Principal Violist of the Asheville Symphony, Kara Poorbaugh performs extensively across our region as an orchestral and chamber musician. Kara is a founding member of the Opal String Quartet, Principal Violist of the Hendersonville Symphony, and performs regularly with the Greenville Symphony (SC), Asheville Lyric Opera, and Symphony of the Mountains (TN). Kara has been featured as a soloist with the Ballantyne Chamber Orchestra, Blue Ridge Orchestra, and Raleigh Symphony in recent years.
As violist of the Opal String Quartet, Kara has performed in schools, bars, art galleries, street corners and concert halls. Opal has been featured on several regional chamber music series, and serves as Artists-in-Residence for the educational outreach programs of the Asheville Chamber Music Series and the Asheville Symphony Guild.
Kara is a graduate of the Eastman School of Music (BMus-viola performance and music education) where she studied with John Graham and the Ying Quartet. While at Eastman, Kara performed and recorded with the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound and was a core member of Gamelan Lila Muni, a Balinese music ensemble.
Kara started playing the viola at age eleven at the Duke University String School with Dorothy Kitchen. As a young adult, she served as principal violist in several youth orchestras, won concerto competitions, and attended summer festivals at Interlochen, Musicorda, and Brevard Music Center.
In addition to her extensive performance schedule, Kara is a faculty member at the Joyful Noise Community Music and Arts Center, a nonprofit organization based in Weaverville, where she serves as Director of Chamber Music and maintains a full private studio of violin, viola, and chamber music students. In her spare time, Kara practices Purna yoga, admires her regal creatures, Rusty the dog and Jasper the cat, aspires to being a film buff, and plays with the chamber-folk band Lovestruck Suckers.