King's Set - North Shore Celtic Ensemble
Phil Spector isn't the only guy to recognize the power a string section can add to a recording.J. Knutson and Claude Guigere are two very clever fellows who've organized a win/win situation called The North Shore Celtic Ensemble. The group of 25 student fiddlers, woodwinds and percussionists on the NSCE's second album King's Set, represents the crème de la crème of the program's 'seniors'. Each year, J. & Claude audition aspiring musicians for the Ensemble's introductory level. There's also an intermediate group of players ready to jump to the 'big show' as vacancies come up. The end result is Claude and J. get to explore their passions for Celtic music in full-blown orchestrated arrangements with some very talented new stars. Think about it. Where is an above average violin player going to find a gig if there isn't a position with the local symphony? And the NSCE is obviously a fulfilling experience for everyone involved because J. tells me many of the players who've moved on, return to perform with the ensemble for time to time, and demand has been so big that a Coquitlam sister ensemble is set to launch as well. King's Set is a big sound with a contemporary touch. Guest appearances by the elite of Vancouver's music scene, like John Mann from Spirit Of The West doesn't hurt the recording either.