About Us

The Grateful Divas are passionate about paying-it-forward by using their musical talents to raise funds and awareness for charitable and non-profit organizations. This all-women group of professional singers has charmed audiences with their clever and entertaining concerts and original cabaret shows featuring repertoire from the Broadway stage to grand opera.

From solo concerts featuring a single Diva to fully scripted musical shows with the full ensemble – the Grateful Divas have performed across the USA in a variety of venues. To date, they have raised $40,000+ for their favorite causes and that number is steadily on-the-grow. Shows are customized based on the needs of an organization and scaled to fit unique venues and budgets.

Creativity and Flexibility
Shows have been designed for piano and small combo accompaniment to full orchestra.
Sets and costumes are minimal and the Divas travel lightly.
Themes can be incorporated to fit your organization’s event.
The Diva team includes a playwright who can weave a script around musical numbers to create a full scale production.

Meet the Divas


Caroline
Caroline Dowd-Higgins

Caroline is a multi-faceted artist whose talents have been captured through live stage performances, recordings, and television. She sang in Urbania and Pesaro, Italy with the Goodwill Concert Tours and has concertized in various American cities including New York, Seattle, Atlanta, and Chicago.  She made her British operatic debut with the Dorset Opera Company in Sherborne, England where she performed for three seasons.  She has released two classical CD recordings and has a third in progress.  Caroline sang the role of Sieglinde with the late James King, in his historic final concert of Die Walküre by Richard Wagner. She is delighted to have opportunities to sing across the country and near her home in Bloomington where she has performed as a soloist with the Bloomington Symphony Orchestra and in a one woman evening of opera at the historic Buskirk-Chumley Theatre. No stranger to theatre, Caroline’s favorite roles include Anna in Boston Marriage and Amalia in She Loves Me. With a myriad radio, TV and film projects to her credit she continues to use her voice professionally in this arena.  Serving on the Cardinal Stage Company Board of Directors, Caroline enjoys performance opportunities with this regional professional company and has been seen in Oliver!, Fair Use, and most recently, in The Sound of Music. Caroline earned Bachelor and Master degrees in Vocal Performance from the IU Jacobs School of Music. A native New Yorker and now, Hoosier-by-marriage, Caroline lives in Bloomington with her husband, set designer C. David Higgins.

Rebecca
Rebecca Keith

Raised in Birmingham, Alabama, Rebecca studied vocal performance at Berry College and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.   She performed Laurie in Copland’s The Tenderland, Pitti-Sing in The Mikado, and Yniold in Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande during her tenure at IU.  In 1999 and 2000, Rebecca sang in the critically acclaimed Atlanta Opera Chorus.  But when big city life did not suit her, she returned to the Midwest.  Rebecca debuted the role of Violet in Stirling Productions’ Pollen at its world premier held at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre in Bloomington. Ever-flexible, Rebecca performed the role of Polly Darton in The Higher the Hair the Closer to Heaven for 7 months for Brown County Live Entertainment (now called Coachlight Productions) in Nashville, IN.   In March 2006, she was in her first professional straight role as Sandy in Tabled, a one-act play at the Bloomington Playwrights Project as a part of “B-town Plays” production series. She has been a featured soloist with the Quarryland Men’s Chorus and Bloomington Chamber Singers.  Rebecca and her partner, photographer Jane Reeves, have a son named Donovan Cash.


Melissa
Melissa Korzec

Born and raised in Connecticut, Melissa has made her home in Bloomington, IN since 1994. While in Connecticut, Melissa was a member of Hart School of Music’s Young Artists Program. Melissa graduated from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music in 2003 with her Bachelor’s degree in Vocal Performance and a minor in English Literature.  While at the Jacobs School she gained great personal and professional growth under the tutelage of Professor Paul Kiesgen.  She was a member of the award winning Singing Hoosiers and afforded the opportunity to sing with Sarah Brightman on her La Luna tour. While a Jacobs School student, she performed such roles as Marcellina in Mozart’s Le Nozze de Figaro. She also was a principal company member in Sondheim’s review Putting it Together as well as Mrs. Holmes in Lucy Simon’s The Secret Garden. Melissa is honored to have performed in Bloomington and has been seen as Daisy in the world premiere of the musical Pollen with Stirling Productions. Melissa currently serves as Associate Director of Development at the IU Jacobs School of Music.

Jennifer
Jennifer Poffenberger Heichelbech

A soprano known for her musical versatility, Jenny’s performances include everything from opera to musical theater, big band and jazz to the great choral works. In addition to being a Grateful Diva, she sings with the Indianapolis Opera Chorus. Most recently Heichelbech appeared fall of ’09 with the IO opera chorus for Puccini’s La Boheme and the fall of ’08 for IO’s production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore. She also was guest soloist for the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2007/08 season, singing Villa Lobos’ Bachianas Brazilieras and  the Bach b minor Mass, both of which are available on CD recording through the CIP website. Jenny premiered the roles of Mother Nature/Emily in the musical Pollen and has appeared in numerous other musical theater productions, including The Secret Garden, Carousel and The Four Note Opera. She has been the featured vocal soloist in several performances with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic Orchestra, the Bloomington Pops Orchestra, with an Interdenominational Church Music Series in Columbus, and has performed a varied repertoire: Poulenc’s Gloria, Faure’s Requiem, light opera arias and Pops favorites. Under her maiden name of Poffenberger, she recorded a compact disk of 20th century classical art songs entitled Mostly Americana, published on the Enharmonic label. She has sung with a jazz trio, Jenny and the Jazz Standards, and also performed with two big bands in the southern Indiana region. Jenny earned her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in Vocal Performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, and resides in Columbus with her husband, John, and their three sons.


Joni
Joni McGary

Joni’s play, Dance Lessons for Catherine, recently won a national play contest sponsored by Womensworx at the Vortex and premiered earlier this month at the Vortex Theatre in Albuquerque, NM. Her first play, 100% Distracted, was produced at the Bloomington Playwrights Project in 2008 and again in 2009 as part of the Indianapolis Fringe Festival. Joni was a contributing playwright at the 2009 Sewanee Writers Conference and also at the 2009 Stony Brook Southampton Playwriting conference. She serves on the Board of Directors for Cardinal Stage Company, Bloomington’s professional regional theatre company.   Her current project, Over the Moon, is a full-length play about the tension between the urge toward authenticity and traditional ideas of marriage and relationships.  She’s keeping her fingers crossed that one of the many (many, many, many) workshops and theaters to which she has submitted it will be interested in the script.  She respectfully asks that you keep your fingers crossed, too. Joni holds a degree in Food Science from Cornell University and has worked in the coconut, chocolate and cranberry industries. (You may guess which stint necessitated a subsequent Weight Watchers Membership.)  Joni’s last job in the real world was as a business development manager in the biotech industry.  She much prefers her current gig as a full-time wife, mother and writer.  Joni lives with her very wonderful husband, Chris McGary.  They have three brilliant and exceptionally good-looking children:  Kate, Meg and Jack.