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Founder & Artistic Director

Carrie Tennant

“What you are doing...is profound, at the level of healing the body, heart, mind and spirit.”
Janie Brown
Founder/Executive Director, Callenish Cancer Retreat Society

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.

Currently, on top of her work with VYC, Carrie is an Affiliate Conductor with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and a frequent clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor across North America. A passionate advocate for building and sustaining community among BC choirs and conductors, in 2010 she helped found the “BC Choral Mentorship Project”: a collective that brings together expert speakers/conductors from across North America with local choral directors for master classes and good food and wine. In a past life (before she had two small and very lovely children) Carrie also toured, performed and recorded with her husband Scott as a member of Vancouver-based indie-pop group, The Salteens (Boompa Records).

Artistic Team​

Luke McAndless-Davis

Co-Conductor, VYC JUNIOR
Luke teaches music and performing arts at Mulgrave School in West Vancouver. A graduate of the UBC Music Education program, he directs several school choirs, and has served as Assistant Conductor for the Vancouver Orpheus Male Voice Choir and the 2019 BC Youth Choir. Luke sang with the Vancouver Youth Choir from 2016-2018 and has more recently Co-Conducted VYC Kids and Assistant Conducted VYC Voices. Luke couldn’t be more excited to be taking on a new role in the VYC family, co-conducting VYC Junior!

Michelle Hartley

Conductor, VYC Kids & VYC Treble

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

Conductor, VYC Tiny

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.

Caitlin Hayes

Accompanist
Originally from Victoria, Caitlin Hayes has a Bachelor of Music in classical piano from UVic, and has worked as a pianist, music director, actor and singer all over Canada, from Vancouver to Halifax to Toronto to Dawson City, Yukon, as well as on a cruise ship in the Bahamas. For several years she was based in Toronto, where she was the associate conductor and accompanist of the La Jeunesse Senior Girls Choir (Cobourg, Ontario) and also worked as a freelance musical director and vocal coach. Since returning to Vancouver, Caitlin has been busy working as an accompanist at Capilano University’s Musical Theatre program, and accompanist and assistant conductor for the adult community choir Burstin’ With Broadway. She also is a music director for local theatre companies. She received a 2016 Ovation Award for Outstanding Music Director, and a Jessie Award nomination for Significant Artistic Achievement for “Closer Than Ever” at the Gateway Theatre. Other recent credits include A Christmas Story (Align Entertainment) , Carrie” and “Grey Gardens” (Fighting Chance Productions) and “Gay’s The Word” and “Fiorello” (APPLAUSE! Musicals in Concert.) She is delighted to be working with Carrie and the extremely talented young people of the Vancouver Youth Choir.
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