Langley, British Columbia—On April 1, over 100 Trinity Western University choir students will join Vancouver’s top musicians to perform in the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra’s An Easter Gospel Celebration, conducted by Rosemary Thomson. The concert is one of four Vancouver Symphony events TWU choirs are invited to take part in this year.
Wes Janzen, DMA, who directs Trinity Western University’s Concert Choir, Chamber Choir, Chamber Singers and Masterworks Choir, has been preparing students for the upcoming Vancouver Symphony event since January, integrating the gospel music they will perform at the April concert into rehearsals he leads each week.
“It is rare for a Canadian university choir to be invited to perform with a professional arts organization such as the Vancouver Symphony or Vancouver Chamber Choir,” says Janzen. “Our students learn how to work in this context which involves a high level of preparation, concentration and commitment—skills that will benefit them throughout their lives, in whatever vocation they choose.”
During the long and intense hours of practice, Janzen goes beyond vocal parameters to ensure the meaning of the songs connects with students and inspires the musical distinction that he, the Vancouver Symphony, and audiences have come to expect.
“This music deals with the great questions of meaning, purpose, life, death, eternity and the infinite,” says Janzen. “And these questions are certainly appropriate to any student’s university experience. Bach, for example, answers these questions through his music and we talk about this in our rehearsals.”
“Rehearsals are demanding and challenging,” continues Janzen. “But the heart preparation is just as important. The students believe what they are singing—and that helps to bring the music to a level that is beyond musical excellence.”
That excellence has gained the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and TWU choirs national coverage on CBC and granted Trinity Western students the opportunity to learn from some of B.C.’s best musicians through guest performances with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra over the past 10 years.
Joining TWU choirs for the April 1 concert will be TWU President Neil Snider, PhD, who will host An Easter Gospel Celebration. The concert takes place at Vancouver’s Orpheum Theatre, 8 p.m. To purchase tickets, call the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra at (604) 876-3434 or Ticketmaster at (604) 280-3311.
Upcoming TWU choir performances include Brahms Requiem on April 13 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Chamber Choir under conductor Jon Washburn, and Bach B Minor Mass from May 18-20 with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and Vancouver Chamber Choir under conductor Bramwell Tovey.
Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a privately funded Christian liberal arts university enrolling 2,850 students this year. With a broad-based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 34 major areas ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 12 graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.
Last Updated: 2012-08-21