November 24, 2005
Source: Trinity Western University:
Christmas traditions with the TWU Choirs: Performance at the Chan Centre and on Global TV
Christmas harmony emerges on Dec. 4 when the Trinity Western University Choirs perform their second annual "Christmas at the Chan Centre" concert in front of a sellout crowd at the UBC Chan Centre for the Performing Arts. Accompanied by a full orchestra, the TWU Choirs will be joined by the Pacific Mennonite Children's Choir.
"Concert guests can expect to hear a musical narrative of the story of Jesus' birth in a mix of gospel, big band, vocal jazz, carols, and symphonic Christmas music," says Wes Janzen, D.M.A, Director of Choral Activities at TWU.
While the repertoire for this annual event changes from year to year, Janzen says the purpose of Christmas at the Chan Centre remains the same. "The intention has always been to offer this evening as a gift to the community," he explains, "from both the TWU Choirs as well as the event's patron, the Chan family."
According to Janzen, the vision was to create an annual concert that would be "a highlight of the season for the community—a traditional Christmas concert with warm and natural expressions of faith that connect with fond memories of childhood, family and loved ones."
And while this is only the second annual holiday event at the Chan, the Choirs have a history of prestigious Christmas concerts. In 1991, the TWU Choir gave the first Handel's Messiah performance in Eastern Europe after the Berlin Wall was removed, a concert which was broadcasted nationwide. In 2004, the TWU Chamber Choir performed for children at the Canuck Place Children's Hospice, a Christmas Special televised live on the Global television network.
But the TWU Choirs are not only prolific at Christmas. They receive frequent invitations to perform with professional organizations, opportunities which are typically quite rare for university choirs in North America. Over the past two decades, the TWU Choirs have been involved in dozens of performances with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, the CBC Radio Orchestra, and the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. The TWU Choirs also performed by invitation this past January at the world-renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City.
Jon Washburn, conductor and Artistic and Executive Director of the Vancouver Chamber Choir (VCC), believes these opportunities afforded to the TWU singers are well-deserved. "Over the twenty years [that the TWU choirs have been working with the VCC]," he says, "the calibre of the TWU singers and their singing just keeps getting better all the time." As announced on Nov. 6, the VCC and TWU Choirs recently became official partners. This venture includes a choral residency and further opportunities for the VCC and TWU Choirs to practice and perform together.
This year's Christmas choir events also include a Nov. 26 televised performance at the Canuck Place Children's Hospice on Global at 5:30 p.m., followed by the world premiere of Larry Nickel's "Requiem for Peace" with UBC's top choir and the UBC symphony orchestra on Dec. 3.
Christmas at the Chan will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, December 4, 2005 at the UBC Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, 6265 Crescent Road.
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