Donato D Fornuto

Donato D. Fornuto, musician, composer, educator, died at age 90 on April 11, 2022 at Cedar Crest Senior Living Community in Pompton Plains, NJ.

     Don was born in New York City in 1931 to parents Pasquale and Philomena Fornuto. He attended the High School of Music and Art, the City University, received a Certificate in Italian Language and Culture at the Universita di Perugia per Stranieri and completed doctoral studies at Teachers College Columbia University. Professor Emeritus of William Paterson University, he previously taught at Teachers College, Columbia University and in the public schools of Midland Park, New Jersey and New York City. He has several published original compositions as well as pedagogical works for piano. As a member of ASCAP, Donato was a recipient of their annual Standard Award for several years.

     While at William Paterson University he taught Jazz Harmony, Jazz Arranging and Jazz Ear Training in addition to traditional Classical Harmony, Counterpoint and related subjects. He composed a concert band piece played at the renaming celebration (1971) of what was previously known as Paterson State College.      

     Dr. Fornuto also offered American Songwriter talks through the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has performed as a pianist in many professional situations in various locations in the greater New York metropolitan area.

     In addition to all of his musical endeavors, Donato was a painter, loved to travel and was an outdoor enthusiast, especially enjoying hiking and cross-country skiing. Friends, family, colleagues and students enjoyed his quick wit and great sense of humor.

     Donato is survived by Charlotte, his loving wife of 68 years, children Robert Fornuto, Silvia Cariello and Donna Girvan, his sisters Lucille Schettino, Adelaide Lisi, and Patricia O’Connor, Grandchildren Zach, Alex, Nicholas, Samantha, Angela and Adelle, Great Grandchildren Donato and Paulie, and countless nieces and nephews.

     A memorial service will be held at 1:30 on Friday, May 6 at the Interfaith Chapel at Cedar Crest Senior Living Community in Pompton Plains, NJ.