Donnell LaRoque Patterson is chair of the Gospel Music department in New England Conservatory’s (NEC) School of Preparatory and Continuing Education.  He also directs the NEC Community Gospel Choir. 

Since 2006, Donnell has served as the Director of Music for both the Upper and Lower Schools at Belmont Hill School in Belmont, MA.

From 2002 to 2006 prior to joining the Belmont Hill School, Donnell was Program Director of the Roland Hayes School of Music in the Boston Public Schools. Previously, Donnell was an elementary and high school music educator in the Cambridge Public Schools, beginning in 1982. He has also served as Acting Assistant Director of Music in the Cambridge Public Schools.

In 2014, Donnell joined as the Director of Boston community gospel choir, Joyful Voices of Inspiration.   In addition, for over 20 years, he has been Minister of Music at St. Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church in Cambridge, MA. 

In 1987, Donnell brought together a group of vocalists to form the Patterson Chorale, which specialized in and performs spirituals and traditional gospel. The chorale performed at the opening of the original House of Blues in Harvard Square and was the first gospel group to play its Sunday gospel brunches. For many years, Donnell served as accompanist for the Cambridge Community Chorus under the direction of Maestro William Thomas.

Performing and conducting music has allowed Donnell to travel extensively all over the world, including Armenia, France, South Africa, Puerto Rico, Toronto, Greece, Japan, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Argentina. 

He is the proud father of twins, MelDonique and MelDonar.


  • Bachelors of Music from the New England Conservatory
  • Masters in Music in choral studies from the University of South Florida
  • Additional post-graduate work, choral, and computer music from Florida State University
  • Fine Arts Directors Program Certificate from Fitchburg State College
  • Masters in Education, Technology in Education from Harvard University
  • Doctorate studies in Educational Studies, Lesley University