Dr. Cara Tasher, Jacksonville SINGS! founder and artistic director, has served as Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Florida since 2006. In this position she oversees the choral program, selecting repertoire that exposes each student to varied international music and cultures, conducts Chamber Singers and Chorale, and teaches the graduate conducting curriculum. She also mentors future conductors in the BM, BME and MM degrees by providing international touring and recording opportunities, generous podium time and facilitates several events to develop leadership and organizational skills.
Proficient in several languages, Tasher’s concerts, workshops, adjudication, and guest performing engagements have brought her to over twenty countries. Her experience as singer, chorus master and/or conductor includes the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Conspirare, Mexico City’s Opera de Bellas Artes, Trinity Choir-Wall Street, Xavier University, University of Cincinnati, University of Texas, Portugal’s Vocalizze Festival, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Cara has performed local and international recitals, and as a choral singer has recorded with conductors Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Owen Burdick, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Robert Shaw, and Sir Georg Solti. She has recently prepared choruses for Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and most recently, Josh Groban.
From an early age, music has been the center of Tasher’s life. As member of the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus during grade school and high school, she received extensive vocal training and repertoire knowledge while being exposed to the joy and camaraderie of choral music. During her freshman year at Northwestern University, volunteering at the Cook County Jail Division XI (Maximum Security), she realized how deeply rewarding it could be to lead a choral ensemble. Her other studies were completed at La Sorbonne, Nanterre, University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and University of Texas at Austin, where she received several honors and awards. Dr. Tasher is active within the national and global community through the American Choral Directors Association, International Federation of Choral Music, National Association of Teachers of Singing and the National Collegiate Choral Organization. She received the University of North Florida 2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, presented “Conductor as Voice Teacher” at the 2014 World Symposium of Choral Music, and was awarded the University of North Florida Outstanding International Leadership Award in 2016.