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About Our Ensembles

We believe that kids are motivated to learn and grow as musicians when they are inspired by the music and the social setting where it happens. This is why our programs begin with Celtic music! At the heart of the Celtic music tradition is the idea of getting together and sharing music. What better way to make music fun?

Intro to Fiddling

Ages 7 to 12 and can play a simple melody and/or scale. We offer three Intro classes annually: Fall (Sep - Dec); Winter (Jan - Mar); and Spring (Apr - Jun).

A fun and engaging music class.  We learn what Celtic music is, practice learning by ear, and have fun playing as a group! 

Registration OPEN for children ages 5 - 12 years old and can play a simple melody and/or scale. Register separately for: Fall (Sep - Dec): 13 classes; Winter (Jan - Mar): 9 classes; Spring (Apr - Jun): 12 classes 

Learn more about this class

Sign up now>>

Strings & Things

A group for kids who love music to get together, play, and have fun! Players learn how to be positive and engaging performers, play games each rehearsal, and perform in the community.
North Vancouver - Age 9+ and have 2+ years of playing experience. Weekly private lessons recommended.
Learn more about this class

Sign up now>>

Junior North Shore Celtic Ensemble

Age 12+ and have 3+ years of playing experience. Weekly private lessons and audition required.

If you are a committed young musician who loves exploring different genres, we welcome you to our Junior Ensemble. Players perform arrangements with harmonies and grooves that are fun to play. Performances include a feature role in our Community Concert Series.

Learn more about Junior NSCE

Audition required before registration. 

Senior North Shore Celtic Ensemble

Age 13+ etc. Weekly privates and audition required.

Our senior players are committed to and passionate about ensemble music. They want to be part of a high-level performance group and to explore new directions with their music. Players perform complex arrangements of traditional and contemporary fiddle tunes as well as original music that blends folk, jazz, and classical.

Learn more about Senior NSCE

Audition required before registration. 

**NEW** String Theory "Folkestra" (Adult Group)

Adults only. No audition required.

The NSCE’s String Theory Folkestra is a community of adult violinists, cellists, guitarists, mandolin, accordion, piano that gets together every other week to learn and play music. We focus on building arrangements together, with musicians of all levels... It's really quite fun and intended as a relaxing casual activity. The group rehearses on the North Shore.

Learn more about String Theory

Sign up now>>

Program Schedules

Group Description
Intro to Fiddling
Wed, 6:15 to 7:15 pm, North Vancouver 
Registration OPEN 
Age 5 - 12 and can play a simple melody and/or scale 
Register separately for:   Fall (Sep - Dec):13 classes; Winter (Jan - Mar): 9 classes; Spring (Apr - Jun): 12 classes 
Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule
Strings & Things - North Vancouver
Wed, 5:00 to 6:15 pm, North Vancouver
Registration OPEN    
Age 9+ and have 2+ years of playing experience.
Weekly private lessons recommended.   
Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule
Junior NSCE Ensemble Junior 
Wed, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, North Vancouver
Age 12+ and have 3+ years of playing experience.
Private lessons and audition required. 

View Audition Package

Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule
Senior NSCE Ensemble
Wed, 7:30 - 9:30 pm and Sat. 10 am - 12 noon,  
North Vancouver
Age 13+ etc. Private lessons and audition required.  View Audition Package
Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule

**NEW** String Theory (Adult Group)  

Mon, 7:00 - 9:00 pm every other week, North Vancouver

 Adults only. No audition required.

Register separately for:   Fall (Sep - Dec): 7 sessions; Winter (Jan - Mar): 5 sessions; Spring (Apr - Jun): 6 sessions 

Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule

Registration Process

Registration is currently open for

Intro, Strings & Things, and Folkestra Programs. Regular Registration: Open year-round space permitting.

Early Bird Registration will be open June 14, 2023 for Junior and Senior Ensemble! Audition permitting.

How to Apply

Please complete ALL of the following registration steps:

  1. Complete the appropriate ensemble registration form. Because of our new online registration system, each student in your home will have a separate email for this. For little ones, we recommend you look after this. They will eventually use the email address. 
  2. Complete the code of conduct 
  3. Payment due after registration. You will immediately be invoiced to confirm the amount due. 
  4. For registration mid-season, invoices will be sent and fees due immediately upon receipt.

Fees and Discounts

Discounts available for early registration.. Fees can also be prorated for students who start after our season begins. We are very aware this past year has been particularly challenging for some families financially.

2023-2024 Fee Schedule

New this year, we are offering student bursaries on a limited basis to offset tuition fees. Fill out our form to apply for a student bursary.

Meet & Greet

If you'd like to visit one of our rehearsals for a meet and greet and check us out, please email us.  

Additional Fees and Considerations

In-lieu of Volunteering

The NSCE relies with gratitude on parent volunteers to support our programs and performances. In addition to the basic expectation that each family helps to sell tickets to performances, everyone is asked to commit to at least ~10 hours over the course of the year. Exact roles and time commitments are described in the registration form. If you are unable to volunteer your time, an additional $250 fee is assessed on top of your program fees during the registration process.

NSCE Student Bursary

We are building a student bursary fund on a limited basis to offset tuition fees. You will have the option of adding an amount to your registration fees to help us build the fund. 

Seniors Retreats

The Senior Ensemble has two retreats/year in September and January. The September retreat at Loon Lake costs approximately $250 and the January retreat at Camp Capilano costs approximately $175. This fee covers food, venue rental and payment of professional musicians who participate in the retreat. Registration and payment for retreats will occur separately from program registration.

Junior and Senior Tours/Trips

Additional fees are assessed, on a cost recovery basis. Senior Ensemble tours are planned on a 3-year cycle; 2024: no major tour / 2025: Canadian tour / 2026: International tour. Please note local tours may be planned in addition to these major tours. Junior & Senior ensembles should expect optional workshops in either Nanaimo or Harrison in Spring 2024 (fees tbd from host organization).

Performance Apparel

  • T-Shirts: All S&T, Junior and Senior ensemble musicians require a colourful NSCE t-shirt ($25/each) for performances. Please contact to order one.
  • Additional Costumes: All Junior and Senior ensemble musicians may be required to purchase specific performance costumes. For example, the dresses and shirts worn for our Winter Centennial Concert series. Costs this upcoming year may range from $40-$100.

The North Shore Celtic Ensemble has a dual mandate: To inspire youth to do more and go further with music, and to use music to build and strengthen community connections. We are a non-profit society and registered charity.



For general inquiries or further information on our youth programs, please contact us at

If your child is interested in joining our program, please fill out our application form.

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