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The Story Of 

​​SJYC is a Missouri / Federal 501(c)(3) educational non-profit dedicated to the promotion of advanced  choral education experiences for exceptional singers in grades 2-12 in St. Joseph, Missouri, and surrounding communities.

All donations are tax deductible!


So what does St. Joseph Youth Chorale have that so many other youth choirs don’t? Well, besides a home for young singers, years of experience, and a brilliant, shining passion for their art, they support gifted young singers, and their local community.


Get in touch to find out more.

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Grades 6-12

Our advanced choir provides challenging choral literature and inspiring performance experiences for exceptional

singers. Singers at this level have experience in choral singing, are able to sing independently in four or more parts,

and can sing half steps with accuracy. Part-singing is further developed in this choir as is sight-reading.

Lyric Singers is an advanced performance choir, giving several public performances each semester.


Grades 2-6

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Our intermediate choir teaches part-singing skills and provides formal performance experiences. Singers in this choir have demonstrated the ability to match pitch. While singing in this choir, they focus on improvement of unison singing skills,and will begin to sing in two or more parts. Note-reading, score-reading, vocal technique, stage presence, and solfege begin at this level. This choir performs an end of the semester concert and throughout the semester as requested.

Choir Instructor

"The Dream Team"



Director, Lyric Singers

​Karen Heyde-Lipanovich earned a Bachelor's Degree in Vocal Music Education from MIssouri Western State College as the "Outstanding Vocalist" of 1979. Later, she earned a Master's Degree in Vocal Music Education from Northwest Missouri State University. She was chosen by the MIssouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) to serve as one of three music educators to draft the Vocal and Instrumental Music Curriculum Frameworks. She was also chosen by DESE as one of five arts educators to represent Missouri at the SCASS National Arts Institute in 1998.  Mrs. Heyde-Lipanovich retired in 2009 after a successful 30 year career teaching vocal music in the St. Joseph School District, St. Joseph, Missouri. The last 27 years she taught at Truman Middle School. There she served as Chairperson of the Fine Arts Department, taught general music classes, and directed a select group of 60-75 singers who served a prominent performance role in the community.

In addition to her public school career, Mrs. Heyde-Lipanovich served for 14 years as the director of the award winning Premiere Choir of the Griffon Junior Singers, a select group of students sponsored by the St. Joseph School District and Missouri Western State University. In May 2012, she retired from that position to co-found the St. Joseph Youth Chorale, a non-profit choir for young singers based in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Choirs under the direction of Mrs. Heyde-Lipanovich have performed numerous times as guest performers with the St. Joseph Symphony and the St. Joseph Community Chorus. Her choir was selected to perform at the Missouri Music Educator's Association annual conference in 2000, and performed the National Anthem at the 2002 and 2003 NCAA Women's National Basketball Finals. In May 2009, her choir appeared as guest performers with the Kansas City Symphony in the performance of the Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore, and as a guest choir at the Sing A Mile High Festival in Denver, Colorado in June of 2009.In July 2021, Lyric Singers of St. Joseph Youth Chorale under the direction of Mrs. Heyde-Lipanovich, served as the guest performer for the “Mayor’s Awards for the Arts” banquet. In August 2021, Lyric Singers performed with St. Joseph Community Chorus and St. Joseph Symphony to perform the commissioned work “We Are St. Joseph” at the festival to celebrate the Bi-Centennial of the state of Missouri. Mrs. Heyde-Lipanovich, now in her 43rd year of teaching, continues educating exceptional singers while conducting classes and performances

with Lyric Singers of St. Joseph Youth Chorale.

Nominated three times for St. Joseph School District Teacher of the Year, she was a finalist in 2003 and 2006. She was awarded the Mayor's Award for the Arts, Arts Educator Award in 2009. She is consistently sought as a judge for district and state level choral auditions and is a member of American Choral Director's Association, Missouri Choral Director's Association,  Missouri Music Educators' Association, and the National Associaton for Music Education.

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