Skip to Main Content
students singing in large choir


James Hall, Associate Professor, Tenor, Area Coordinator 

James Hall headshot

      Tenor Dr. James Hall joined the voice faculty at the University of North Florida in 2011. A graduate of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and the Maryland Opera Studio, Hall enjoys an active and varied career that includes opera, oratorio, chamber music, and solo recital. A specialist in high tenor and haute-contre repertoire, Dr. Hall is frequently called upon as tenor soloist in Orff’s Carmina Burana. He has performed the work to rave reviews in some of the nation’s most prominent concert halls, including Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center, and Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. 

Consistently praised for his soaring upper register and vocal beauty, Hall has performed operatic roles throughout the United States, including Brighella and Tanzmeister in Ariadne auf Naxos, Linfea in La Calisto, the Witch in Hansel and Gretel, Basilio in Le nozze di Figaro, and Damon/Corydon in Handel’s masque Acis and Galatea. Equally at home in chamber music, Dr. Hall has made guest appearances with Mercury Baroque (Houston), St. Matthew’s Cathedral Singers of Washington, DC, and Jacksonville’s St. Mark’s Bach Ensemble. In 2012, he performed as tenor soloist with the UNF Chamber Singers in a concert tour throughout South Africa. Upcoming engagements include the role of Aenaes in Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, tenor soloist in the Mozart Requiem with Valdosta Symphony, and tenor soloist in Beethoven’s 9th Symphony with the Coastal Symphony of Georgia.

Well-regarded as an accomplished vocal pedagogue, Dr. Hall has presented lectures at Iowa Music Educators Association Conference, Florida ACDA State Conference, Tennessee Music Educators Association Conference, and at the World Symposium on Choral Music (IFCM) in Seoul, South Korea. He has given guest master classes at universities across the United States and abroad and is frequently sought after as an adjudicator. In 2015, Dr. Hall joined the summer faculty at the prestigious Interlochen Arts Camp in Michigan, where he teaches voice and lyric diction.


Contact: (904) 620-5792 -  

Dina Barone, Adjunct Professor, Contralto

Dina Barone headshot

      Adjunct Professor, Dina Barone, Mezzo Soprano is a professional musician, performer & educator who has vast experience in Concert, Opera and Music Theatre. She has a Bachelor of Music in voice performance, a Bachelor of Music Literature both from Shenandoah Conservatory of Music, a Master of Music in Opera – Voice from the Hartt School of Music, extensive post-graduate studies in New York City as a private student and associate teacher of internationally renowned, master teacher, David Jones.

A faculty member of the Grammy Award Winning Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, FL, for five years, many of her students were accepted into music and theatre programs at various colleges and universities & have won talent scholarships & competitions such as The Grady Rayam Prize in Vocal Performance. Her professional students have performed at such venues as the prestigious internationally acclaimed Metropolitan Opera in New York City, The Kennedy Center, in Washington, D.C, on Broadway and with regional opera and theatre companies throughout the United States.  


Highlights from her professional singing career include performances at Carnegie Hall in New York, NY, Lincoln Center, New York, NY, The Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris, France, The Caramoor International Muisc Festival in Katonah, NY & Brooklyn Academy of Music in Brooklyn, NY as well as tours throughout North America, South America and Europe. Opera roles include Carmen & Mercedes in Bizet’s Carmen, Rosina in Rossini’s, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Countess Almaviva,  Cherubino & Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Bradamante, in Handel’s Alcina, Third Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflȍte, Suzuki in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto, Meg Page in Verdi’s Falstaff & Prince Orlofsky in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Music Theatre & Operetta roles include Pitty Sing in The Mikado, Casilda in The Gondoliers, Iolanthe in Iolanthe, Maria von Trappe in The Sound of Music, Julie Jordon in Carousel, Laurie & Ado Anni in Oklahoma, Marion in The Music Man, Grace in Annie, Ms. Potts in Beauty and the Beast and Earth Mother and Iowa Housewife in Menopause the Musical. Concert/Oratorio solo performances include Mahler’s Resurrection Symphony, Handel’s Messiah, Haydn’s Harmoniemesse, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Mozart’s Requiem, Faure’s Requiem, various Bach Cantatas & Vivaldi’s Gloria.


Dina is a member of Actors Equity Association, American Guild of Musical Artists, and National Association of Teachers of Singing. 


Contact: (904) 620-2961 -

Adina Diehl, Visiting Instructor, Opera

Adina Becerra headshot


Adina Diehl, soprano, received her M.M. from the University of North Florida and B.S. from Florida State University. Following graduation, she joined the voice faculty at UNF School of Music in 2017 where she teaches applied voice and was previously the Assistant Director and Production Manager for UNF Opera. This year, Adina is excited to be Director of the UNF Opera and Visiting Instructor. Adina made her international directorial debut summer 2019 with UNF Opera and the European Music Academy’s performances of The Magic Flute. Recent directing and stage managing experience includes Seymour Barab’s Little Red Riding Hood, Mozart Scenes with the Jacksonville Symphony, W.A. Mozart’s Don Giovanni with the Jacksonville Symphony, Gioacomo Puccini’s La Bohéme, and W.A. Mozart’s The Magic Flute. She is looking forward to directing Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado this year with UNF Opera.


As a performer, Adina has performed principle roles with UNF Opera and the European Music Academy in the Czech Republic: The Marriage of Figaro (Susanna), The Magic Flute (Pamina), and Street Scene (Anna Maurrant). Adina has performed as a soloist in oratorio concerts, stared in numerous musical theatre productions globally including Beauty and the Beast (Belle), Why Do Fools Fall in Love? (Sally), 101 Dalmatians (Cruella de Vil), and Quilters (Jenny). Adina is a current member of the Voices of Jacksonville, the adult professional ensemble of the Jacksonville Children’s Chorus, and is an active member of the national and local chapter of NATS. 


Contact: (904) 620-2961 -

Brittany Fouché, Adjunct Professor, Soprano

Brittany Fouché headshot


Brittany Fouché, Soprano, is a Florida native. She received her Bachelor of Voice from the University of North Florida in 2012 and her Master of Opera at the University of British Columbia (2014). While in school, Brittany spent each summer singing with the European Music Academy in Teplice, Czech Republic, performing roles in Die ZauberflöteLe nozze di FigaroCosì fan tutte, and Carmen. Brittany received the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions Young Artist Encouragement Award in the Florida district (2012) and was selected by the University of British Columbia to study German at the Alpen-Adria Universität in Klagenfurt, Austria. 


Upon completion of her graduate studies, Brittany joined Des Moines Metro Opera as an apprentice artist, covering the role of Micaëla in Brook's La tragédie de Carmen, before embarking on an educational tour of John Davies' The Three Little Pigs with Opera Saratoga. In 2015, Brittany returned to Des Moines Metro Opera's stage to sing Jano in Janaček's Jenůfa and covered the role of Frasquita in St. Petersburg Opera's production of Carmen. This year, Brittany appeared in concert with First Coast Opera during St. Augustine's Romanza Festivale of the Arts, and she will return this fall to perform in First Coast Opera's concert, Opera's Most Haunting Melodies.


Contact: (904) 620-2961 - 

Holly Hammond, Adjunct Professor, Soprano

Holly Hammond headshot

    Holly Hammond is a Jacksonville native, soprano, and choral conductor.  After attending Douglas Anderson School of the Arts, she graduated with a bachelor's degree in classical voice from the University of North Florida in 2014, having studied with Dr. James Hall.  Holly received her Master of Music in Conducting from UNF in the spring on 2019 and was a student of Dr. Cara Tasher. She is currently an adjunct professor at the University of North Florida, directing the Osprey Treble Chorus.  Holly is a member of the Florida Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, the Florida Vocal Association, and the Florida Music Educators Association.

Contact: (904) 620-2961 -

Marilyn Smart, Adjunct Professor, Soprano

Marilyn Smart headshot

      Marilyn Smart's musical career has been both active and diverse. She has worked with such luminaries as Robert Shaw, Seiji Ozawa, and Dave Brubeck, and has sung in unique venues in Europe, Asia, and the United States. Smart’s singing has delighted audiences not only in public and university concert halls, but also in rural American schools, special cultural outreach venues in Japan, and even Eskimos villages in northern Alaska.

Awarded a special citation by the Ford Foundation's Contemporary Music Project, she has long championed the work of contemporary composers and, with her husband, composer-pianist Gary Smart, is recognized for their performances of American art song. A former student of Margaret Harshaw, Josef Metternich, and Phyllis Curtin, Smart has taught at the University of Wyoming, Kobe College, and Osaka University. Since joining the faculty of UNF in 1999, she has performed as soloist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, for the Friday Musicale, the St. Cecelia Society, and many other local musical organizations. At UNF, she teaches Applied Voice, French, Italian, and German Diction, as well as Vocal Literature.  


Contact: (904) 620-2961 -  

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

Cara Tasher headshot       Dr. Cara Tasher has served as Director of Choral Studies at the University of North Florida since 2006. There, she conducts the Chorale and Chamber Singers, teaches the conducting curriculum including the Summer UNF Conductor’s Studio and Choral Artists, and oversees the choral department and its leadership team. At UNF, she was awarded the 2010 Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award, the 2016 Outstanding International Leadership Award, and in 2019, received a faculty scholarship grant for her work with the Jacksonville SINGS! Refugee Chorus and inclusion training. In addition to her work at UNF, she collaborates frequently as Director Huesped with the Opera de Bellas Artes in Mexico City. She has performed and recorded with conductors Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Christoph Eschenbach, James Levine, Robert Shaw and Sir Georg Solti. Tasher has been professionally associated with the Atlanta Symphony Chorus, Chicago Symphony Chorus, Conspirare, Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Portugal's Vocalizze Festival, Trinity Choir-Wall Street, Xavier University, and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City. Her training took place in the Glen Ellyn Children’s Chorus, at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, University of Texas at Austin, Paris IV-La Sorbonne, and Northwestern University. Dr. Tasher is highly active within the American Choral Directors Association, International Federation of Choral Music, and the National Collegiate Choral Organization in various leadership capacities. Proficient in several languages, Tasher's engagements as singer, conductor, master teacher, and adjudicator, have brought her to over ten states and over twenty countries for concerts, competitions, festivals, and workshops. Global and cultural competency is a focal point of Tasher’s teaching, and she tours internationally with her choral ensembles on a regular basis.

Contact: (904) 620-3839 -