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Programs

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

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

Requirement: Ages 7 to 12 and can play a simple melody and/or scale. Weekly private lessons strongly recommended. 

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 to make music together, play, and have fun! Students learn how to be positive and engaging performers, play games each rehearsal, and perform in the community.

Requirement: Age 8+ and have private lessons and/or 2+ years of playing experience. Weekly private lessons strongly recommended.
    Learn more about this class

    Sign up now>>


    Junior North Shore Celtic Ensemble

    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, and learn to be confident performers, musicians and public speakers. Performances include a feature role in our Community Concert Series.

    Age 12+. Weekly private lessons and audition required.

    Learn more about the Junior Celtic Ensemble

    Audition required before registration. 


    Senior North Shore Celtic Ensemble

    The Senior Ensemble is our performance level band. It is geared towards musicians that want to be part of a high-level performance group and to explore new directions with their music. Musicians perform complex arrangements of traditional and contemporary fiddle tunes as well as original music that blends folk, jazz, and classical. Members of this program enjoy unique and transformative opportunities to engage with music and public performance.

    Age 13+. Weekly private lessons and audition required.

    Learn more about the Senior Celtic Ensemble

    Audition required before registration. 


    Folkestra (Adult Group)

    16+. No audition required.

    Vancouver's multi-generational string ensemble! Folkestra is a vibrant community music program for adult violinists, cellists, guitarists, mandolin players, accordionists, and pianists. Learn and play music together every other week in North Vancouver. All skill levels welcome. 

    Learn more about Folkestra

    Sign up now>>


    Step Dancing

    9+. No experience or audition required.

    Experience the pulse of Celtic music through the exhilarating art of step dancing. Our step-dancing program offers an immersive journey into the vibrant world of Celtic music and dance, inviting students to tap into their passion for rhythm and movement.

    Learn more about Step Dancing

    Registration Opens June 1st!

    Program Schedules

    Group Description
    Intro to Fiddling
    Wed, 6:15 to 7:15 pm, North Vancouver 
    Registration for Spring Semester 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
    Wed, 5:00 to 6:15 pm, North Vancouver
    Registration opens on June 1
    Age 9+ and have 2+ years of playing experience.
    Weekly private lessons recommended.   
    Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule
    Junior Ensemble
    Wed, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, North Vancouver

    Registration opens on June 1
    Age 12+ and have 3+ years of playing experience. Private lessons and audition required. 
    View Audition Package
    Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule

    Senior Ensemble
    Wed, 7:30 - 9:30 pm and Sat. 10 am - 12 noon,  
    North Vancouver

    Registration opens on June 1
    Age 13+. Private lessons and audition required.  
    View Audition Package
    Tuition: 2023-2024 NSCE Fee Schedule

    **NEW** Folkestra

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

    Registration for Spring Semester OPEN 
    16+. 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 registration form. Please note that each student will require their own account with a separate email login. 
    2. Read the NSCE 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

    A need-based bursary is available. For details on applying, please contact info@celticensemble.ca. If you'd like to contribute to our bursary fund, please visit our donations page.


    Meet & Greet

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

    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 merch@celticensemble.ca 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.

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