DONNA MARIE MINANO, musician and music educator, is a veteran of all aspects of the musical stage in Southern California, from pit musician to singer to conductor. She received her bachelor’s degree in oboe performance from California State University, Long Beach.
She currently conducts the chorister program at Claremont United Methodist Church. From 1995 to 2003 she was Director of Music Ministries and choir director for Our Lady of the Assumption Church. During her tenure, her choirs traveled to Rome to perform at the Vatican.
As a vocalist, Mrs. Minano has performed onstage locally at the Candlelight Pavilion, Grove Theatre in Upland and Victoria Gardens Cultural Center in Rancho Cucamonga, and also with the chamber trio Seamless Achord and the IVRT Dickens Carolers.
Mrs. Minano teaches general music each year to over 1,000 elementary schoolchildren in the Claremont Unified School District. Besides teaching general music, Mrs. Minano teaches voice and recorder.
Mrs. Minano is general manager and co-founder with her husband Frank of the Inland Valley Repertory Theatre company (IVRT) which performs on Wednesdays at the Candlelight Pavilion in Claremont.
Mrs. Minano’s philosophy of teaching is influenced by Helen Kemp and David Osborn. Her mottos are “Body, mind, spirit, voice, it takes the whole person to sing and rejoice,” “Practice makes permanent” and “Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.” Her greatest joy in life is hearing children make music, especially her two beautiful and talented daughters Amanda and Katherine.