Alumni Stories

My name is Rebecca Coxson and I sang in Tapestry for three years, from 2016-2019!

My favorite songs were: "Let it Shine" and "By the Rivers of Babylon." 

My favorite memory was performing in my last concert with Tapestry, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," and also our annual St. Vincent's performance.

Since leaving Tapestry, I am studying Economics and Commerce at UBC in Vancouver, and am now a Marketing Assistant for the Woman's Health Research Institute at the UBC Hospital. In my free time, I have been practicing painting and going hiking.

Rebecca Coxson

Shelly Budac (Shelly VanFleet) sang in Tapestry 2010, her graduating year of high school. Her favorite song was: "Camino, Caminante". It was tricky but worth every second perfecting it! When the timing was in sync, it would send chills through the body. Favorite memory was the "Java Jazz Band" flash mob in Starbucks, during Tapestry's Vancouver 2010 trip.

Since leaving Tapestry, Shelly has completed her Bachelorette of Science of Nursing in 2016. Shelly has been working as a nurse in Long Term Care ever since. Shelly married her high school crush and became a "supermom" to her daughter Ellora in 2017. She has also welcomed her daughter Evelyn late in 2018.

Shelly Budac

Rachelle Deutsch was part of Tapestry for 5 years, starting in 2011 and continuing until 2016. During her time in Tapestry, she also volunteered with the JUNIORS for their first 3 years, from 2014-2016. She loved the annual St. Vincent’s Performance and decorating the gingerbread houses with the rest of the choir.  Her favorite song was “No Time.”

Since she has left Tapestry, she attended Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, BC where she completed her BA in Linguistics with a minor in Cognitive Science and a TESL Certificate in December 2019 (and is still waiting for an in-person convocation ceremony).

She has since travelled to Africa in early 2020, and has since started her own business, Port of Conversation, teaching English as an Additional Language in her spare time. For the 2022 summer, she is on the crew rooster for Providence 1903, a tall ship located in Vancouver, BC.  In October 2022, she is planning on Sailing Onboard Tecla from Tenerife to the Falkland Islands over 57 days!

Rachelle Deutsch

Danica Bruintjes sang in Tapestry for 7 years, from 2007- 2014. Although she loved many songs, she particularly loved "Psalm 23" because it is arranged so beautifully. Her favorite memory is when Tapestry participated in the 2010 Paralympic Opening Ceremony because it was an empowering moment singing in such a large group.

Since leaving Tapestry, Danica has graduated from UBC with an Engineering Degree and is currently working as a Civil Engineer in Nelson, New Zealand. Once her working holiday is finished, she will return to Canada to be closer to her partner who is finishing his degree and to her friends and family.

Hopefully, Danica and her partner will live near some mountains to continue biking and skiing.

Danica Bruintjes

Pippa Roots sang in Tapestry for 7 years, from the Fall in 2008 to the Spring of 2015. She traveled with Tapestry to festivals in Edmonton, Vancouver, Banff, Whistler, and Seattle and was part of the recording of Stephen Hatfield songs at the "Rosebud Concert" with Nove Voce.

Pippa's favorite song is still "Psalm 23" because "We were just so good at it!" Another favorite would be, "Come Ye Makers of Song."

Pippa's favorite Tapestry memory... "Absolutely nailing it in Seattle. Also every rehearsal ever."

Since leaving Tapestry, Pippa has completed her BA&Sc in Sustainability at McGill University and now works in Fort St John doing fieldwork for Energy and Food Security projects. She couldn't find another choir comparable to Tapestry so had to take up triathlons and wild foraging instead!!

Pippa Roots

I am Paige Holtby, previously Paige Bruintjes.

I was in Tapestry from the first year until graduating in 2011(4 years).

My favorite song is hard to choose! I still sing many songs from my choir years. I have always loved "Castle of Dromore". It’s a very simple lullaby that has only one harmony, and I sing it to my kids now.

My favorite memory has always been during the first choir trip with Tapestry to Edmonton. We went to visit a friend of my Dad's who was recently diagnosed with cancer. The whole choir crammed into her basement and gave her a private concert.

Since leaving Tapestry, I have graduated from college as a Certified Dental Assistant and worked in the field for 8 years. I got married and bought a house. My husband and I have welcomed two daughters, Rose in 2017 and Lila in 2020.

Paige Holtby

Naomi Dugdale sang in Tapestry for 7 years; from (2012-2019); Grades 6-12.

"Why are you making me pick a favorite song? I can’t do that, so I’m picking 3: "Let it Shine", "Will the Circle Be Unbroken", and "No Time".... and "Shine on Me", and "For Good", and "Worthy to be Praised", and "By the Rivers of Babylon'"… oh, and also all of the songs from the Sound of Music concert!"

"My favorite memory is the very last concert we ever sang together singing, "Will the Circle Be Unbroken". Also shopping in Seattle will forever be a highlight (shopping anywhere really) and singing on bus rides until our voices were almost gone, but we couldn’t be happier."

Since graduating from high school last year, I completed my first year of Civil Engineering at UNBC and now I am a research assistant at the Wood Innovation Design Centre. I also run my own baking business! (Check out bakingbynaomi.com ) I take custom orders for cakes, cookies and cupcakes, it's super fun!

Naomi Dugdale

Laura Smith was in Tapestry Singers for 7 years, from 2009-2016. It's pretty difficult for her to narrow down which song was her favorite...but if she has to choose she would say, "The Water of Tyne".

Like songs, there are so many amazing memories from Tapestry! The entirety of the Seattle trip was pretty fantastic, from dancing in front of the Space Needle to the actual festival performance and adjudication.

Since leaving Tapestry, Laura has moved to Vancouver Island to pursue a degree in Political Science and Communications. She was a part of the UVic Jazz Choir and focused much of her time last year on the Model United Nations Club, attending conferences such as UBCMUN and Harvard MUN (she can thank MCing at many Tapestry shows for her love of public speaking).

Laura Smith

My name is Lauren Iwanciwski. I was in Tapestry throughout high school for 5 years, from 2014-2019.

My favorite songs (as hard as it is to choose) were "Water of Tyne", "Worthy to be Praised", and "Psalm 23".

I have so many different memories of Tapestry that are dear to me for so many reasons, but the things that I remember most are: having a “song battle” with another choir in Banff, attending that dance in Edmonton with all of the other choirs, and Joan Beek doing a room check in our last year and finding so many oranges and Dad’s cookies everywhere.

Since leaving Tapestry, I’ve finished my first year of university and decided to pursue a degree in social work. I’ve also joined Nove Voce choral society and have taken up painting as a new hobby.

Lauren Iwanciwski

My name is Kourtney Gillis and I sang in Tapestry from 2007-2012. I started the same year that Tapestry started, 2007, and continued until I graduated in 2012. 5 years.

My favorite song was: "Psalm 23".

My favorite memory: So many great memories. The first one that comes to mind is singing for the Opening Ceremonies for the Paralympics. Being able to be apart of something so huge, that was seen world wide was such a wonderful and powerful moment. Along with being able to watch some of the sports, singing on the ice fields, and all the shenanigans that took place in the hotel!!

But I have to mention one other very important memory. Our ten year anniversary performance. Having the juniors, seniors, and alumni all in one place. It was a wonderful night filled with so much happiness and love. Life tends to get in the way and we don’t always stay connected with one another. But when we started singing it felt as though no time had passed. The friendships we all make in choir really do last a lifetime.

Kourtney Gills

My name is Sarah Wildi, and I sang in Tapestry for 7 years from 2007-2014.

One of my favorite songs from Tapestry's diverse repertoire is "Who Can Sail/Vem Kan Segla," a simple and beautiful Swedish folk song we sang in our very first year, about being able to accomplish impressive feats of nature, yet not being able to bare leaving someone you love.

Some of my favorite memories of Tapestry include singing the traditional Newfoundland folk song "I'se the B'y", at Pike Place Market in Seattle while a seafood vendor tossed fish to the arms of eager patrons. I also loved Tapestry's annual tradition of singing at St. Vincent De Paul's soup kitchen during Christmas time. And unforgettably, performing at the Worldstrides Heritage Music Festival in Seattle, being awarded as the most Outstanding choir, and receiving an invitation to perform at Carnegie Hall. I also cherish all of my choir memories and encourage future singers to answer the call of "Do you love to sing?" with dedication, community engagement, and the hard work of open hands and hearts.

Sarah Wildi

This year, Lauren and I also joined the choir Nove Voce and had lots of fun doing different concerts and continuing to sing. I’ll be going back for my 2nd year of school this fall, I’m not quite sure what the future holds for me at this point but I definitely know that singing will forever be a part of it!

Since leaving Tapestry, I’ve traveled lots, I often foster animals for the SPCA, and I’ve currently started a new job as a RCMP dispatcher.

Since leaving Tapestry, I have undergone some unfinished university education, stopping to work as assistant manager and book buyer at Books & Company in downtown Prince George. I am currently working at P.S. Pianos, and am busy planning my next adventures. I spend my time reading, writing, painting, and singing whenever I can. This year, I had the pleasure of participating in the exciting women's choir Nove Voce, and last summer I acted and sang in Judy Russell Presents "Beauty and the Beast."