Terryl Jares graduated from Illinois State University in 1976 with a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin and Viola Performance and a Bachelor of Music Education degree. After a short stint as a music educator in the public schools, she left to pursue her performance career working with orchestras throughout the Chicago area and performing in the pit orchestras for numerous theatrical productions including “Les Miserables”, “Phantom of the Opera” and “Showboat”. She has traveled across the country with the Roaring 20’s ensemble, “The Buffalo Shufflers” playing hundreds of shows in historical theaters and with full symphony orchestra. She was a violinist for five years with the Rupert’s 33 Club Orchestra, part of the Lettuce Entertain You chain of restaurants.
She has also been active in the business of music working as the Domestic Sales Manager of Conquest Sound Inc., serving as the Personnel Manager of the Orchestra of Illinois, and the librarian of the Chicago Sinfonietta. As the contractor and leader of the Hawthorne String Quartet, she spent over 20 years booking engagements for parties, weddings and corporate events.
She was elected to the Board of Directors of the Chicago Federation of Musicians in 1995 and served 3 consecutive terms. In 2004, she became the Vice-President and the first woman to hold an office in the Chicago Federation of Musicians and in 2016, she became the first woman to hold the office of President of the Chicago Federation of Musicians. As a delegate to the AFM International Convention, she has served on the Measures and Benefits committee and the Finance committee. Terry has also been an Executive Vice-Presidet of the Illinois AFL-CIO since 2005, has held all of the offices of CEILC, the Chicago Entertainment Industry Labor Council. During the last Mayor election in Chicago, she was a member of Mayor Elect Lori Lightfoot’s transition team.