Featured Presenters

Dr. Caron Daley
Artistic Director and Founder

Caron Daley is Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music 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. She is also Founder and Artistic Director of the Halifax Choral Conducting Institute, a summer training program for choral conductors, and Music Director of the Junior Mendelssohn Choir, the youth branch of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh.


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. In demand as a guest conductor and clinician, she regularly conducts State, Regional, District, and Provincial festival choirs and has presented workshops at national and international conferences.


Caron lives in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, baby, and cat. She maintains a busy conducting studio for local conductors and teaches conducting online to students from around the world. | Read more…

Blue Engine String Quartet
Conducting Masterclass • Aug 8

The Blue Engine String Quartet was formed in 1997 as the core ensemble of the Nova Scotia chamber music series, Blue Engine Music. The Quartet (Jennifer Jones, Anne Simons, Margot Aldrich, Hilary Brown) are all members of Symphony Nova Scotia.


Blue Engine holds true to classical roots, performing many of the masterworks of the string quartet repertoire, as well as contemporary and popular music. The Quartet has worked closely with important Canadian composers Christos Hatzis, Peter Togni, Tony Genge and Brian Current. The members of the BESQ are proud to champion works by women composers: Amy Beach, Fanny Mendelssohn, Rebecca Clarke and Germaine Tailleferre among them.


They are frequently broadcast on CBC Radio and CBC Television, and have appeared with artists like Michael Bublé, Jill Barber, Meaghan Smith, and Jenn Grant. They have performed for the Governor General of Canada and the Duchess of York.

Hilary Apfelstadt
Women’s Podium Leadership • Aug 9

Dr. Hilary Apfelstadt recently retired from her position as Director of Choral Activities and Professor of Conducting at the University of Toronto. Raised in Nova Scotia, she earned degrees from the University of Toronto, the University of Illinois, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


Formerly Director of Choral Activities and Associate Director of the School of Music at the Ohio State University (1993 – 2010), she has conducted choirs at divisional and national conferences of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA), and conducted the University of Toronto MacMillan Singers at Podium 2012, the national conference of Choral Canada. She has directed all-state choruses in 35 states and led the 2011 Ontario Youth Choir.


Her research interests include choral pedagogy; repertoire, particularly of Canadian composers; and leadership styles among conductors. Her recent book on the life and music of Canadian composer Ruth Watson Henderson, entitled “I Didn’t Want It To be Boring,” (Toronto: Prism Publishers) won the Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Choral Publication in 2018. She is a frequent conference presenter and often does conducting master classes at various levels, including several university residencies.