Our Faculty

Mari Kay Dono received her Master’s of Science in Communicative Disorders from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and her Master’s of Business Administration from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She is licensed in the state of Ohio as a Speech-Language Pathologist and as a Massage Therapist. 


As a musician, Mari Kay studied voice under the direction of Gene Allen, Jacqueline Barlow-Ware, Stephanie Henkle, Nathan Medley, and Johnny Steiner. As a soprano, she was a member of the Columbus Symphony Chorus and Capital University’s Choral Union. She began her cantor work at St. James the Less Catholic Church in Columbus, Ohio, where she is presently Director of Music and Organist. She achieved all three cantor certificates and Cantor Trainer status with the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. She presently is on the Executive Board of the Columbus Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and is on the Cantor Steering Committee of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Mari Kay sings in the Resurrection Choir at St. Andrew Parish in Upper Arlington, Ohio, and is a pianist at Friendship Village Retirement Center in Dublin, Ohio. 


As a Speech-Language Pathologist, Mari Kay began her career working at Dodd Hall Ohio State University Hospitals, where she worked with neurological disorders. Mari Kay has a long passion for working with vocal disorders, especially when those vocal problems interfere with the professional singing and speaking voice. 

Cantor Program Liaison /

Basic Cantor Training


*Fall Registration Now Open!

Music Theory 1

Online Presenter: Emily Lapisardi

This course provides an overview of the foundational components of music including notation, intervals, key signatures, harmonic analysis and realization, and figured bass. Students will have access to ten weekly lectures on the course material. They will also receive individual feedback from the instructor on tests and quizzes and may contact the instructor as needed by email, phone, or Skype.

Start date: September 30, 2019

History of Sacred Music

Online Presenter: Emily Lapisardi

This course provides a survey of the historical role of music in worship from its roots in the Old Testament to the present day. Landmark repertoire will be explored within the framework of historical turning points in ecclesiastical history. While the class will focus primarily on Christian music in the western world, cross-cultural influences will also be explored. This is a ten-week course comprised of weekly lectures and music listening assignments; students are also required to participate in a minimum of three online discussions and will be evaluated through midterm and final examinations. 

Start date: September 30, 2019

*Also Registering for Organ, Voice, and Cantor Lessons

For more information and to register for any of these fall offerings, send an email to asacredmusic@gmail.com or fill out the contact form on this website.

Registration deadline Friday, September 20, 2019 at 5:00 pm

Make checks payable to Sacred Music Institute of America and send to the following address:

P.O. Box 55

Lewis Center, Ohio 43035

Click for More Information:

Faculty and Staff


Dr. Jason J. Keefer, Program Director

Organ/Sacred Music Topics                                

Dr. Rebecca Abbott


Jeremy Bankson


Dr. David Baskeyfield

Organ/Organ Improvisation

Mari Kay Dono

Cantor Program Liaison/Basic Cantor Training

Dr. Richard K. Fitzgerald

Organ/Organ Improvisation

Dr. Jason Hiester


Emily Lapisardi

Music Theory/History of Sacred Music

Steven Nanni


Rachel Parfenchuk


Nicholas John Steltzer


Dr. Jennifer Whitehead


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