VYC Kids Conductor, Director of Music Literacy
Cassandra Luftspring is a versatile choral conductor, composer, soprano, and pianist. A specialist in working with young singers, Cassie combines her artistry, passion for teaching, and knowledge of vocal development to create an environment that is both musically and socially rewarding. She loves enabling children of all ages to share the gift of music with each other and their communities. In addition to Cassie's position with VYC, she is also Assistant Director of Pacifica Singers, a Teaching Artist for Vancouver Opera’s Project Opera program, and a soprano in professional vocal ensemble and collective, musica intima. Previously, she was Associate Conductor and Director of Musicianship for the Cantabile Youth Singers of Silicon Valley, where she conducted choirs for children aged 8-18 and served as accompanist for rehearsals, concerts, and international tours. She was also Assistant Artistic Director of the Mississauga Festival Youth Choir, and has held conducting positions with the Toronto Children's Chorus, Cantabile Choirs of Kingston, and others.
Cassie is a seven-time winner of the Amadeus Choir’s Songwriting Competition, and her compositions have been commissioned and performed by ensembles throughout North America. A recipient of numerous academic awards, Cassandra received a Master of Music degree in choral conducting from the University of Toronto, and a degree in piano and composition from Queen’s University, where she also founded and directed Momentum Vocal Group.
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 four years ago, 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 and has been twice nominated for Outstanding music director at the Ovation awards. Recent credits include “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.
Accompanist, Music Literacy Instructor
Eileen received her Bachelor of Music from Queen's University in 2009 where she studied piano with Dr. Ireneus Zuk and began her formal studies in music composition with Canadian composer Marjan Mozetich. Subsequently she completed a Masters degree in music composition under the guidance of Dr. Stephen Chatman at the University of British Columbia, and is currently pursuing a doctoral degree at the same institution. Eileen is the recipient of numerous musical and scholarly awards including: The Graham George Memorial Scholarship in Composition, First Place in the New York Metropolitan Youth Orchestra Composition Competition (Division IV), Winner of the UBC Choral Competition, The UBC Faculty of Arts Graduate Award, and The Queen’s University Medal in Music. She has had her music read and performed by several professional ensembles including the Prince George Symphony, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the UBC Symphony Orchestra, the UBC Symphonic Winds, the UBC Chamber Strings, the UBC Singers, the Phoenix Chamber Choir, Pacifica Singers, Sea to Sky Winds, and the New York Metropolitan Youth Orchestra. She is currently the composer in residence for Vetta Chamber Music.
Eileen is strongly invested in making music at the community level. She was recently the Music Director for the Anglican Diocese’s production of Oliver!, has served on the board of Vancouver Pro Musica, regularly sings with Pacifica Singers, and is the current Music Director at West Point Grey United Church where she has begun several community-oriented initiatives.