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Dr. Loñieta Aurora Thompson Cornwall 

Assistant Professor of Music 

Director of Choral Studies 


Department of Visual and Performing Arts 

Office: Duplex 101B 

Phone: (919) 546 – 8412     

Loñieta Aurora Thompson Cornwall  





         Bachelor of Music   1966

              Manhattan School of Music, New York 

           (Theory and Composition)

           Master of Music     1966

               Manhattan School of Music, New York 

            (Music Education, Composition)

            Sacred Music Masters  1973

            School of Sacred Music at 

            Union Theological Seminary, New York 

              Doctor of Education   2006

        Teachers College  

           Columbia University, New York 

            DissertationThe African American Art Song:  

               A Continuum In the Art of Song       


Present Memberships     

  • American Guild of Organists
  • National Association of Negro Musicians
  • National Association of African American Studies
  • National Association for the Study and         
  • Performance of African American Music
  • National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc.        

         Awards and Recognitions  


  1999     Crystal Award 

                                              Women’s Commission and Ministries

                                   South Atlantic Conference of

                                              Seventh-day Adventists, Atlanta, GA

                             2002  Lamplighter Award for Music Outreach

                        The Light 103.9 FM [WNNL]


                              2002   Inducted into Alpha Chi Honor Society

                                    2003   International Who’s Who Historical Society

                    2005 - 2011    Who’s Who in America
                       2005 - 2011    Who’s Who in Education

 Research Presentations, Musical Compositions, Publications 

2004– “Embracing the Obvious: Direct  

           Utilization of African American Musical Forms in Selected 

           Art Songs by African American Composers”  

           Co authored with Dr. Marilyn Thompson for NAAAS.

2004  Entrance  Nuptial, Organ     

2004     – “Let us encourage one another”

               Musical score for the Triennial Session of the Reformed

               Church in America, Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, CA

       2005     – African American Art Song Research

                Presentation with Dr. Marilyn Thompson [NANM]

   2006     – African American Art Song Alliance

                Conference, A Time for Reflection, University of California,

                University of California, Irvine Claire Trevor School of the Arts. - Accompanist for Dr. Marilyn Thompson. 



          2007 NANM The Life and Times of Nora Holt 

2008-2011      Various Lectures for the       

                        Alexander/Pegues Ministers    

                        Conference at Shaw Divinity

                        School [Shaw University] which

                        address the conference theme and

                        discuss the role and use of music

                        in the worship service.



Loñieta Aurora Thompson Cornwall, pianist, organist, choral director, liturgist, arranger/composer, is a native of New York, and a versatile performer and educator.  Currently she is Assistant Professor of Music at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she serves in a variety of capacities as Director of Choral Studies, teaching courses in Theory, Conducting, and Piano. 


Dr. Cornwall is the Director of Music at First Reformed Church of Cary, North Carolina.  Before relocating to North Carolina, she was the organist at several New York Churches, including Abyssinian Baptist Church, Ephesus Seventh-day Adventist Church in Harlem, and Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Hollis, Queens.  She is presently Minister of Music and Liturgy for Franklinton Seventh-day Adventist Church in Franklinton, North Carolina.


Dr. Cornwall is a current member of the American Guild of Organists, Raleigh Chamber Music Guild, National Association of Negro Musicians [NANM], National Association for the Study and Performance of African American Music [NASPAAM], and National Association of Teachers of Singing, Inc.[NATS].

Dr. Cornwall is a frequent lecturer, clinician and facilitator on Music in the Black Church and Useful Keyboard Skills

for The Protestant Worship Service. As Adjunct Professor of Worship and Liturgy at Shaw Divinity School, Dr. Cornwall often addresses issues relating to the order of Worship and the role of music in it. She has composed and arranged several compositions for the solo voice, choir and

organ.  In 2004, she was invited to conduct the Women’s Chorus for the Triennial Session of the Reformed Church in America that convened at Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove

California.  On this occasion, her choral composition, “Let us  encourage one another” was given its premier performance.

She often performs as piano accompanist for acclaimed soloists in concert throughout the east coast and abroad.

She collaborates with Dr. Marilyn Thompson in research presentations:

  •          Embracing the Obvious: Direct Utilization of African American Musical Forms in Selected Art Songs by African American Composers [National Association of African American Studies, 2004]
  •          The African American Art Song [ Lectures and performance of songs for Teacher’s College, Columbia University, 2005, The National Association of Negro Musicians, 2006].

In February of 2007, Dr. Cornwall accompanied Dr. Marilyn Thompson in concert at Shaw University and at the African American Art Song Alliance Conference, hosted by Dr. Darryl Taylor, University of California, Irvine, Claire Trevor School of the Arts.  This event made history because it was the first African American Art Song conference ever held to

Celebrate the genre.

Dr. Cornwall’s recognitions include the 1999 Crystal Award from the South Atlantic Conference of Seventh-day Adventists-Women’s Commission and Ministries, the 2002 Lamplighter Award from Raleigh-Fuquay Varina Radio Station WNNL and various listings in Who’s Who International, in America and in Education.  She was inducted into Alpha Chi, Honor Society in 2002 as an honored professor from the nominations of her students.

Dr. Cornwall has earned the Bachelor Music degree in Music Theory/Composition and Master of Music degrees in Music Education and Education from Manhattan School of Music, New York.  She also earned the Sacred Music Master degree from Union Theological Seminary, School of Sacred Music, New York. In 2006 she was awarded the Doctor of Education

from Teacher’s College, Columbia University, New York. Her dissertation focused on the development of the African American Art Song.


 Course Load 


          Fa04_011_11ll Semester:   African American Music

                                  Class Piano

                                  Music Theory II

                                  University Choir


          Spring Semester:  Choral Conducting

                                     Class Piano

                                     Music Theory III

                                                                              University Choir


Jakob Estey Pipe Organ 

05a_004_4Dr. Cornwall stands in front of the Jakob Estey Pipe Organ,

built sometime during the mid 1800’s and located in First Baptist Church, Brattleboro, Vermont.  Dr. Cornwall played

an organ recital at First Baptist in June of 2007 for the

Estey Organ Museum Association, who has promised an

Estey Reed Organ to be placed in Estey Hall on campus. Below Dr. Cornwall plays a 100 year old reed organ.









Dr. Loñieta Thompson Cornwall, Director 

 Shaw Choir 

The Shaw University Choir, formerly known as the Chorale Society, is one of the public relations arms of Shaw University that performs for all major convocations, special events and for some worship services in Thomas J. Boyd Chapel.


The Shaw University Choir often performs in the Triangle in such venues as Meymandi Hall with the North Carolina Symphony, area houses of worship and commerce.  Over the many years of its existence, the choir has sung throughout the Eastern seaboard, from Vermont to Florida, Chicago, California, Nassau, Bahamas, Prague and Budapest. Their repertoire most often celebrates the rich musical heritage of the African American people.


The Choir is made up of students who diligently work to provide excellence in musical performance for their audiences.  They are directed by Dr. Loñieta Thompson Cornwall, Assistant Professor of Music.

The Shaw University Choir is available for performance from October through the last week in April. Contact information: Dr. Cornwall  919 546-8412.

The Shaw University Choir Opens Holy Week at FRCC 

 Shaw Choir @ FRCC 

The Shaw University Choir joined in partnership with the Chancel and Hand Bell Choirs of the First Reformed Church of Cary in opening Holy Week with a special performance at Palm Sunday Worship Service. This performance was extraordinary because the students had just experienced a devastating tornado which caused extensive damage to the campus.  Classes were suspended for the remaining portion of the semester because of those damages. Many of the students had left campus, others were sent to the shelter at Raleigh Southeast High School. They came from as far as Rocky Mount, Cary, Greenville; from the shelter with the clothes that they had worn the day before; from their off campus apartments, driving their own cars because there was no available transportation.  They sang their little hearts out, rendering a performance filled with the pathos of loss, as well as the joy of gratitude – for none had perished, or seriously injured from the storm.


Church members and visitors were moved to tears as the choir rendered “The Majesty and Glory of Your Name” by Tom Fetkke. This is a lovely setting of Psalm 8 which extols the glory of God in nature, and His loving care for mankind, created “a little lower than the angels.” “Lonesome Valley”, an Appalachian Song, and the Fetkke anthem were conducted by Jocelyn Jenkins, student conductor. The Service ended with the rousing gospel song “More Abundantly” conducted by CaShawn Parker, graduating senior.


The Choir committed to sing for Commencement at their expense, even though they had been sent home. Just the week prior to the storm, the choir had asked to sing “Way Over in Beulah Land” for Commencement. After experiencing that life threatening tornado, they voted, by acclamation to sing “For Every Mountain” by Curt Carr.  This new choice describes the need to give praise to God “for every mountain He brought [us] over, for every trial He’s seen [us] through.”


The Shaw University Choir is made up of currently enrolled students, former students, and alumni. Dr. Loñieta Thompson Cornwall is the Director, Mr. George Hatcher, who sings second alto, is Chair of the Visual and Performing Arts Department. Mr. Kevin Micheals, director of transportation, serves as percussionist.



Shaw University Choir “Stars” 


 Cory LeakCorey Leak, 2010 graduate, tenor, Harlem Boy Choir alum, was featured as soloist with the North Carolina Worker’s Martin Luther King Observance Choir. He has also been featured in program with the North Carolina Symphony. Corey can be contacted at 919-522-3680

for performances.




 Tyree Smith

Tyree Smith, bass, was chosen to sing with the 105 Voices of History Choir that performs annually at JFK Center in Washington DC. He continues to represent Shaw University as one of the basses selected to perform in the Bahamas in May 2011.  Christina Waldo, soprano, was selected to join Tyree in the 2011-2012 VOI Choir. Tyree is from Greenville and Christina is from Maryland.














Forbes-Dunn-Hancock-GirleyRyan Girley (Green shirt) poses with  Bear alumni Brandi Hancock (right) and Jewelyn Dunn (center), and Minister James Forbes, Jr. (Left)at the General Baptist State Convention. Ryan is from Virginia and sings second tenor in the choir. Brandi and Jewelyn each sang solos during the concert. Dr. Cornwall and Minister Forbes provided instrumental accompaniment. Minister Forbes and the choir from Christian Faith Baptist Church collaborated to provide music for Genworth Financial Group during Black History Month. Neither choir knew that the other was scheduled to perform, so both choirs sang together in what resulted in an extraordinary performance. Minister Forbes sits at the keyboard.

Rev. Dr. David C. Forbes is the pastor of Christian Faith Baptist Church in Raleigh.















Brandi Q. Hancock is a 2003 graduate of Shaw University.  She has countless solo and theatre performances to her credit. She appeared as the character Alice in the TNT Made for TV Movie Freedom Song starring Danny Glover and Loretta Devine. HBrandi Hancocker singing credits include The North Carolina Symphony I Waited for the Lord, along with the Shaw and Morgan State University Choirs. Guest Soloist in a recording with the Wake Forest Baptist Church with Dr. Benjamin Harlan.  She is the head of Premium Design Music Group which offer services in Vocal instruction, vocal health instruction workshops and the band PREMIUM DESIGN she is completing her Masters in Church music from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest. Brandi can be reached for performances via email or 919-638-7012