Carrie Tennant is the founder and artistic director of the Vancouver Youth Choir. For the past 15 years, she has worked primarily with youth, developing leadership and artistry with young singers. Carrie’s choirs have been featured at Chorus America, Podium (Choral Canada), and National ACDA conferences, and have twice been awarded first place in the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs. During her time with Coastal Sound, their popular Indiekör shows were recognized with Choral Canada’s National Award for Innovation.
Michelle began her career as choral director in 2008, in Halifax, NS. Born and raised in Stephenville, NL, she has taught coast to coast, in the NWT, the USA, England, and France. With a passion for singing, languages and culture, her studies in piano were quick to expand into choral accompaniment and conducting. A graduate of Mount Allison University and Memorial University, Michelle also completed a Masters of Music at Westminster Choir College, where she sang with the acclaimed Westminster Choir and Westminster Kantorei, performing regularly with major symphonies, at ACDA conferences, as chorus-in-residence for Spoletto Festival USA, and in collaboration with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra for the PBS Special ‘Ode to Joy’. While living in the US, Michelle also worked with the American Boychoir School as tour manager, organizing tours across the country with the school’s concert choir made up of boys aged 9-14. Her accolades include the Don Wright Scholarship in Music Education, the Memorial University Medal for Academic Excellence in Music Education, and the first place award in the Westminster Graduate Piano Competition.
Since her arrival in BC in 2016, she has been developing a Kodály-based curriculum for students aged 4-18, integrating the method along with Orff Approach as a certified Kodály and Orff Schulwerk teacher. Michelle currently directs Senior School instrumental and choral programs in Vancouver and is overjoyed to be conducting VYC Treble and Kids!
Jake Autio (he/him) is a musician educator and French Immersion teacher in Richmond, BC who believes that the way we learn music is the way we learn to be better people – by listening to one another and collectively working towards something greater than ourselves. He has taught Kindergarten through grade seven in public school in British Columbia and is the founder and director of the former BC Kodály Choir and currently teaches the Spero Children’s Choir at St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church, and VYC TINY. Jake has studied Kodály-inspired methods and philosophy in Western Canada, Hungary, and the USA and connects his professional practice with Kodály’s love and vision for children singing artistically and the collective power of music-making together. Jake is currently working as an intermediate French Immersion classroom teacher and incorporates Kodály’s philosophies and strategies not only to music-making, but also French language development.