The Chamber Singers are the most select choral ensemble at UNF and serve as the primary fundraising and touring ensemble and typically perform ten to twenty concerts throughout the academic year. This versatile group was spotlighted on the world stage as they sang the national anthem to open the 2012 Florida Republican Debate, broadcast live on CNN-HD to over 5 million people. Their repertoire covers a wide range of styles, from Monteverdi to Whitacre to Britten, and also spans the genres of world music and vocal jazz. The UNF Chamber Singers and the “President’s Own” are available for bookings through the conductor. Chamber Singers rehearse Tuesdays and Thursdays 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and a 30-minute sectional each week in the Fine Arts Center, Building 45, Room 1404. Admission to those who bring a high level of excellence and enthusiasm to both solo and choral music performance follows a rigorous audition process that is held prior to each academic year. Watch the UNF Chamber Singers open the 2012 CNN Presidential Debate on Youtube.
The group’s conductor, Dr. Cara Tasher, a member of the University of North Florida faculty since 2006, has garnered experience as singer, chorus master and/or conductor with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Conspirare, Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, Mexico City’s Opera de Bellas Artes, Portugal’s Vocalizze Festival, Trinity Choir-Wall Street, Xavier University, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and has also prepared choruses for Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic and most recently, Josh Groban. She has performed and recorded with conductors Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Robert Shaw, and Sir Georg Solti. Proficient in several languages, Tasher’s concerts, workshops, and guest performing engagements as both a singer and a conductor have brought her to over twenty countries. She studied at University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Texas at Austin, La Sorbonne, and Northwestern University where she received several honors and awards. Dr. Tasher is active within the national and global community through ACDA, IFCM and NATS. She was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award at the University of North Florida, co-presented with Dr. James Hall in Korea at the World Symposium of Choral Music in 2014 and won the University Outstanding International Leadership Award in 2016. Contact Dr. Cara Tasher at (904) 620-3839 or Cara.Tasher@unf.edu for more information.
Recorded live on-site in the superb acoustics at Jacksonville Beach’s finest acoustic St. Paul’s by-the-Sea, this mostly a cappella CD represents diverse time periods, languages and styles allowing the artistry of the ensemble to shine through in a wide variety of works by Portuguese composers Manuel Cardoso (1566–1650) and Eurico Carrapatoso (b. 1962), as well as John Duggan (b. 1968), Blake Henson (b. 1983), Jón Leifs (1899–1968), Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), Giovanni Palestrina (1525–1594), Pärt Uusberg (b. 1986) and traditional American songs. James Hall, faculty tenor soloist; Nick Curry, faculty cello soloist; Yukino Miyake, collaborative artist; UNF Chamber Singers, Cara Tasher, conductor.
The album is now available on iTunes. To order a physical copy of “come by here” send a check made out to the University of North Florida for $20 ($15.00 + $5.00 S&H) to Dr. Cara Tasher, UNF School of Music, 1 UNF Drive, Jacksonville, FL 32224.
The twelve selections included on the UNF Chamber Singers premiere disc represent an impressive span of time periods and styles. Also recorded at St. Paul’s by-the-Sea, this mostly a cappella album includes works by Josquin de Prez (c. 1450/1455–1521), Imant Raminsh (b. 1943), James Taylor (b. 1948), as well as two contemporary songs from UNF faculty composers Gary Smart and Peter Mathews (retired). Nick Curry, cello soloist; Jon Easter, collaborative keyboard artist; UNF Chamber Singers; Cara Tasher, conductor.
To book the Chamber Singers, for more information or to contribute to student choral scholarships, please contact Cara.Tasher@unf.edu or visit her studio in the Fine Arts Center, Building 45, Room 2009. To schedule an audition, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.