Robert L. Donahue earned degrees from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana before getting his doctorate in composition from Cornell in Ithaca, New York. His composition teachers have included Cecil Burleigh, Hunter Johnson, Robert Palmer, Benjamin Johnston, and Karel Husa. He has taught at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh and Spelman College in Atlanta, where he retired in 1999.

He has over eighty publications of educational piano music, choral music and instrumental ensembles. He has been commissioned to write works for saxophone. His Sonata #3 was a prizewinner in the Delius Festival. He has written sightreading music for the Georgia Music Educators Association’s Festivals. He is a member of the Southeastern Composers League, Society of Composers, Inc., American Music Center and ASCAP where he has won ten special awards.