In April 2023, Tara was promoted to Full Professor at Davidson College! She continues to direct the orchestra and teach a plethora of classes, including Women in Music, Conducting, History of the Orchestra, and Introduction to Music in Western Civilization.
Tara made her first appearance as guest conductor with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra on December 29 & 30, 2021. She conducted their holiday Cirque de Noël program which featured aerialists, jugglers, acrobats, and strongmen from Cirque de la Symphonie. In response to her direction of Debussy’s Clair de Lune (arr. Alfred Reed), CVNC (Classical Voice of North Carolina) said her “conducting shaped the piece with such elegant nuances that it became more than a simple underscore for the aerialist onstage.” Tara worked again with the Charlotte Symphony in September 2022 for their "On Campus" concert at Central Piedmont Community College (featuring a piece by Nia Imani Franklin, Miss America 2019) and she is looking forward t0 conducting the CSO's Music of the Eagles concert with the guest band Hotel California in June, 2023.
Tara was recognized as a 2019 Honored Artist of The American Prize, a series of non-profit national competitions in the performing arts. Honored Artists are individuals who have proven themselves to be artists of sustained excellence over a number of seasons as laureates in the competitions. In past seasons, Keith has placed in the orchestral conducting and programming divisions for her work with the Davidson College Symphony Orchestra (DCSO) and the Lee County Community Orchestra. Under her direction, the DCSO won first place in the college orchestral performance division in 2018.
Under Tara's direction, The Davidson College Symphony Orchestra was the 2017-18 winner of The American Prize in Orchestral Performance, college division. Tara won second place in The American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Award for Orchestral Programming, receiving a special judge's citation for "remarkable growth in the programming of major repertoire". In addition, Tara placed third for The American Prize in Conducting, college/university orchestra division with a special judges’ citation for “exceptional improvement in ensemble performance.”
Attracting hundreds of qualified contestants from all fifty states, The American Prize is a national, non-profit competition designed to recognize and reward the best performing artists, ensembles, and composers in the United States. The American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming honors the memory of the great Lithuanian conductor. The Prize recognizes and rewards the best achievement in the unique field of orchestral programming, where the selection of repertoire by knowledgeable, creative and courageous music directors builds orchestras and audiences, educates young people and adults, and enriches the community.
Tara and colleagues were featured in the January 2015 issue of Lake Norman Magazine. To read the article, click here.
Tara's conducting class from spring 2014 was featured in a video on the Davidson College Music Department homepage. Click here to watch her students in action.