Highly regarded as a soloist, collaborator, and master teacher, Thomas Bara chairs the Piano, Organ, and Percussion program at the Interlochen Arts Academy and is Organist at Central United Methodist Church, Traverse City, Michigan. He has concertized extensively, including performances at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C; Grace Cathedral, San Francisco; The Royal Cathedral, Copenhagen; King’s College, Cambridge; Saint John’s Smith Square, London; and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London. His playing has been featured on American Public Media’s Pipe Dreams, and his CD, Pageant: A Pipe Organ Spectacular, is available on the Raven label.
Acknowledged for his work teaching young organists and introducing new musicians to the organ, Bara served nationally on the Committee on the New Organist. His students consistently win recognition in national competitions, and many of his former students hold prominent positions in renowned music programs throughout the country.
Bara came to Interlochen from Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue, New York City, where he worked as Assistant Organist under Gerre Hancock. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, Bara trained at the University of Michigan with Robert Glasgow, at the Eastman School of Music with David Higgs, and in New York City as the Organ Scholar at both Saint Thomas Church and the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine. A laureate of national competitions (Arthur Poister National Organ Competition, National Young Artist Competition, Fort Wayne National Organ Competition), he was also awarded the Performance Certificate and the first Harold Gleason Emerging Artist Award from the Eastman School of Music. His teachers include Robert Glasgow, Arthur Haas, Gerre Hancock, David Higgs, John O’Brien, Robert Murphy, and Russell Saunders.
Diploma, Interlochen Arts Academy
B.M., University of Michigan
M.M., Eastman School of Music at University of Rochester