Jenna Lebherz Daly, Artistic Director
Jenna Lebherz Daly directs Cantare Bel Canto I. She first sang with the Frederick Children’s Chorus from 5th-12th grade and fell in love with the unique silvery sound of a children’s choir. After high school, she went on to Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ to earn Bachelor’s degrees in Music Education and Vocal Performance. She then earned a Master’s in Opera Performance with University of Maryland’s Opera Studio. Mrs. Daly has performed in many states and venues, and she continues to be active in the opera world as a mezzo-soprano, singing for opera companies and orchestras. Currently, she is the Chair of the Performing Arts Department and teaches the Lower School Music Program (Pre-K through 8th grade) at Gerstell Academy in Finksburg, MD. She thoroughly loves working with children and keeping music alive through their voices.
Rachel Morgan Im
Rachel Morgan Im directs Il Coro Della Bella Voce and Cantare Bel Canto II. Since joining CCCC in 2010, she has led the combined Cantare Bel Canto choirs to win numerous awards at choral festivals and adjudications and has co-directed touring ensembles that have performed in prestigious venues both in the United States and Europe. Ms. Im is a freelance musician and video editor booking her services through rachelmorganim.com. She has held conducting and teaching contracts with organizations such as the National Christian Choir, Lamplight Artists, and the Maryland Academy of Dance. She teaches private music lessons out of her home studio, performs music for special events, and creates professional video products for a variety of clients. Previously a school music teacher for fifteen years, Ms. Im earned elite recognition as a Teacher of the Year Finalist for Carroll County Public Schools in 2015. Ms. Im holds a Master of Music in Music Education from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Music Education from Wheaton College. Additionally, she has completed graduate level coursework centered on world and folk art, music, and dance at McDaniel College and has studied West African hand drumming and Lindy Hop swing dancing.
Joe Meerdter directs Les Petite Voix and teaches Musique Joyeuse. He is a graduate of Towson University with a B.S. in Music Education and has completed the degree of Master of Music with the focus in Music Education from Boston University. Joe has been employed as a general music teacher in the Carroll County Public School system for 18 years and has experience in teaching grades Pre-K- 8th grade as well as served as an adjunct faculty member at the graduate level at McDaniel College. Joe has performed in several states and has sung in the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. Joe also has over 20 years of experience in being a private guitar instructor and has pioneered the guitar programs in middle schools in Carroll County, having designed the first guitar focused classes in the county. Joe has written curriculum for Carroll County Public Schools and has had his musical compositions published in the Baltimore County Summative Assessment guides. Joe has a fun-loving approach to teaching children music and aspires to make the art of music a meaningful form of self-expression to all of his students.
Joann Long Benson
Joann Long Benson, Accompanist and Instructor of Basic Skills since 2013, is a graduate of Mansfield University of PA with a degree in piano performance, and has completed a Master’s of Music Education at Towson University. Prior to retirement she was a general music teacher in the Carroll County Public School system for 25 years, most recently at Sandymount Elementary School. Mrs. Benson also worked for the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra designing the teacher’s resources for their Education concerts. She was employed previously as an adjunct at Carroll Community College and is currently an adjunct teacher at McDaniel college, teaching Elementary Music Methods. She lives in Hampstead with her husband Rob.
Diane Jones, Artistic Director Emeritus
Diane Jones, Co-Founder and Accompanist, earned a Masters of Liberal Arts from Western Maryland College and a Bachelors of Music Education from Houghton College in New York. She taught elementary, middle and high school in New York and Maryland public schools for over twenty five years. She was also adjunct faculty at McDaniel College. As Artistic Director of Children’s Chorus of Carroll County, she established the Chorus’ structure, including an emphasis on musically enriching travel opportunities for its members. She currently has an active private piano studio, is Director of Music for St. Paul United Methodist Church and enjoys a variety of collaborative musical experiences.
Under her leadership, Voce Viaggio performed in Estonia, Finland, and Sweden (2004), participated in the “12th International Children’s Choir Festival” in Oxford, Canterbury, and London (2008), and “The Children’s Choir Festival at Canterbury Cathedral & London” (2011). She and three Chorus members also participated in the “Estonian Song Festival” in July of 2009. As co-directors of Voce Viaggio, she and Ms. Im led students who participated in the “Austrian Choral Festival with Henry Leck” in 2014. In June 2015, their BC groups performed in the Manhattan Concert Production’s National Children’s Festival Chorus, which culminated in a gala event at Carnegie Hall.