Carla Birston has dedicated her career to fostering the joy of learning music in students of all ages and levels. She has performed as a freelance musician throughout her career, with such groups as the Vancouver Opera Orchestra, and in various chamber ensembles, but her passionate focus has been teaching, and developing the string orchestras she has founded and nurtured over the last thirty years, including the Semiahmoo Strings and Surrey Youth Orchestra Intermediate Strings. Many graduates of her private studio at the VSO School have obtained advanced degrees in music, and have entered the profession as teachers and performers across Canada, and internationally. Several of her students have won awards in international competitions, and have appeared as soloists with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. An Examiner for the Royal Conservatory of Music, she is in demand as an adjudicator at festivals and competitions locally and nationally. Carla holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of British Columbia, where she studied with the acclaimed violist and pedagogue Gerald Stanick.