TWU prof composes violin concerto

In May 2006, TWU's music department held a competition for student instrumentalists. The prize included a new concerto that music professor David Squires committed to write for the winning student.

The result—Where Angels Dance—will premiere at Brookswood Baptist Church in Langley on April 13. A second performance at Peace Lutheran Church in Abbotsford will take place on April 14.

“What an honour to premiere a piece written for me, and to be the first to communicate it to an audience,” says Goheen. “I couldn't wait to see the score, and when I finally did, it surpassed my expectations. I absolutely fell in love with Where Angels Dance right away.”

Much of the melody for the piece comes from a Scottish folk song. In fact, the idea of dance permeates the violin concerto.

“The violin and orchestra relate to one another as dancers at times,” says composer Squires. “Sometimes they move together, and sometimes they alternate roles, or lean back to let the other take a turn.”

The dance theme fits with Goheen's style and energy. She's been known to break away from classic violin performances, and turn up the rhythm with Celtic fiddling. That's a good thing because she and the whole orchestra will end Where Angels Dance with a Celtic jig.

Squires worked with Goheen for the past year, composing parts of the concerto for her ability. The two have been rehearsing together for several months. “I've never worked with a composer at this level before, and it has definitely helped me realize his vision for the piece,” says Goheen. “The whole work overflows with exuberance, uncontainable joy and yet it's so full of depth.”

For Squires, Where Angels Dance brings a spiritual question to mind. “I'm intrigued by the image of angels dancing in our world,” he says. “We live and love, laugh and cry in a world where angels dance and people sing. Do we see them? Are we aware of their dance?”

This is not the first time Squires has had one of his pieces premiered at a Trinity Western concert. In November 2005, he conducted the Orchestra as they performed his composition God Ever Breath.

Conducted by Jon Thompson and Allan Thorpe, TWU's Orchestra and Concert Band will also perform The Hebrides by Felix Mendelssohn, the Tuba Concerto by Edward Gregson and featuring student soloist Jesse Brook, and the Russian Easter Overture by Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Event: Spring Concert
Trinity Western University Concert Band and Orchestra
Date: Friday, April 13, 2007 at 7.30 p.m.
Brookswood Baptist Church (20581 36 Ave.) in Langley

Saturday, April 14, 2007 at 7.30 p.m.
Peace Lutheran Church (2029 Ware St.) in Abbotsford

Cost: Admission by donation
Contact: Caralee Wall (

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts and sciences university enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from business, communications and education to biotechnology and nursing, and offers 15 graduate degrees in such areas as counseling psychology, business, the humanities, theology and administrative leadership.

Written by Fred Devries

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum