Student Choirs Director

Tagen Kaestner

Tagen Kaestner, TCS Student Choirs Director:

Tagen is a 7th-year Telluridian originally from Southwest Florida. A long-time musician, she has been singing since she can remember and playing guitar since she was 8 years old. In her early childhood, she performed in front of large audiences alongside musicians such as Ann Armstrong and Steve Hughes, and was a member of the Punta Gorda Guitar Army. She also performed with the Burnt Store Presbeterian Players as a musician and young actor in plays such as The World of Carl Sandburg, and she taught guitar in a before-school program that she developed with a classmate and her band director.
During her high school years, Tagen received varsity letters for her performances in Competitive Choir and was a mezzo-soprano in Charisma, Charlotte High’s Elite Vocal Ensemble, from 2009 to 2012. She was also a Thespian with Troupe 0922 in Punta Gorda, Florida, where she competed at festivals and performed in musicals including Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida, the musical comedy Xanadu, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Tagen earned her Bachelor of Arts at New College of Florida, where she studied Developmental Psychology and Vocal Music. Studying under highly-regarded musicians and directors, including Stephen Miles, Francis Schwartz, and Robert Mirabel, Tagen was a frequent performer with New Music New College, a nexus for students and the surrounding community to explore contemporary and experimental music and performance. She also joined New College’s student acapella group, Acapellago, as first a singer, and eventually as director during her fourth and final year. During Tagen’s time at New College, she also took a summer internship at the Stillwater Foundation in Durango, Colorado, where she directed a small children’s ensemble. She wrote a BA Thesis on Music Training Type and Working Memory Components in children ages 6-9, in which she had a control and a music training group take pre- and post-tests to determine the effect of music training on working memory systems.
Tagen is currently training to be a pilot and pursuing her passion for whitewater as a river guide for Telluride Outside during the summers. She is ecstatic to be back in the world of voice and strives to grow the Telluride Choral Society’s Youth Ensembles to provide the students with meaningful experiences, music education, and performance opportunities.