Executive Office Staff

William Pelto Executive Director
William L. Pelto, Ph.D.

[email protected]

Facilitates, manages, and directs administrative activities of the organization, including human resources, budget and planning, governance, program development and oversight, support to the CMS Fund, and external relations.


Bill Pelto joined the CMS national staff as the organization’s Executive Director in August 2017, after a twenty-six-year career in higher education. A music theorist by specialty, he held a tenured faculty appointment in the Ithaca College School of Music during the 1990s and served as that school’s Associate Dean from 2000 to 2009. While at Ithaca, he collaborated with Richard Hoffman and John W. White to develop the Takadimi system of rhythm solfege. During the 2004-2005 academic year, he served as an American Council on Education Fellow, including a one-semester residency at Brooklyn College—CUNY and visits to over thirty other colleges and universities throughout the US. In 2009, he moved to Boone, North Carolina, serving as Dean of the Hayes School of Music at Appalachian State University through June 2017. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Yale University, a Master of Arts in Music Theory from San Francisco State University, and a Ph.D. in Music Theory from The University of Texas at Austin. Bill joined The College Music Society in 1990, presented frequently at regional and national CMS meetings during the next decade, and facilitated mock interviews at six consecutive national CMS conferences. Prior to his graduate studies in music theory, Bill served as a research analyst in the State of Alaska Governor’s Office of Budget and Management. An avid hiker, downhill skier, and ukulele player, he is a native of Seattle and grew up in Juneau, Alaska. He is married to CMS member, soprano, and choral conductor Linda Larson.

Hannah PearsonDirector of Operations
Hannah Pearson

[email protected]

Manages the CMS executive office in Missoula, including human resources, budgeting, and legal and financial affairs, assists the Executive Director; and facilitates marketing of CMS's programs and services.


Hannah Pearson joined CMS as Director of Operations in May 2022. Originally from small-town Dahlonega, GA, Hannah holds a bachelor’s degree in clarinet performance from the University of Georgia, where she studied with Dr. D. Ray McClellan and performed in the Hodgson Wind Ensemble under the direction of Dr. Cynthia Johnston-Turner. Hannah received her MM in clarinet performance from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, studying with Kenneth Grant and Jon Manasse, and performed in the Eastman Wind Ensemble, Eastman Philharmonia, and Musica Nova, Eastman’s premiere contemporary music ensemble. Hannah earned her MA in Music Leadership from Eastman in 2020, studying the ins and outs of music nonprofit organizations via the mentorship and instruction of Rachel Roberts (Director of the Eastman Institute for Music Leadership).

Prior to her appointment with CMS, Hannah worked as Director of Operations and Production with Fifth House Ensemble (5HE) in Chicago, IL. In this role, Hannah worked closely with presenting partners at universities across the country to coordinate the production of 5HE’s collaborative and multidisciplinary music programming, including “Undertale LIVE” and “Journey LIVE,” two unique programs that incorporate live video game play into musical performance. During 5HE’s 2021-2022 season, Hannah implemented logistics for these shows in venues across the country, including the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, MA and Sweetwater Sound in Fort Wayne, IN. In the summer of 2021, Hannah spearheaded logistic planning for Fresh Inc Festival, a new music festival geared towards supporting the career development of emerging artists.

Hannah has also held administrative positions with the Eastman Theatre Box Office, the Geva Theatre Center Box Office, and the Gateways Music Festival, all based in Rochester, NY. This summer, Hannah joins Wildflower Composers at Temple University in Philadelphia, PA for the organization’s summer music festival that aims to amplify the work of young composers who identify as female, trans, queer, and/or nonbinary. Hannah will also be relocating from Chicago to CMS headquarters in Missoula, where she’s looking forward to exploring the beautiful mountain trails (and maybe go looking for dinosaur fossils!). In her spare time, Hannah reads as many books as she can, watches reality TV of a questionable caliber, and searches for fun clothes from local Goodwills and vintage clothing shops.

Candice DavisBookkeeper
Candice Davis

[email protected]


Candice graduated from Hamilton High School and has studied at the University of Montana. She has 6 years of bookkeeping experience including owning her own martial arts studio, where she taught children and women self defense. Candice is a dedicated mother to her three children. She enjoys anything outdoors with her family, cooking, restoring vintage furniture, and creating craft cocktails.

Shannon DevlinMembership Specialist
Shannon Devlin

[email protected]

Responds to CMS member inquiries, issues notifications and processes new and renewing membership applications, maintains member records, and monitors membership-related materials for up-to-date content.


Shannon Devlin has worked in the CMS national office since 1994, including two years as Office Assistant, two years as Receptionist, and the past twenty years as Director of Membership Services. She is a graduate of Missoula’s Hellgate High School, and has other work experience in local food service and entertainment businesses. Shannon is a dedicated runner, mountain biker, and hiker, and she also enjoys horticulture and cooking.

Julie JohnsonInformation Services Specialist
Julie Johnson

[email protected]

Maintains the database of the Directory of Music Faculties in US and Canada and the Music Vacancy List, and coordinates exhibits and sponsorships for the annual national conference.


Julie Johnson has worked in the CMS national office since 1994, including a year as Administrative Assistant, two years as Administrative/Collections Assistant, and the past twenty-one years as Director of Information Services. She studied music at The University of Montana in Missoula, and she performs frequently as a collaborative pianist. During the 1991-93 school years, she worked as a staff accompanist for the Brownsville (TX) Independent School District.

Beth MastDirector of Information Delivery/Webmaster
Beth Mast

[email protected]

Develops and maintains websites, produces College Music Symposium, provides information to CMS members through email and online means, and provides service to constituents wishing to connect with music faculty and administrators through the Professional Notices by Email service.


Beth Mast has worked in the CMS national office since 1990, including two years as Administrative Assistant, four years as Director of Database Development, and the past twenty years as Director of Information Delivery/Webmaster. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Theory from The University of Montana. Past work experience includes four years as a soda jerk at S&L Ice Cream Parlor and four years as Ensembles Librarian and Manager at the Oberlin (OH) College Conservatory of Music. Beth has been married to Paul Mast since 1996. She also enjoys hiking, biking, yoga, singing in choir, and eating yummy things.

Peter ParkDirector of Professional Activities
Peter Park

[email protected]

Plans and executes national and international conferences, coordinates professional development workshops, and assists regional chapter leadership with events and governance matters.


Peter Park has worked in the CMS Executive Office since 1993, including service as an administrative assistant, Director of Community Outreach & Engagement, and Director of Professional Activities. He holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The University of Montana. Other professional positions include eighteen years as Founding Artistic Director of Dolce Canto and four years as Executive Director of the Missoula International Choral Festival. Peter enjoys cooking, traveling, cycling, hiking, and sharing a nice glass of Pinot Noir or single malt scotch with his wife, Susan.

David Schafer

Director of Information Technology
David Schafer

[email protected]

Develops, secures, and maintains CMS’s online deployments and staff equipment.


David Schafer has worked as the CMS national office’s Director of Information Technology since 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Montana. Past professional experience includes eighteen years of C++ programming on Windows platforms and work on GIS based applications and imaging tools for the OEM market. Dave enjoys technology, cycling, and happy hour with his wife Deanna Schafer.