SJYC Co-Founder & Artistic Director
Director, Lyric Singers
Director, Bel Canto
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.
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.
Robin McInnis teaches at Truman Middle School in the St. Joseph School District. This is her 4th year at Truman and her 12th in the St. Joseph School District. Before coming to St. Joseph, Mrs. McInnis taught K-12 vocal music in the North Platte R-1 School District. While there the North Platte High School Choir was chosen to sing at the Missouri State Music Educator’s Conference and Inservice in 2003 and in 2007. She lives in Dearborn, Missouri with her husband Scott who just retired from teaching industrial technology in the North Platte school district. She has a son, Zach, and grandson, Henry, who live in the Kansas City area and a daughter, Hannah, who attends Missouri State in Springfield, MO. Hannah is also in ROTC and Army National Guard. Mrs. McInnis’ hobbies are running, reading, and spending time with her family.