Standing ovation at this year’s Christmas at the Chan

The audience at the sold out concert hall at the Chan Centre of the Performing Arts at UBC stood in ovation to acknowledge the work and talent at this year’s Christmas at the Chan. Photos by Johnathan Janzen.

After the finale at this year’s Christmas at the Chan the audience at the sold out concert raised to their feet, yelled multiple bravos, and clapped their hands loudly in appreciation for the talent that they had just heard.

And they had good reason to award a standing ovation.  The stage, at the stunningly beautiful Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, was filled with over 200 proficient voices consisting of the Trinity Western University Choirs, TWU Chamber Singers, Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir and members of the Langley Fine Arts School Senior Choir and Chamber Singers.  Led by Artistic Director, Wes Janzen, the Choirs were supported by over 30 professional musicians including organ, percussion and harp.

The annual choral concert is a musical feast that marks the beginning of the Christmas season for many concert goers.  This year’s IMG_3576program intertwined traditional carols such as “O Come O Come Emmanuel” and “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus”, with carols, holiday favorites, and excerpts from “J.S.Bach’s B-Minor Mass”, a composition that brought a holy tone to the afternoon.

Janzen, Professor of Music at TWU says, “Many composers have written music for the “Gloria” text, and Bach’s settings are second to none.  The words, recorded in Luke chapter two, were first sung by the angels, and they are full of joy.  Bach captures this perfectly, writing music that is delightful to listen to and also difficult to sing well.  Our singers were up to the challenge!”

Adding to the spirit of the afternoon’s performance, organ virtuoso Ay Laung Wang wowed the audience with her fast and efficient fingers playing “Toccata” by Theodore Dubois, and Kimberley Janzen sang the solo on “Jesus We Crown you with Praise” as the Choirs, in addition to their voices, presented the song using sign-language.  

The final selection was a powerful and passionate performance as the choirs and instrumentalists rose in crescendo to the words in the title of the song “When He Comes Again.”

Trinity Western University President Jonathan Raymond, Ph.D. says of the concert, “Christmas at the Chan Centre is a wonderful way to open the Christmas season, and the music shared at the annual event is an indelible reminder that Jesus Christ is the centre of it all.”

Trinity Western University, in Langley, B.C., is a provincially chartered, independent Christian liberal arts and sciences university, enrolling approximately 4000 students. TWU offers 42 undergraduate majors, ranging from biotechnology, education, theatre and music, to psychology, communications and biblical studies. TWU's 16 graduate degree programs include nursing, counseling psychology, business, theology, linguistics, and leadership, and interdisciplinary degrees in English, philosophy and history. TWU holds Canada Research Chairs in Dead Sea Scroll Studies, Developmental Genetics and Disease, and Interpretation, Religion & Culture.

Last Updated: 2009-12-08
Author: Erin Mussolum