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 and music director based in Bethlehem, PA. She is currently on faculty at Lehigh University and serves as the Associate Director for Lehigh Choral Arts. She previously served as the Associate Director of Choral Activities at Ithaca College.
Hana has enjoyed an eclectic career as a conductor, pianist, and singer. During her time in Rochester, 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. She also served as the associate chorus master for the university premiere of Mason Bates' The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs and Wagner's Parsifal for the Indiana University Bicentennial. In March 2019, Hana was the winner of the ACDA Graduate Student Conducting Competition in Kansas City, MO. She has presented her research on tokenism at the Indiana Choral Director's Association and the ACDA Central and North Central Division Conference in Milwaukee, WI. This fall, she is one of the invited presenters for the National Collegiate Choral Organization conference at Morehouse College and is a finalist for the 2023 American Prize Dale Warland Award in Choral Conducting.
Hana's classical approach to teaching music, theatricality, and keyboard ability have also made her a popular music director with amateur and professional theaters 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. In Bloomington, she served as the music director for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee with Indiana University Summer Theatre and the assistant music director under Lawrence Yurman for Stardust Road as part of the Indiana University Bicentennial, directed by Susan H. Schulman. Other projects include The Christians, Beauty and the Beast, and Disney's Newsies for Cardinal Stage, Bloomington's professional theater company.
Hana holds a BM in piano performance and a BA in Chinese from the University of Maryland, College Park, an MM in conducting from the Eastman School of Music, and a DM in choral conducting at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. Her diction guide for Mandarin Chinese for singers and conductors is published in The Choral Scholar and American Choral Review.