Claude has a winning combination of passion and good humour that inspires music lovers of all ages. Since founding the NSCE in 1998 alongside Jay Knutson, his artistic vision has been our organization’s guiding light. Claude brings his orchestral violin experience from the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and the CBC Radio Orchestra together with a passion for folk music, creating an innovative youth strings program that has touched thousands on the North Shore. It sprung from a desire to explore and interact with all aspects of music, to connect with community and bring out the best in others, and an innate quest for excellence in music. For this accomplishment, Claude was recognized with a 2016 Outstanding Supporter of Youth Award from the City of North Vancouver.
Beyond the NSCE, Claude teaches private violin lessons in Lynn Valley. When he doesn’t have a violin - or even a recorder - in his hands, he loves hiking in his backyard: the North Shore mountains. He also works toward becoming fluent in Japanese, his third language.
Immersed in Celtic music since childhood, Kirin brings a passion for and deep knowledge of the folk tradition into the classroom. She began her musical journey with the Coast String Fiddlers of Roberts Creek, BC and went on to acquire a Diploma in Jazz Piano from Capilano University. The NSCE met Kirin backstage in a theatre at the 2013 Aberdeen International Youth Festival, and since then she has been a regular composer, arranger, and performer for the group. She also performs locally with guitarist William Chernoff.
Kirin is a passionate environmental educator and hobby beekeeper. In 2016, she received an Award of Excellence from Interpretation Canada for her work in educational musical theatre with Alberta Parks. Presently, she guides field trips in Metro Vancouver's mountain watersheds, helping children to discover where their tap water comes from.
Jodie is a driven educator, scientist and musician, who deeply values the community and personal connections that can be made through music. As a member of the NSCE (2007-2014), she formed lifelong friendships and a strong musical foundation which she hopes to pass onto her students. Since leaving the Ensemble, Jodie has worked as both an environmental scientist and outdoor educator. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Science from the University of British Columbia, where she was an active volunteer with Sprouts, an organization that supports sustainable food. Jodie enjoys a strong cup of tea, hiking by moonlight and crooked fiddle tunes.
Annie is a theatre maker, musician, and aspiring goatherd working in a variety of creative capacities through North Vancouver and beyond. She grew up as a foot-tapping and bow-swinging member of the North Shore Celtic Ensemble (2003-2010), where she discovered a passion for performance, tune-sharing, and Scandinavian fiddle styles. Since then she has extended her artistry to include theatrical practises such as directing, clowning, and devised creation work, and completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Simon Fraser University. All the while, Annie has fiddled up a storm and gathered as many tunes as possible into her repertoire. She is thrilled to be working with the NSCE once more, whose teachings have made such a strong imprint on her heart.