Composer Donna Peña teaching for The Center

Donna Peña

We are so thankful that Donna Peña has agreed to teach for us this fall. Donna is a gifted and passionate composer associated with GIA Publications whose work is well-known in the Roman Catholic Church. She is also a very devoted “pastoral musician,” having served for many years as music director at Our Lady of Guadalupe on the west side of St. Paul, MN.

Donna began composing bi-lingual music for her community back in the mid 1980s. Though largely serving an Hispanic population, the church included recent immigrants who spoke only Spanish, as well as multi-generation residents, some of whom spoke no Spanish. Her creative combination of both Spanish and English provided unity in worship for her congregation, and was a model copied by many others.


Marty Haugen says, “Having known Dona Peña since the early eighties, I have been so impressed by her eagerness to continually learn and grow as a musician and composer. And she has been passionate about supporting and enlivening the voice of the communities she has served so faithfully.”

We’re glad to have Donna teaching in three of our fall classes. She will be one of four presenters in the Composing Music for the Congregation course on October 9th. The next day, she will teach her own music in a half-day repertoire class. She will also teach one of the sessions on the relationship between worship & culture in all sections of Worship 101.