Jason Holland, a business administration major, is one of the freshmen in USingers.
“I love [University Singers] because I have this great opportunity to learn and sing amazing, fun and beautiful songs with a fantastic group of people, all while praising our Lord,” Holland said.
The USingers is BJU’s unique, all-freshman choir directed by Dr. Pattye Casarow.
Casarow joined the Bob Jones University faculty in the fall of 2016. She teaches courses in music education along with directing USingers.
Casarow is enthusiastic about her new job.
“God is good. I have really enjoyed [teaching],” she said.
“I love the students, and I am enjoying them greatly. I’m getting to do what I love.”
Hannah Buckland, a theatre arts major, thoroughly enjoys being a part of USingers.
“[Dr. Casarow] is very sweet and very focused on bettering our skills in things like memory, sight reading and warm-ups,” Buckland said.
“She gives us pieces that push us and allow us to improve,” she said.
Casarow encourages her singers to strive for success while maintaining a fun atmosphere for them.
“I want University Singers to be a community,” Casarow said.
Holland enjoys singing under the direction of Casarow.
“[Dr. Casarow] is patient, encouraging and so fun to learn under. I’m so thankful for all the dedication and work she puts into University Singers,” Holland said.
Choirs under Casarow’s conducting have sung in prestigious venues around the world from Carnegie Hall in NYC to Istanbul, Turkey.
Before coming to BJU, Casarow taught at Clearwater Christian College for 13 years.
She received her undergraduate degree at Grand Canyon University in Arizona, while her master’s degree and doctoral degree are both from Arizona State.
Casarow’s undergrad and master’s degrees are in music education, while her doctorate is in music education and choral conducting.
She taught K-12 grade music for 20 years before teaching on the college level.
Casarow is passionate about music.
“It is in my blood,” Casarow said.
After starting piano lessons as a child, Casarow “fell in love with music.”
“When I was in seventh grade, a light just came on, and I realized that I could teach music,” Casarow said.
“So from seventh grade on out, I knew what my major in college was going to be—there was no way I’d do anything else.”
When Casarow started her career, she was content with teaching the younger ages.
“At first I wanted to do elementary age music, but as I grew as a teacher and as a musician I thought, ‘wouldn’t it be cool to teach college?’” Casarow said.
After completing her doctoral degree, Casarow and her husband moved to Clearwater, Florida, in 2002 where she started teaching at CCC. She loved her new job.
Casarow had pursued a doctorate specifically to teach music at a higher level. She said teaching college students is her favorite age to teach.
When CCC closed in 2015, Casarow returned to teaching elementary music in Pinellas County, Florida.
Even though this was not her favorite age to teach, she enjoyed it.
However, in the back of her mind, she believed that this was a great time to do “sabbatical research” in case God allowed her to teach in higher education once again.
By working with elementary age music students, Casarow was able to once again put into practice the theory and strategies that she encourages her own music education students to eventually teach with.
In January, Casarow was contacted by a member of the BJU faculty who told her about an opening in the Division of Music.
“My heart skipped a beat,” Casarow said.
Even though her initial reaction was a little hesitant, she knew this opportunity was of God, so she had to pursue it.
“When God opens doors, I feel obligated to go through the door until He closes it,” Casarow said.
She recognizes that her education is a gift from God, and she wants to use it for Christ.
“God had given me the ability to get a [doctoral] degree, the brains to do it and the finances,” Casarow said.
“My career has always been something that God has allowed me to do, and I do it to His glory.”
By doing what she loves, Casarow strives to instill a love for music in all of her students while bringing honor to God with her gifts.