Dr. Cara Latham

Dr. Cara Latham

Hannah Facenda, Staff Writer

This year, we are happy to welcome Dr. Cara Latham to the Merion Mercy community as our new Music Director. Dr. Latham graduated from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music with a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music Teaching. Later, she moved to New York City to work as a professional music theatre actress before returning to school to graduate from the Yale School of Music, where she received her Master of Music. Again, she returned to school to earn her Doctor of Music Degree from Temple University.

Dr. Latham possesses a strong passion for music. She plays the piano and the flute, but has always loved singing and acting the most. “I believe that playing the piano and singing has allowed me to express a beauty and a depth of emotion in a way unlike any other. Some of my most transformative experiences have been through portraying characters in opera or musical theater. I wouldn’t trade anything for these gems on the necklace of life. And, for me, music is the way I can most easily center myself in prayer.”

Dr. Latham has taught students from the Yale School of Drama, the University of Minnesota, West Chester University, and even the Agnes Irwin School. Besides teaching, she has directed church choirs over the last twenty-five years as well. Although she’s enjoyed teaching at all these schools, Dr. Latham believes there’s something special here at Merion Mercy. “I feel like at Merion Mercy I’m in a great situation… able to create and build a program with amazingly talented young women (that is very powerful indeed). I have felt very playful in teaching what I love so much. In terms of “loving,” I am growing so fond of the students. I have two daughters who are just about their ages, and I can really relate to the Merion Mercy young women as a parent would, full of compassion for their fatigue and anxieties, and joy-filled when they are happy. Finally, here I feel free to be who I am. I’ve never worked in a Catholic school before I and I love that our faith journey can be at the center of what we pursue together as a community.”

Dr. Latham also added, “There is so much to love. I love the big, bright, beautiful music room and practice-rooms suite. It is enormous! I love teaching curious, determined and talented high school students. I love being in a place where I can try to grow into my best self in a vibrant faith community. I’m beginning to make good friends among my kind colleagues. I love that the library is right above my room and I’ve already made friends with Sr. Sally so she’ll lend me books. Mostly, I like being a part of the students’ experiences and hope I can support and encourage them.”