Founder Cheryl H. Parsons brings a background of study with exceptional conductors to her work with Carlisle area singers. Notable performers include:  Margaret Hillis at Northwestern University, Earl Rivers, Elmer Thomas, John Leman and Teri Murai at the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music, Robert Shaw, Howard Swan and Sir David Willcocks at Westminster Choir College, and Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival.

Her love of innovative programming and a diversity of choral styles and genres is evidenced in the eclecticism for which Cantate Carlisle has become known. A lifelong interest in theatre and textual interpretation draws her to music with interesting poetry and well written texts and provides the basis for thematic concerts, thoughtful program ordering, and careful interpretation of the lyrics as they relate to the music.

International travel is a passion for Ms. Parsons, who has led Cantate singers on performance tours of England and Scotland, Hungary, the Czech Republic and Austria, and Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and the Eastern Townships of Canada. She has attended the World Symposium on Choral Music in Vancouver, Sydney, Rotterdam, Minneapolis and Copenhagen, bringing a wealth of music from around the globe to Cantate singers and audiences.

From 1977-2012, Ms. Parsons directed the choral program at Carlisle High School, where her ensembles were widely known for their high standard of excellence and challenging repertoire.

After leading Cantate Carlisle for 30 years, Ms. Parsons retired in 2020 to enjoy the good life! She continues to support Cantate Carlisle as Director Emeritus.