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Erin Bodnar, Assistant Professor, Instrumental Conducting

Erin Bodnar headshot Erin Bodnar joined the faculty at the University of North Florida in 2018 as Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Bands where she conducts the Wind Symphony and Concert Band, instructs courses in conducting and coordinate the UNF Conducting Symposium. Prior to her appointment at UNF, Dr. Bodnar was Director of Bands at Graceland University for four years during which time the Symphonic Band performed at the Iowa Bandmasters Association conference. During 2013-2014, Dr. Bodnar was the conductor of the Wind Symphony and Orchestra at Mahidol University in Bangkok, Thailand. Her primary conducting teachers were Timothy Salzman, Eugene Corporon, Dennis Fisher and Gerald King and she has participated in conducting workshops across the United States as well as in Ukraine and Costa Rica. Dr. Bodnar maintains an active schedule as a guest conductor and clinician, traveling to Thailand, Indonesia, and throughout the United States and Canada.


Dr. Bodnar has contributed to A Composer's Insight: Thoughts, Analysis and Commentary on Contemporary Masterpieces for Wind Band, Volume 5, the GIA Teaching Music Through Performance Series for Volume 7 and the revised Volume 1. She excelled at teaching both middle and high school band in Alberta, Canada for which she received the Keith Mann Young Band Director's Award and the Edwin Parr First Year Teacher Award. Dr. Bodnar has presented at conferences in Canada, the United States, Scotland, Thailand and Austria. Her research interests include conducting pedagogy and motor cognition, and her articles have been published in the Journal of Music Teacher Education and Music Perception.


Contact: (904) 620-3832-

Gordon R. Brock, Professor Emeritus, Instrumental Conducting

Gordon Brock headshot

Dr. Gordon R. Brock is Professor of Music and Director of Bands at the University of North Florida's School of Music in Jacksonville, Florida, where he conducts the Wind Symphony, instructs courses in conducting and woodwind performance and coordinates the UNF Conducting Symposium. Earning his B.S.E. from Dickinson State University, M.M. from Michigan State University, and D.M.A. from the University of Colorado-Boulder, Dr. Brock's career as a music educator encompasses elementary through university levels.


Under Dr. Brock's leadership as chair (2002-12), the Department of Music was awarded an elite flagship designation (Music Flagship Program) and emerged as a program of prominence recognized throughout the region for its renowned faculty, dedication to student learning, and engagement with the community as it continues to garner recognition as one of the fastest growing and leading performance-based programs in the country. Under Dr. Brock's direction, the UNF Wind Symphony has performed at prestigious events and venues including the annual Upbeat Pink: A Musical Tribute to Breast Cancer Survivorship concert series in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, the Florida Music Educators Association State Conference, Carnegie Hall, and Alice Tully Hall-Lincoln Center.


Before joining UNF, Dr. Brock was Director of Bands at the University of North Dakota, conductor of the Greater Grand Forks Youth Symphony, and the Grand Forks Chamber Ensemble. Under his direction, the UND Wind Ensemble performed at two North Dakota Music Educators Conferences, the Ohio Music Education Association/North Central MENC Professional Conference, and a joint concert series in Great Britain with the Central Band of the White Russian Army. In addition to an annual CD project dedicated to recording the best in traditional and contemporary wind literature, Dr. Brock instituted an annual Conducting Symposium, which attracted both regional and international participants. Having been twice honored by the Alberta Provincial Government for his nationally recognized ensembles and contributions to music education throughout Canada, Dr. Brock was also included in the fifth edition of "Who's Who Among America's Teachers." He has served as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States and Canada, including Japan and Israel. In 2006, he was acknowledged as a Distinguished Alumnus of Dickinson State University and as the UNF Gerson Yessin Professor (2010-12).


Dr. Brock has performed with a broad spectrum of internationally recognized organizations within the mediums of chamber music, jazz, wind band, theater, dance, and orchestra. He is a member of the College Band Directors National Association (state chair, 2003-2005), Pi Kappa Lambda, Phi Beta Mu, National Association for Music Education, Florida Bandmasters Association, National Band Association, and the World Association for Symphonic Bands and Ensembles. A chapter contributor to the newly released GIA publication, The Art of Interpretation of Band Music, Dr. Brock continues to serve as a Research Associate and author for the instrumental music education series Teaching Music through Performance in Band, a series that now serves as a primary text in more than 300 universities in the United States and 20 countries.


Contact: (904) 620-3832 -

Patrick Chiu, Adjunct Professor, Choral Conducting

Patrick Chiu headshot

Interdisciplinary artist Patrick Chiu works as a stage director, performance curator, conductor, and composer. In recent years, his choral-physical theatres have been injecting innovation and vibrancy into the arts scene. Recent fully staged productions include Monteverdi Madrigal of War and Love, English madrigals The Triumphs of Oriana, Bach Ich habe genug (BWV 82), Coffee Cantata (BWV 211), Hercules at the Crossroads (BWV 213), and Markus-Passion (BWV 247). Upcoming projects in 2021 include Pergolesi Stabat Mater, Bach Wedding Cantata (BWV 202), and Johannes-Passion (BWV 245).


During his period of residency in Vienna, Chiu has participated in various local professional performances and received tuition from professors at the Vienna Conservatory. Later he earned a scholarship to study at the University of Cincinnati's College-Conservatory of Music, where he received his master's degree in conducting. He then earned a master's degree in stage directing in Florida State University, where he is currently continuing as a doctoral candidate. During his stay in Europe and the United States, he has worked with and studied under world-renowned maestros including Helmuth Rilling and Harry Christophers. As a composer, his award-winning works have been presented in Austria, France, Portugal, Spain, Russia, UK, USA and various countries in Asia.


In 2020, Chiu proudly joined the Vocal Arts Faculty of the University of North Florida. With Dr. Cara Tasher as Music Director and Conductor, he has directed several staged choral productions, including Monteverdi Vespers, Handel Messiah in Motion, and a full-length video of concert-documentary Messiah on the Move, which portrayed our musical "new normal" in pandemic times.


Contact: (904) 620-2961 -

Cara Tasher, Professor, Soprano (Director of Choral Activities), Choral Conducting

Cara Tasher headshot

Dr. Cara Tasher, soprano, has served as Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Voice at the University of North Florida since 2006. She has performed and recorded with conductors Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Robert Shaw and Sir Georg Solti. As a singer, chorus master and/or conductor, Tasher has been professionally associated with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Conspirare, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Mexico City's Opera deBellas Artes, Portugal's Vocalizze Festival, Trinity Choir-Wall Street, Xavier University and the Young People's Chorus of New York City. Proficient in several languages, Tasher's engagements as both a singer and a conductor have brought her to nearly ten states and twenty countries for concerts, festivals, workshops, or as a featured soloist. International awareness is a focal point of her teaching. Her training took place in the Glen Ellyn Children's Chorus, at the University of Cincinnati College's Conservatory of Music, University of Texas at Austin, La Sorbonne, and Northwestern University. Dr. Tasher is active within the national and global community as an adjudicator, author, guest clinician, conductor and recitalist, and is affiliated with ACDA, IFCM, JSCA, MENC, NATS, and NCCO in varying capacities. She was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award at the University of North Florida and her students continue to thrive under the mentorship of the School of Music in Jacksonville.


Contact: (904) 620-3839 -