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Meet the Team

Catholic Liturgical Ensemble Formation

CLEF is an all-volunteer organization led by a board of ensemble directors, instrumentalists, singers, and liturgists who believe in the importance of ensemble music in liturgy. 

Our founding board members have extensive experience in music and liturgy, and they have been involved in a wide range of ensembles. We understand the unique challenges and opportunities for ensemble musicians and seek to provide education, skill building, and inspiration for ensemble musicians across the United States.

CLEF board members

Mary Lou Cantrell

Mary Lou Cantrell is a joyful guitarist who has been a dedicated music minister for more than 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, D.C., where she continues to serve. When not at St. Dominic’s, she works at the Hattie M. Strong Foundation. She lives in Springfield, Virginia, with her husband, JC. They have two adult children.

Mary Dumm, D. Min

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. 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 for many years as program director for the NPM Guitar Schools, Guitar and Ensemble Institutes, and most recently, the Bobby Fisher Ensemble Formation Program (BFEFP). He has been the music director of St. Agnes Parish in Ft. Wright, Kentucky, for more than 25 years. For the past four 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 many 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. He has also recorded and published a number of music collections for OCP, GIA, Franciscan Media, and Heart to Heart Ministries. He 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, Ohio, with his wife and family.

Ken Gilman, PhD

Ken served for 17 years as music director at St. Michael & All Angels in Albuquerque. He continues to play in his preferred spot on the back row at St. Michael and at St. Charles Borromeo, usually as an obbligato person on mandolin, octave viola, tenor, or bass mandolin. Irish banjo may even have snuck in a time or two. In Albuquerque the past 20 years, he previously worked and played in Celtic bands in both New England (Maine) and Europe (Belgium).

His special passion is creating balance in the ensemble for instruments and voices. In music selection and arrangement, he loves to explore, in addition to lyric content, how the timbre, rhythmic, and melodic characteristics of the music support the flow of the liturgy. Another area of interest for Ken is how we inhabit the continuum of the political to the pastoral, and how the interplay of beliefs and personality combine with the practice of authority and leadership to affect ensemble formation at all levels of the community, from staff to choir/ensemble to assembly. As a semi-retired psychologist and mediator, he does supervision and training work primarily with first responders around teamwork, communication, burnout, and self-care.

Peter Maher

Peter Maher 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 16 years with the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Peter began his career 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 that time.

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. 

Steve is the author of “Beyond Strumming,” a three-volume liturgical guitar methodology series, and co-author of “Managing Music Ministry” with his pastor Fr. Randy Phillips, both available through GIA Publications. He has recorded and produced multiple recordings of liturgical music and 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.

Committee volunteers

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

If you are interested in supporting CLEF as a volunteer on one of these committees or in another role, we welcome your support! Please contact us to discuss current volunteer opportunities.