Alum Corner with Shaine Ireland

Shaine Ireland pursued classical voice training in opera after graduating from VWS. She attended UBC and later transferred to the Vancouver Academy of Music. Alongside her classical training, she explored jazz/pop music and formed a band. She is currently recording a jazz/pop CD and completing her Communication Degree at Capilano University. Shaine is grateful for the support of her friends and family, and her time at Waldorf encouraged her to follow her passion and helped her develop important skills for her career.

VWS: Tell me about your work and education after graduating from the VWS.

SI: Because I studied classical voice training in opera since I was 13 years old, I attended the UBC summer opera program and was invited to enroll in their Bachelor of Music program. I then transferred to Vancouver Academy of Music to study with David Meek, a world-renowned opera voice teacher. I was in the Academy’s opera productions of Die Fledermaus and The Coronation of Poppea. In another area and at the same time as I was studying opera at VAC, I met the producer who worked with Michael Blublé and was asked to compose music with this producer and sing in a jazz/pop style band, which was entirely outside of my classical training. I was intrigued and now enjoy playing and writing with musicians who play with Michael Buble, Whitney Huston, Jan Arden, Nickelback, Raffi and KD Lang. We are working on a CD to send to producers.

VWS: What kind of work/study are you involved in now?

SI: I am currently recording a jazz/pop CD with my producer and co-writer. It will be recorded at the Armoury Studios with a full band including drums, bass, guitar, full wind instrumental section. It will also have members of the VSO playing cello, violin and viola. It should be out in about two months. I am also working on completing my Communication Degree at Capilano University. To support my passion for singing and studying, I work part-time at the Holly burn Country Club.

VWS: What do you enjoy most about your work?

SI: I have an incredible love of performing, singing and writing poetry. It is empowering, therapeutic, and rewarding to see what I love to become a reality.

VWS: What do you think are your greatest successes in life?

SI: Having such great friends and family. I appreciate the support they give me. I am so grateful for being given the opportunity to follow my dreams. I recognize that not everyone would have been given a chance to follow such an unusual and risky passion, but my friends and family have been supportive and encouraging.

VWS: What are your fondest memories of your time at the VWS?

SI: Our class was the first to do a High School musical theatre show, and we did “The Pirates of Penzance.” I had one of the lead roles as Mabel. One of my fondest memories was doing the Grade Twelve Project. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I loved my topic: Opera—The Third Ingredient! That made it easy to love! I also loved handwork, watercolour painting and woodworking. It was amazing to be in a class from preschool to grade 12 with a lot of the same people. I got to know them all so well, and they will be friends for life.

VWS: How did Waldorf education affect your life and your choice of career?

SI: The teachers at Waldorf always encouraged the students to follow their passion. The music program gave me a strong foundation, which, as I now understand, has helped me with some of my learning challenges. I am indebted to the teachers for helping me accomplish skills of perseverance, strong
organization skills and passion for learning. I feel that I have an advantage in post-secondary schools because of this.

Interview by Michelle Gibson, for Development April 2010

Editor’s Note November 5th, 2013: Shaine is currently finishing her Bachelor’s degree in Communication at Capilano University and is recording her musical compositions with her band ‘Maisonette,’ available on iTunes.

Shaine Rose Ireland
Shaine Rose IrelandClass of 2006

The Vancouver Waldorf School provides an experiential, age-appropriate approach to education based on the insights of Rudolf Steiner that inspires students to love learning, to be creative, open-minded, and compassionate. With a curriculum that integrates all academics with the arts and social learning, Waldorf Education develops not only the left and right hemispheres of the brain but the whole human being. A child’s social, emotional, physical and intellectual development is considered equally, supporting a conscious unfolding of the individuality within each student. Waldorf graduates possess capacities for empathy and clear, creative and independent thinking that enables them to carry out a chosen course of action with moral courage and social responsibility.