Executive Members & Guest Conductor

Guest Conductor for 2022-23: Christine Blanchard

“Count me in!” A.J. Voss-Wood, 2019

“I enthusiastically gave a resounding “Yes!!” when my student suggested this quote for our Bluefield t-shirts. It expresses important values for me: bringing community musicians together, fostering a sense of belonging, and sharing the enthusiasm of playing in a concert band! And, of course, the double meaning is SO funny for musicians!!” C.Blanchard 2022

Christine believes very strongly in the value of community ensembles and developing a strong tie between public school and community bands . She is currently the conductor of the Holland College Community Concert Band “the Welshmen”, a role she has held since January 2015 and has been a music educator for more than 27 years. 

Most recently, Christine was director of the Cape Breton Community Bandfest in October 2021 and is now a Member at Large for the Nova Scotia Band Association. She has also adjudicated at festivals and provided clinics in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ontario. 

In her role as a music educator on Prince Edward Island, she has directed concert bands, jazz ensembles, and R&B bands at the intermediate and senior high school level. These groups have achieved great success at local music festivals and on performance tours to Montreal, Newfoundland, and most notably Cuba in 2011.  

In addition to directing ensembles, she has also contributed to music education on PEI by co-writing instrumental performance, vocal performance, popular music performance and the history of popular music curricula between the years 1998 -2019. Christine also initiated the development of the PEI Senior High Honors Band in 1999.

Finally, Christine was awarded 2019 Music Educator of the Year by MusicPEI.

Executive Director- Katelyn Gillis- katelyn@nsjwe.ca

LibrarianKatelyn graduated from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Music (2009) and from Memorial University with a Bachelor of Music Education (2011). While at Acadia Katelyn studied violin under the direction of Christopher Wilkinson and Christoph Booth and was one of the founders of the Horton High School String Ensemble. Recently accepted into the Halifax Regional School Board, Katelyn also teaches privately, is a member of the Sackville Community Band,  a conductor of the Sackville 9am Band, as well as has performed in a variety of orchestra’s, concert and jazz bands. In her spare time she enjoys the theatre, has worked on THE RENT PROJECT, and is cast to work with the Cole Harbour High School production of West Side Story in 2013. Katelyn currently teaches violin and orchestra with the Dartmouth All-City Music Centre and privately at Long and McQuade. Katelyn is thrilled to be working with such a wonderful group of teachers, students, and volunteers at  the NSJWE.

Personnel Coordinator- Paul Hutten- Personnel.coordinator@nsjwe.ca

Paul (BAM, MBus, BMusEd)  currently teaches grades 6-12 music and grade 10 English at Central Kings Rural High School, but the focus of his career has been developing creative and collaborative ways to foster music literacy in middle school band programs. Paul has worked with the Nova Scotia Department of Education on curriculum renewal teams, and has also been a pilot and implementation teacher. He is the founding director of the Acadia Youth Band, and long time teacher and conductor with Acadia University Summer Music Institute. Paul has also been a church organist and choir director for over twenty-five years, and has taught piano privately for over thirty years. He has raised four children with his wife, Rose, and the entire family can sing in tune.

Treasurer- Colin Langille- Treasurer@nsjwe.ca

Colin Langille (BMus McGill, BEd Acadia, MMus McGill) began his career as a church organist and choir director before making the transition to public school teaching in 2008. Colin has been teaching instrumental music at the middle school level for the past 11 years and is currently the band and music teacher at Brookside Junior High outside of Halifax. In addition to teaching, Colin is a published composer of music for church and school concert band. Colin lives in Lower Sackville with his wife Jennifer, children Madison and Joshua, and (his true love) Ollie the poodle.

Librarian- Holly Hartlen- librarian@nsjwe.ca

Holly Hartlen (BMusEd Dalhousie 1995, MEd Acadia 2017) is a native of Truro, N.S. and a proud product of the legendary Ron MacKay/Truro & District Schools Band Program. She studied trumpet performance with Geoff Thompson, before settling into music education. She has played with a number of reserve and regular forces military bands, including the Band of the Ceremonial Guard, the Canada Remembers Band- formed in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of D-Day (in Canada, England and France), and the Land Forces Atlantic Area Militia Band. She currently plays trumpet with the Hubtown Big Band, The Nova Brass Quintet and The Barbecue Dixieland Band and performs as a classical soloist when the occasion arises. Holly has been teaching instrumental and classroom music for 24 years. She now teaches just over 400 students at Central Colchester Junior High, in Onslow, NS. She is a firm believer in the fundamental importance of arts education, especially in music, for all humans aged 0 to 125. Holly lives in Truro with her husband Steve, their three children Noah, Claire and Owen, Buster the Border Collie and Phineas the cat.

Social Media Coordinator- Danielle Chute- media@nsjwe.ca

Danielle is a native Newfoundlander, grew up all over Ontario and came to Nova Scotia to study music at Acadia University. She graduated from Acadia University with both a Bachelor’s of Music and a Bachelor’s of Education. Danielle performed with various ensembles and quartets while at Acadia. After graduation Danielle worked for the HRCE as a substitute teacher for several years, as well as running woodwind clinics for various schools. Danielle was a private instructor for Long and McQuade for several years teaching private woodwind and beginner piano lessons. Danielle is now a stay at home mom to two beautiful daughters but continues to teach private lessons and run clinics for schools and band festivals. She holds the position of Principal Conductor of the 9am Community Band and is a performing saxophonist with the Sackville Concert Band. Danielle also performs with Glass Winds – Nova Scotia Women’s Wind Ensemble, a saxophone quartet, and various pit orchestras for musicals throughout Nova Scotia. Danielle is always looking for more opportunities to instruct and perform music throughout Nova Scotia, and enjoys volunteering her time to various organizations in the music community.