Gretchen Kuhns grew up in Boardman and attended Catholic grade school at St. Matthias. She then graduated from Villa Maria (an all girls Catholic high school just over the PA border). She received her Bachelor’s degree from YSU majoring in piano performance.
Gretchen began studying the organ in second grade and immediately began playing for weekday Mass at St. Matthias. She has been involved in the church ever since. She took up the piano and participated in various music festivals and events in the area scoring the highest ratings and winning various awards. While attending YSU she began teaching piano lessons and maintained a studio of fifty students.
She married her husband, John, at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church where she was then music director. After the birth of their two boys Gretchen accepted the position of music director at St. Dominic’s in Youngstown where she remained for almost twenty three years before coming to St Patrick’s. She and John also have two girls. Their oldest three — Tommy, Michael, and Mary — attend YSU while their youngest, Sarah, will be a freshman at South Range and was just confirmed here at St Patrick’s.
Gretchen’s parents were active members at St. Matthias all throughout her childhood. She remembers going to all of the Holy Week Masses with her dad as well as “marching” for special Masses as a student there. Her Catholic upbringing, along with her parents’ devotion to the faith is what inspired her to remain involved with music ministry. “There is nothing else I’d rather do than to use my talents and abilities to serve the Lord.” Her desire is to include and involve young people in the liturgy as well as all ages to be given the opportunity to grow in love and faith as she has.