Faculty Profiles

Faculty profile

Donté Ford, Ph. D

Assistant Professor of Music and Associate Chaplain for Worship Arts

On Faculty since 2020
Armerding 216


Donte´ Alexander Ford is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and serves the Wheaton College community as Assistant Professor of Music and Associate Chaplain for Worship Arts. He is an alumnus of Penn State University (BA), Southern Methodist University (MSM, MM, MDiv), University of Arizona (PhD), and is best described as a musician, minister, and scholar. At Wheaton, Donté teaches Principles in Music and Worship Ministry, coaches Chapel Bands, oversees the music and worship arts offerings in Chapel worship, and serves as the director of the Worship Arts Certificate.

Donte’s many musical talents have afforded him the opportunity to serve as guest clinician/conductor, lead pianist, opera chorister, resident percussionist, and Minister of Music. His musical activities also include composing, as he is a published composer with GIA Publications, Inc. He is the founder and Artistic Director of Sankofa Chorale, a multi-ethnic choral ensemble that preserves and perpetuates African American Choral music while performing that music alongside choral masterworks of the Western European choral canon. 

A Christian minister, Donté is a gifted preacher, holding ordination and ministerial credentials in the Holiness-Pentecostal and Baptist traditions, respectively. Though a life-long Pentecostal, Donté is committed to the diversity of the body of Christ. As a scholar, Donte focuses his efforts on the history and preservation of Black American concert and popular music, church hymnody, congregational song, and the history, theology, and music of African American Pentecostalism. His scholarly work includes lectures on African American choral art forms and contributions to the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology and UM Discipleship Ministries’ History of Hymns.

University of Arizona
Ph.D., Musicology; Minor: Choral Music Studies

Southern Methodist University
M.Div; M.M., Choral Conducting; M.S.M. (Choral Conducting)

The Pennsylvania State University
B.A., Music (tuba)

  • African American Choral Music  

  • Black American Composers 

  • Black Pentecostalism 

  • Choral Conducting 

  • Christian Hymnody  

  • Music History  

  • Sacred Music 

  • American Choral Directors Association 

  • American Guild of Organists 

  • Chorus America 

  • James Abbington Church Music Academy 

  • Society of Christian Scholarship in Music 

  • Society for Christian Scholarship in Music – “Jesus Only…Help Me Sing”: Messages of Jesus and Holiness in the Hymnody of C.P. Jones (Lecture-Recital) 

  • Arizona ACDA Summer Conference – Gospel Music in the Classroom 

  • University of Arizona – What is Gospel Music? Experiencing the “Music” of African American Gospel 

  • Allen Public Library – What is Gospel Music?   

  • Essence of Joy, African American Music Festival, The Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA – Guest Conductor/Composer in Residence  
  • Essence of Joy Concert Tour, Spain and France – Percussionist 
  • Gospel Music Workshop, St. John Institutional Baptist Church, Phoenix, AZ – Guest Clinician 
  • International Tuba-Euphonium Conference, Linz, Austria – Tubist, w/ Penn State Tuba-Euphonium Ensemble 
  • Tucson Big Sing!, DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, Tucson, AZ – Accompanist 
  • Wading Home Tour, South Africa – Opera Chorister 
  • When Worlds Collide: The Fusion of Spirituals, Jazz, and Gospel, Allen Public Library, Allen, TX – Conductor w/ Sankofa Chorale 

“Standing In the Need of Prayer” - SATB 

“Arise, Look Up, and Go On” – TBB, Solo 

“Come Everyone that Loves the Lord” – SATB, Narrator  

“Just As I Am” – Harp & Piano 

“A Choral Triptych: 3 Spirituals” – SATB, Solo 

“You’ve Kept Me So I Must Praise Your Name” – SATB, Solo 

Mid-Concert Lecture: A Brief History of the Foundation of African American Gospel Music 


Performance: When Worlds Collide: The Fusion of Spirituals, Jazz, and Gospel