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.

Charlene Pauls
Voice Workshop: What Your Mother Never Told You About Your Larynx • Aug 10

Dr. Charlene Pauls has been an active choral conductor, vocal soloist, adjudicator and pedagogue for over 25 years. Drawing on this extensive experience, Dr. Pauls’ approach focuses on developing a beautiful choral sound through a deep understanding of healthy vocal technique. Over the course of her career, she has directed a wide range of ensembles including adult, university, youth and children’s choirs. She is currently Associate Artistic Director of the 200+ strong Oakville Choir for Children and Youth where she directs “Raise Her Voice – Chamber”, an all-female, ambassadorial ensemble selected from within the organization’s senior singers. Dr. Pauls has led this group in award-winning performances at various national and international competitions, and has appeared on stages in Latvia, Estonia, Finland, and the USA. In July 2018, Raise Her Voice was featured at the national choral conference – Podium – in St. John’s, and was one of five choirs in “Float”, a special Canada Council multi-media project that took place in St. John’s on Canada Day. From 2016 to 2018 she was the Artistic Director of London’s Pro Musica Choir, and this season is pleased to be guest conducting with Chor Amica (London, ON) and with the Guelph Chamber Choir.


Dr. Pauls has appeared as a Soprano soloist on concert stages across Canada and internationally in Germany, England, France and Spain, under the baton of conductors such as Robert Shaw, Bramwell Tovey, and Helmuth Rilling. Academic studies include undergraduate degrees from the Universities of Winnipeg and Manitoba in theology, piano and voice, a Master’s from McGill, specializing in Early Music, and a Doctorate from the University of Toronto in Vocal Performance, with a dissertation on Bach’s Cantata 210. In addition to her active performing and teaching career, Dr. Pauls frequently presents at academic conferences, most recently at the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Conference in Las Vegas (June 2018) and at the Canadian National Choral Conference “Podium” in St. John’s, Newfoundland (July 2018). Dr. Pauls is in demand as an adjudicator for Voice and Choral festivals across the country, and often presents Vocal Pedagogy workshops for choral singers. Her research in vocal pedagogy is applied in her active Voice Studio, where she works with students of all ages.


This past Fall, Dr. Pauls was thrilled to be awarded the Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting from the Ontario Arts Council.


As choral conductors, we are working with a physiological instrument that changes throughout one’s lifespan, and more specifically in the female context, an organic structure that experiences unique hormonal changes that directly affect its sound and health. Hormone receptors in the human larynx respond to a lifetime of physiological changes, such as in puberty, menses, pregnancy, peri-menopause, and menopause. As choral directors and singers, an understanding of the physiological changes occurring in the vocal instrument is key to assessing strategies that will optimize a lifetime of healthy singing for your choristers and yourself.


This workshop will focus on the physiological changes that occur in the female larynx and how these physiological changes affect the needs of the vocal instrument. As we consider the changing physiology of the voice, we will discuss strategies to maximize vocal health regardless of age, through targeted vocal exercises that minimize the negative effects of aging, parameters to consider around repertoire choices, and important information to consider when using medications associated with hormonal fluctuations (such as hormone replacement therapy).