Sharon Davis Gratto

Contact Information

  • Phone: 937-229-3936
  • Location: HM 466

Sharon Davis Gratto

Professor; Director, World Music Choir; Graul Chair in Arts and Languages

  • Full-Time Faculty


Sharon Davis Gratto is Professor of Music and the Graul Endowed Chair in Arts and Languages at the University of Dayton. Dr. Gratto came to UD in 2008 from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, where she was Coordinator of Music Education and conducted the Women’s Choir, World Music Ensemble, Concert Choir, and the Gettysburg Children’s Choir.

Dr. Gratto is a graduate of the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, American University, the State University of New York at Potsdam, and Catholic University. She taught at the University of Maryland and K-12 schools in Germany, Spain, Nigeria, and in the Washington, D.C. area. She was Music Department Chair and a general and choral music teacher at the Holton-Arms School in Bethesda, MD.

Dr. Gratto served the American Choral Directors Association for six years as National Repertoire and Standards Chair for Ethnic and Multicultural Perspectives, having also held the same position in Pennsylvania and the ACDA Eastern Division. She represented this same R & S area on the Board of the Ohio Choral Directors Association. Past professional positions have included Multicultural Chair for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA), the Higher Education Curriculum and Instruction representative for PMEA District Seven, Board member of the International NETWORK of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education, Ethnic and Multicultural Chair for the Ohio Choral Directors Association, and Chair of the Ohio Society for Music Teacher Education. She was a program evaluator for the Pennsylvania Humanities Council and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.

Dr. Gratto received the 2014 Outstanding Service Award in the University of Dayton College of Arts and Sciences, a NETWORK research award, a Callie Award from Adams County (PA) United Way as Outstanding Woman in the Arts, a PMEA Citation of Excellence in Higher Education, and the 2008 Outstanding Music Education Alumni Award from the Oberlin Conservatory. She has been recognized for service to the Dayton community by Nigeria United in Dayton and the Miami Valley Region and by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia. Dr. Gratto is a founding Trustee of the Dayton Performing Arts Alliance (Dayton Philharmonic, Opera, and Ballet) and a Board member of the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. She served on the 10th Anniversary Committee of the Bach Society of Dayton and has presented Bach Society pre-concert artist interviews and talks. Dr. Gratto volunteers frequently as an on-air fundraiser host for WDPR Discover Classical radio in Dayton. She adjudicates for and hosts the award winners’ concert of the annual WDPR Young Talent Search.

Dr. Gratto has published in the ACDA Choral Journal, the PMEA Journal, the OMEA Triad, General Music Today, the Mountain Lake Reader, Arts Education Policy Review, the Department Chair, the Journal of the Performing Arts Medicine Association, the Instrumentalist, the PMEA Research Journal, and two editions of the MENC Higher Education Course Syllabi publication. She served as Guest Editor of the September 2014 ACDA Choral Journal focus issue on multicultural choral music. She has delivered keynote addresses for the Pennsylvania Arts Council’s Arts Day and the Phi Kappa Phi honor society induction ceremony at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, W. VA.

In addition to adjudicating choral festivals and flute and voice solo and ensemble festivals and competitions, Dr. Gratto has conducted honor choirs on all grade levels in seven states, including the Pennsylvania All-State Elementary Honor Choir. She has performed professionally as a flutist and mezzo soprano, the latter with the Washington Bach Consort, the Wolf Trap Opera, the Washington Opera, and the Washington Concert Opera. During her flute career, she performed in master classes with Jean Pierre Rampal. Dr. Gratto completed three levels of training in Orff-Schulwerk and World Music Drumming and received the Certificate in Dalcroze Eurhythmics from the Marta Sanchez Dalcroze Training Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburg, PA.

She was an active volunteer with the Oberlin College Alumni Association, serving as Class President, Awards Chair, and Conservatory Committee Chair. She performs community service outside of UD with the Miami Valley Pet Therapy Association, working with her miniature sheltie in hospitals, libraries, nursing and retirement homes, and other service facilities.


  • D.M.A., Catholic University of America, 1994
  • M.Mus., State University of New York, 1986
  • M.A. American University, 1968
  • B.Mus, Oberlin College, 1966

Research Interests

  • World music and its transformative power for performers and audiences
  • Mentoring new music teachers
  • El sistema programs for urban youth
  • Arts instruction in alternate school formats
  • Arts-in-Education programs
  • Audition anxiety