B i o g r a p h y
Known for her elegant conducting style and efficient and engaging approach to rehearsals, Hana J. Cai is a conductor, pianist, and singer based in Bloomington, IN.
A versatile musician, Hana’s career began in classical piano, but quickly branched to musical theater, jazz, and rock music. In Delaware, Hana served as an accompanist and vocalist for Calvary Baptist Church in Newark, an accompanist for the popular musical theater group, The Kabaret Krew, and a singer and keyboardist for the Joe Dawson Band.
As a conductor and singer, Hana served as the assistant conductor for Singing City under Jeffrey Brillhart and as a member of the Philadelphia Singers Chorale and PhilHarmonia. She has performed regularly at the Kennedy Center and the Kimmel Center under the batons of Christoph Eschenbach, Helmuth Rilling, Matthew Halls, Alan Gilbert, and Gianandrea Noseda. In Rochester, she proved herself tantamount among the ranks of emerging choral conductors. While concurrently earning her master's of music degree at the Eastman School of Music, Hana served as the choir director for Holy Cross Church and the Mount Hope World Singers and sang regularly with the professional chorus Voices. She made her Canadian debut in January 2017 with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Elora Singers as one of the five conductors selected to participate in the Choral Conductors' Symposium. At Indiana University, she was one of three conductors selected to assist with preparing the chorus for a performance of the Penderecki St. Luke Passion where the composer was in attendance. In March 2019, Hana was the winner of the ACDA Graduate Student Conducting Competition in Kansas City, MO.
Hana's classical approach to teaching music, theatricality, and keyboard ability have also made her a popular music director with amateur and professional theater alike. A dedicated educator, Hana has worked in many local area high schools and community theaters, including for the historic Prince George’s and the Delaware Children’s Theaters. In Philadelphia, Hana served as a music director, accompanist, and vocal coach in the Department of Theater at Temple University, including for the acclaimed production of Hair. Additionally, she has music directed shows for Mauckingbird Theatre Company and the Candlelight Theater, where she was nominated for best music director of the 2014-2015 season. In Bloomington, she served as the music director for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with Indiana University Summer Theatre and the assistant musical director under Lawrence Yurman for Stardust Road as part of the Indiana University Bicentennial, directed by Susan H. Schulman. Other projects include The Christians and Beauty and the Beast for Cardinal Stage's 2018-19 season.
Hana holds bachelor’s degrees in piano performance and Chinese from the University of Maryland, College Park, the master of music degree in choral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and is currently working on her doctorate at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.
Hana lives in Bloomington, IN with her husband, Jeffrey, and her dog and cat.