Junior Mendelssohn Staff & Faculty

Junior Mendelssohn singers are instructed in vocal technique by the Music Director, as well as mentored by voice faculty.  This allows students to interact with trained vocalists, and allows a student-faculty ratio of 7-1 or less.

+Music Director: Dr. Caron Daley
Dr. Caron Daley, Music Director, Junior Mendelssohn Choir

Caron Daley is Director of Choral Activities at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she conducts the Voices of Spirit and Pappert Chorale and teaches undergraduate and graduate conducting. Choirs under her direction have performed across the Northeast, including an invited performance at the 2019 National Collegiate Choral Organization Conference. A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, she has held past conducting appointments with the University of Toronto, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, National Youth Choir of Canada, Salem Academy and College, and St. Michael’s Choir School.

Caron’s research explores the application of embodied practices to choral and conductor pedagogy. She is published in Anacrusis, Canadian Music Educator, Research Memorandum Series of Chorus America, Teaching Music through Performance in Choir Vol. 4 and Vol. 5, Choral Journal, Journal of Singing, and The Choral Scholar. Her current research studies investigate (1) the impact of hand gestures on the learning and retention of non-native phonemes for singing and (2) injury prevention strategies and curricular implications in conducting.

Caron holds a D.M.A. (Choral Conducting) from the University of Toronto, an M.M. (Choral Conducting) and M.A. (Vocal Pedagogy) from The Ohio State University, an Artist Diploma (Voice) and B.M. (Music Education) from Western University, and an A.R.C.T (Voice) from the Royal Conservatory of Canada. She currently serves as National Chair for Collegiate Repertoire and Resources for the American Choral Directors Association and Past-President of the American Choral Directors Association of Pennsylvania.

Passionate about conductor education, Caron founded the Halifax Choral Conducting Institute in 2013, a summer training program that attracted participants and clinicians internationally. In 2019, the HCCI inaugurated a Women’s Conducting Intensive, the first of its kind in Canada. In July 2021, Caron led a new conducting program at Duquesne, Choral Kaleidoscope, in collaboration with the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.

+Assistant Conductor: Julianna Grabowski
Julianna Grabowski, Assistant Conductor, Women’s Section Leader, Junior Mendelssohn Choir

Julianna Grabowski is a conductor, music educator, soprano and pianist from Syracuse, New York. She studied both voice and piano at SUNY Fredonia, where she received her B.M. in Music Education and a B.M. in Performance. She also obtained her M.M in Vocal Performance from Duquesne University and served as the Graduate Assistant in Duquesne’s choral department. As a professional soprano, Julianna has performed with Finger Lakes Opera as a Young Artist, the Western New York Chamber Orchestra, the Lake Junaluska Singers in North Carolina, and The Dukes Music in Pittsburgh. She has also worked as a collaborative pianist at public schools and universities across the states of New York and Pennsylvania. Currently, Julianna is a Teaching Artist with New Groove Music Studio in Pittsburgh where she provides lessons in both voice and piano. She is also the Choral Assistant at Duquesne University and the Director of Pittsburgh Girls Choir’s adult ensemble, Women of Song. Julianna is the Assistant Conductor and Soprano Section Leader of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.

+Accompanist: Timothy Heavner
Timothy Heavner, Accompanist, Junior Mendelssohn Choir

Timothy Heavner is thrilled to be returning to the Jr. Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh as Accompanist for the 2019-2020 Season; he previously worked with the Junior Mendelssohn Choir as the Assistant Conductor and Bass Section Leader. He has been a professional core singer and soloist for the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and now serves as their accompanist. Mr. Heavner is the Chorus Director at Sewickley Academy and currently serves as the Music Director and Organist at the Community Presbyterian Church of Ben Avon.

Mr. Heavner had an extensive career as a performer and educator in New York City, including serving as a choral teacher at Friends Seminary, the Allen-Stevenson school, and the Manhattan School of Music, as well as Accompanist and Assistant Conductor of the Hudson Chorale. He also appeared with the West Village Chorale as a guest conductor, singer, accompanist, and percussionist.

Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Mr. Heavner has worked as an accompanist and assistant conductor for the Anchorage Concert Chorus, the Alaska Chamber Singers, the Alaska Festival Chorus, and the University of Alaska’s Jazz Singers and University Singers. Mr. Heavner was the Chorus Master, Assistant Conductor and Man-of-Many-Hats for Anchorage Opera for over ten seasons.

Mr. Heavner holds a degree in Piano Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and has pursued graduate studies in Vocal Accompanying at the Manhattan School of Music. He currently resides in Baden with his wife, Rina, two musical sons, and fearsome beasts, Wampa and Lucy.