Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Professional Studies and Fine Arts

Donna Conaty

Headshot of Donna Conaty
  • Associate Dean

  • College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts
    San Diego State University
    5500 Campanile Drive
    San Diego, CA 92182
    fax: 619 594 4987

Donna Conaty is Associate Dean of the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts (PSFA). From 2018 to 2019 she served as interim dean of PSFA and from 2007-2013 she was Director of the School of Music and Dance at SDSU. Prior to her appointment at SDSU, she was Associate Dean for Graduate Studies, Research, and Curriculum in the College of Fine Arts at Ohio University, Athens, where she held the faculty rank professor of music.

As director of the School of Music and Dance at San Diego State University, she led the development and implementation of an innovative BM degree track with an emphasis in music entrepreneurship and business, a collaborative program developed with the Fowler College of Business and Lavin Center for Entrepreneurship. Under her leadership the School of Music and Dance celebrated its 75th anniversary by bringing world class artists and composers to campus, presenting the creative work of faculty, and engaging students in a series of high visibility performances. Philanthropic support of key areas was boosted during her tenure as director, including a highly effective and successful fellowship program in San Diego Unified School District for music education majors and recruitment scholarships. While PSFA Associate Dean she initiated the implementation of internship coordinators in each of PSFA’s schools, resulting in a significant increase in the number of students pursuing internship opportunities, and she worked with faculty to expand student access to major and general education courses offered online. Her leadership extends beyond the college to a number of campus-wide activities including the recent presidential search and University Senate.

As a performing artist, her background includes orchestral, chamber music, solo and recital appearances throughout the United States and abroad. Her artistic interests are particularly geared toward chamber music and performing new works. She has performed in a wide array of world and regional premieres of new compositions by leading contemporary composers. Conaty is principal oboe of ProMusica Chamber Orchestra, David Danzmayr, Music Director, an ensemble with which she has been featured numerous times as a concerto soloist and in which she can be heard on over ten commercial recordings. Additional selected performance credits include the San Diego Symphony, San Diego Winds, soloist with the California Chamber Orchestra, and seven seasons in the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Orchestra, conducted by Marin Alsop. She has been invited to perform and/or present master classes to numerous professional music conferences, International Double Reed Society conferences, and university audiences. During her extensive teaching career, Conaty has successfully prepared, and continues to mentor, numerous musicians who are pursuing thriving careers in performance, teaching, music therapy, and arts leadership roles.

Conaty is currently a board member of the Society for Arts Entrepreneurship Education and hosted the organization’s 2017 national conference at San Diego State University. She has served as a board member of a number of professional arts organizations, including Mainly Mozart in San Diego, and continues her affiliation as a grant panelist for the Ohio Arts Council $2M+ sustainability funding cycles.

An alumna of Yale University, her previous university faculty affiliations includes Ohio University, the State University of New York at Purchase and the University of Evansville.