Signature concert at the Chan Centre traces the Christmas journey

The 10th annual Christmas at the Chan Centre concert aptly opened with the Gregorian chant, ‘Hodie Christus natus est’ (Today Christ is born), as the program chronicled the Christmas journey from the announcement of Christ’s impending birth to His arrival.

Under the direction of Caron Daley, Interim Director of Choral Activities, the 200-voice choir included TWU's four choirs, with guests the Mennonite Educational Institute Concert Choir, the Pacific Academy Concert and Chamber Choir, the Langley Children’s Choir, and a full orchestra.

TWU President Jonathan S. Raymond, Ph.D., welcomed guests with the reading of Isaiah 60:1. “I know the music will uplift your hearts and prepare you for this Christmas season,” he said.

This year’s event featured a world-premiere performance of ‘Magnificat,’ which was composed by David Squires, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Arts, Media and Culture (SAMC) in honour of the University’s 50th Anniversary. “I was drawn to the Magnificat text because, as an artist, I was influenced by Mary and the relationship she had with God,” said Squires, who also teaches composition and music history. “Mary had a sense of wonder that God would use her, and that’s the connection with the University—that God would use us for His purposes.”

‘Magnificat’ is the latest work composed by Squires for TWU; besides several recent pieces for the TWU orchestra, his setting of Psalm 47 was performed by the TWU Choir at the 1987 commencement ceremony, in honour of the University’s 25th anniversary.

In addition to Squires’ piece, the concert featured solos by bass-baritone and TWU alumnus Chad Louwerse and soprano Allyson Nystrom, who currently teaches voice at Trinity Western.

During the performance, the audience was invited to join with the choirs in singing ‘O Come, all ye Faithful,’ ‘The First Noël,’ and ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.’

In Spring 2013, SAMC will present a number of concerts including Chamber Music Night on April 3, Concert Band and Orchestra concerts on April 5 and 6, Jazz Night on April 10 and a pair of Spring Choral Concerts on April 12 and 13. For information on these and other events, visit


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