Breanna Burdick, Abi Hasselbring, Jacob Westerman, Leah Seipel, Ramon Ortega, Jacob Worm, Patci Vega, Justin Woody, Valerie Schlegel, Tory Setzkorn, Sutton Wilson, Hunter Ackerman, Alex Scoggins, Michael Burley, Brooke Tye, Dylan Gregor, Woodrow Harmon, Lake Ferguson, Nathan Metzinger, Josh Waldorf, Jonathan Holmgren, Henry Flickinger, Levi Sutton, Ty Spencer, Lucia Morales, and Zack Heyer.


Concert Choir members are: Desiree Abernathy, Courtney Wallace, Courtney Andrews, Clay White, Amy Austin, Joey White, Aegean Beyer, Launa White, Ian Brannan, Kandice Wright, Logan Brewer, Holly Brizendine, Rachel Burroughs, Bailye Butler, Malori Clark, Jaevin Colvin, Ashley Daniels, Hunter DeWald, Abi Farley, Betsy Farley, Bridget Fox, Carrie Fulbright, Alex Geurin, Haley Golightly, Jazz Haddock, Lizzy Hampton, Tom Hecker, Zach Heyer, Daylen Holmes, Andrew Horning, Abby Killman, Jon Lane, Paige Lundin, Brenda Mattson, Laura Petersburg, Kat Pierce, Kayla Powell, Abby Ronnfeldt, Charity Schmidt, Sarah Scruggs, Kyle Smith, Julianna Soto, Megan Talbert, Tia Tidwell, and Josh Waldorf.


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