Junior Mendelssohn Staff & Faculty

Junior Mendelssohn singers are instructed in vocal technique by the Music Director, as well as mentored by adult voice faculty.  This allows students to interact with highly trained professional 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, Assistant Professor of Music, and Ensembles Coordinator at the Mary Pappert School of Music at Duquesne University where she conducts the Voices of Spirit, Pappert Women’s Chorale, and University Singers, and teaches undergraduate and graduate choral conducting.

A native of Halifax, Nova Scotia, Caron has held past conducting appointments with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, University of Toronto, Trinity Western University, Dalhousie University, National Youth Choir of Canada, Salem Academy and College, and St. Michael’s Choir School. Other conducting highlights include the Luminato Festival, National Youth Choir of Canada, Festival Ensemble of International Bachakademie, College Light Opera Company, Maritime Concert Opera Company, Greensboro Opera, and All-State, District, and Provincial Honor Choirs.

A certified Dalcroze Eurhythmics practitioner, Caron regularly lectures on the sound-gesture relationship in choral conducting, and has presented research at Choral Canada’s Podium Conference, Festival 500 Phenomenon of Singing, Dalcroze USA’s National Conference, the International Coalition of Boys Schools Conference, the 46th Annual Voice Symposium – Care of the Professional Voice, the International Conference of Dalcroze Studies, and in 2018, the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference, 3rd Congreso Coral Argentino in Tandil, Argentina, and the Oxford Conducting Institute International Conducting Studies Conference. Her current research explores the effects of hand movements on vocal articulation, the use of Dalcroze Eurhythmics in conducting pedagogy, and the teaching of women conductors.

Caron is published in Anacrusis, Canadian Music Educator, Research Memorandum Series of Chorus America, Teaching Music through Performance in Choir, Vol. 4, and Choral Journal. She authors “Podium Perspectives”, a column in Choral Canada’s Anacrusis that explores topics in conductor leadership.

An active member of the American Choral Directors Association, Caron is President-Elect of ACDA-Pennsylvania. In 2017, she was a Fellow of the International Conductors Exchange Program to Argentina.

Caron is also active as a solo and choral singer. In 2017, she presented a faculty recital at Duquesne University featuring music by Bach, Barber, and repertoire for soprano and Javanese gamelan. Caron has previously sung with Voces Solis, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Mendelssohn Choir, Symphony Nova Scotia, Halifax Camerata, Bel Canto Company, North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Master Chorale and Chamber Choir, Columbus Bach Ensemble, Columbus Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, Festival Ensemble of the European Music Festival, and the National Youth Choir of Canada.

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 Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Canada Diploma (Voice).

A passionate advocate for conductor education, Caron founded the Halifax Choral Conducting Institute in 2013.

+Soprano Faculty: Christiana Howell
Christiana Howell, Soprano Faculty, Junior Mendelssohn Choir

Christiana Howell has been a faculty member at the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Charter School since 2009, where she directs the middle school choir and opera workshop, teaches private voice lessons, and teaches classes in general music, music literature, and music critique. She holds degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance from Slippery Rock University, and a Masters of Music Education degree from Shenandoah University. In 2008, she studied opera in Lucca, Italy, as part of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music’s Opera Theatre and Music Festival of Lucca. Ms. Howell has been a soloist with several regional orchestras in performances of Mozart’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Rutter’s Requiem, and Faure’s Requiem.  Ms. Howell was the soprano choral scholar at Trinity Cathedral in downtown Pittsburgh from 2004-2017 and sings with several choral groups in the Pittsburgh area including the Heinz Chapel Compline Choir, OvreArts, the Ambrose Romanos Singers, and Voces Solis. Ms. Howell has also been a member of the Pittsburgh Opera Chorus since 2015, and has performed in productions of Nabucco, Turandot, and Tosca. Ms. Howell is delighted to be working with the singers of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir and is so proud of each and every one of them!

+Alto Faculty: Christine Rushmore
Christine Rushmore, Alto Faculty, Junior Mendelssohn Choir

Christine Rushmore is excited to be working with the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh as the Alto Section Leader this season, and is proud of all of the hard work and dedication involved in preparation for this concert. She enjoyed watching the choir grow and develop together. Originally from New Jersey, she graduated from Moorestown High School in 2015. Christine sang in her high school’s Madrigal Choir and played the harp in the Chamber Orchestra. She participated in regional and state choral festivals in New Jersey, as well as spent summers singing in international choral festivals within the United States and Canada. Christine is currently a junior music education major at Duquesne University. She studies solo voice under Kelley Defade and is a member of the Voices of Spirit. She also is an active member of Duquesne’s NAfME, ACDA, and Mu Phi Epsilon chapters. This year, Christine is a choir director at Sister Thea Bowman Catholic Academy, directing the middle school choir and has previously volunteered with Pittsburgh’s All-City Middle School Chorus. During the summers, Christine teaches music classes to children ages 4-12 as well as private piano lessons.

+Tenor Faculty: Nathaniel Copeland
Nathaniel Copeland, Tenor Faculty, Junior Mendelssohn Choir

Nathaniel Copeland serves as the Tenor Section Leader for the 2017-18 Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh. Mr. Copeland graduated from Duquesne University this past May with a B.S. in Music Education. While at Duquesne, he studied private voice with Patty Donohue-Burns and was a four-year member of the Voices of Spirit, Duquesne’s auditioned choral ensemble. He also studied choral conducting under Dr. Caron Daley. Mr. Copeland currently works a substitute teacher in the North Allegheny School District and as a core singer in Faith United Methodist Church’s choir in Fox Chapel. He would like to thank Dr. Daley, Emily Stewart, and Junior Mendelssohn for this opportunity, and wishes each student the best in their singing career!

+Bass Faculty: Joseph Helinski
Joseph Helinski, Bass Faculty, Junior Mendelssohn Choir

Joseph Helinski is from Canonsburg Pennsylvania and is a recent graduate of The Pennsylvania State University School of Music where he earned his Bachelor’s of Music in Vocal Performance.  Joseph has made appearances with the Pittsburgh Opera in productions of Carmen, Dead Man Walking, and The Turn of the Screw and has performed with Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh (now Pittsburgh Festival Opera) as the title character in Amahl and the Night Visitors. Joseph has been a soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony on multiple occasions including The Lord of the Rings Symphony, their Holiday Pops Concerts, and Tiny Tots Concert Series.  In his time at Penn State Joseph held principal roles in Penn State Opera Theatre’s productions of La Bohème, The Pirates of Penzance, Trouble in Tahiti, and The Barber of Seville among others.  He served as president of The Pennsylvania State University Concert Choir where he had the privilege of performing with the Rolling Stones on their Zip Code tour and traveled as a soloist with the choir throughout the continental United States, Iceland, and Australia.  He was the first place winner at the 2016 NATS Eastern Region Competition.  Joseph is an alumnus of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh and is honored to be back serving as bass section leader.