Tom Stehle has been active in full time music ministry for thirty two years. A native of Butler, Pennsylvania, he has served in the Dioceses of Pittsburgh, PA and Peoria, IL and for the last 22 years in the Archdiocese of Washington DC. For eighteen years prior to his appointment at the Cathedral he was Pastoral Associate for Liturgy and Director of Music Ministries at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Potomac, MD where he was deeply involved in the design of the new church building and the installation of a 66 rank French-romantic pipe organ. During his time there the music program expanded to encompass choirs of all ages and styles including a schola cantorum, handbell choir, as well as the active participation of high school instrumentalists.
In January 2008, Tom was appointed by Archbishop Wuerl as the director of music for the Papal Mass of Pope Benedict XVI at Nationals Park in Washington. Under his direction, four choirs comprised of 775 singers and instrumentalists and the Washington Symphonic Brass orchestra provided music for more than three hours.
In recognition for this work, Tom received the Papal Benemerenti Award on Easter Sunday at the Cathedral the following year. Duquesne University, his undergraduate alma mater honored him with the 2008 “Mind, Heart and Spirit” award for outstanding service to the Church.
Tom is also active professionally, serving as vice-chair of the board of directors of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians, after having served 10 years as the chair of the Council of Chapters for the same organization. He is a member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians and the American Guild of Organists. He also has taught a course on Liturgy for more than 16 years for the EPS program of Trinity University in their Washington DC and Northern VA programs.
He is a frequent clinician and speaker on topics of liturgy, church architecture and music and has published articles in professional journals and magazines including Pastoral Liturgy, Ministry and Liturgy, The Liturgical Singer, and Pastoral Music, including an article on music-making in a cathedral setting in the August-September 2009 Pastoral Music magazine. He has also written a popular series of bulletin inserts on church architecture for the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions, as well as a previously published annotated bibliography on the same topic for the FDLC.
In addition to his undergraduate work at Duquesne University, Tom also earned two graduate degrees (M.A. 1990 and M.Arch. 1997) from the Catholic University of America where he was the recipient of the Caldwell Organ Scholarship and the Magi Endowment for Liturgical Arts. He also studied choral conducting at Westminster Choir College of Rider University.