The founders of CLEF have been involved as both musicians and liturgists in ensembles for over half a century. Our team includes university-trained musicians, doctorate-level liturgists, as well as those with no formal training. We have been involved in ensembles with ongoing, continuing formation, as well as those who are left on their own to find competent training. We realize a considerable void exists in the formation and training afforded to ensembles. Given the wealth of experience and training we as a group possess, we feel called to share our gifts with others.

MEET THE TEAM


Mary Lou Cantrell

Mary Lou Cantrell is a joyful guitarist who has been a dedicated music minister for over 45 years. She has served as an Ensemble Member, Co-Director, or Ensemble Director in many military and civilian parishes in the US, Europe, and Asia. When Mary Lou’s family relocated to the Northern Virginia area in 2004, Mary Lou accepted a position as the Ensemble Accompanist at St. Dominic Church in Washington, DC., where she continues to serve. When not at St. Dominic’s, she works at the Hattie M. Strong Foundation. She lives in Springfield, VA, with her husband, JC, and they have two adult children.


Dr. Mary Dumm, D.Min.

Dr. Mary Dumm, D.Min, is the Pastoral Associate at St Blase Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan. Additionally, she teaches at Siena Heights University and Ss Cyril and Methodius Seminary. Her areas of study include Scripture, Liturgy, and Sacrament. Also, Mary has enjoyed participating in ventures with LTP, NPM, and other organizations that serve the people of God and their worship. When she’s not locked to her computer or in pre-Covid life running around the country giving workshops, she can be found with a book in her hand, cross-stitch in her lap, or diligently (albeit unsuccessfully) learning chord shapes.


Bobby Fisher

Bobby Fisher is a world-renowned musician, music producer, recording artist, composer, and clinician. He has served a number of years as program director for the NPM Guitar Schools, Guitar and Ensemble Institutes, and most recently, the Bobby Fisher Ensemble Formation Program (BFEFP). For over 25 years, he has been the music director of St. Agnes Parish in Ft. Wright, KY. For the past 4 years, he has been the music director of the Share the Journey (A Concert for Compassion) series (https://shareinthehope.com). Bobby has recorded and produced a number of his own recordings and has worked as producer and guest musician on countless others. With his daughter, Serenity, and her husband, Michael G. Ronstadt, he currently records and performs with Serenity Fisher and the Cardboard Hearts. Bobby has recorded and published a number of music collections for OCP, GIA, Franciscan Media, and Heart to Heart Ministries and is the author of “The Pastoral Guitarist,” a guitar instructional book, and “The Liturgical Guitarist,” an instructional video. As a children’s recording artist, Bobby is best known for “Hymns and Hers for Happy Hearts,” a collection of fun and creative music for young and old children. His best-selling collections include Play Before God, Guitar Prayer, Catholic Classics Vol. III, If We Dare to Hope, and Go Out and Tell. Bobby lives in Cincinnati, OH, with his wife and family.


Dr. Ken Gilman, PhD

Ken recently retired from his 16 years as music director at St. Michael & All Angels in Albuquerque. He returned to the back row as an obbligatist on a variety of instruments – mandolin, bouzouki, violin, octave viola, bass mandolin, etc. The banjo has even snuck in a time or two. He loves thinking through what diverse musical elements do to enhance the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic elements in the ensemble, as well as ensemble as a community. With roots in the music of the Celtic Diaspora, he has played in bands in New England and Europe as well as the Southwest. As a semi-retired psychologist and mediator, he works with first responders, especially around teamwork, communication, and burnout.


Peter Maher

Peter earned a Bachelor’s degree from the Catholic University of America in 1978. He is currently enjoying retirement after a varied career, including stints as an Executive Chef, Owner-Operator of a highly successful computer operations company, and sixteen years with the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Peter began his career fifty-three years ago as an ensemble musician in 1969 when Sister Maureen, who knew he played guitar, asked him to help form the first “folk group” in the parish. Aside from a few breaks for life and jobs along the way, he has been an ensemble musician since.


Steve Petrunak

Steve Petrunak is the Director of Music at St. Blase Parish in Sterling Heights, Michigan, where he has served in music ministry for more than 43 years. He is a composer, recording artist, author, editor, and clinician. Steve was the President/CEO of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians for nearly four years and served two terms as a member of the NPM Board of Directors. He has recorded and produced multiple recordings. He has written the book with his pastor Fr. Randy Phillips entitled “Managing Music Ministry” and a three-volume liturgical guitar methodology entitled “Beyond Strumming,” all with GIA Publications. Steve has also recorded more than 800 guitar-based instrumental recordings distributed across multiple streaming and download platforms (including Spotify, Pandora, Amazon Music, and Apple Music). Steve lives in Washington, Michigan, with his wife, Ruth.


Chris St. Clair

Chris got his start as a pastoral musician in the late 1970’s while still in high school and hopes that his old parish eventually forgives him for those early years. (This was many years before he met any of our esteemed faculty). He is a retired embedded software engineer who specialized in Real-Time, Embedded software for testing such things as communication satellites and The US Laboratory Module of the International Space Station. He has written flight software for one human-rated spacecraft and done a whole lot of ‘odd job’ software assignments for his former employer. He describes himself as a pastoral musician trapped in an engineer’s body. He and his wife Laura (aka ‘Charlie’) live in Jefferson City, MO., with their dog Astrid.

Committees

In addition to our board members, we have dedicated volunteers currently serving on three committees to help advance our mission:

  • Our CLEF Life Committee leads the development of programming and resources to support liturgical ensemble musicians and coordinates with additional contributors. Committee members include Steve Petrunak (chair, board liaison), Mary Dumm, and Kathy Felong.
  • Our Technical Infrastructure Committee oversees all things related to tech and data that make our programming, both online and in person, possible. Committee members include Chris St. Clair (chair, board liaison) and Matthew Wesley.
  • Our Communications Committee helps shape our message and reach ensemble musicians via the website, social media, and other channels. Committee members include Peter Maher (board liaison), Linda Wesley (chair), Laura St. Clair, Tracey Boulware, and Ray Mullins.

If you are interested in supporting CLEF as a volunteer on one of these committees, or if you have experience with nonprofit fundraising and development, we welcome your support! Please contact us to discuss volunteer opportunities.