TWU announces new Director of Choral Activities

Trinity Western University is pleased to announce the appointment of Joel Tranquilla, DMA, as Director of Choral Activities for the School of the Arts, Media + Culture (SAMC). He succeeds Wes Janzen, who retired this spring after 33 years at the helm of the University’s excellent choral program. An award-winning conductor and music educator, Tranquilla is noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming.

“Our music department has a strong choral tradition,” said SAMC Music Chair Allan Thorpe, DMA, “and Joel is the ideal candidate to build on the outstanding reputation of our choirs and usher them into a new era. His interest in commissioning new works and collaborating with other ensembles—within and beyond the university—will bring new ideas and perspectives to SAMC Music.”

Tranquilla comes to TWU from the University of Windsor, where he conducted the Women’s Chamber Choir while serving as Chorus Master for the Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Artistic Director of the Windsor Classic Chorale. He holds graduate degrees from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. He received the 2012 Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation Award for Choral Conducting and in 2013 was named Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. He performs regularly with the Canadian Chamber Choir, adjudicates at choral festivals across Canada, and has worked with the New Brunswick Youth Choir and the National Youth Choir.

“Creativity is a joy-filled experience at SAMC, and I look forward to working with TWU’s talented and purpose-driven students,” says Tranquilla. As the current Vice President of Advocacy for Choral Canada, Tranquilla believes strongly in the power of choral singing to build community. “The cohesiveness of the School of the Arts, Media + Culture will allow our choirs to collaborate not only with our instrumental ensembles, but across disciplines to engage students, faculty, and our community in new ways.”

Beginning in September 2014, Tranquilla will conduct TWU’s student choral ensembles as well as the 60-voice Masterworks choir, consisting of TWU alumni and other community musicians.

For more information about the SAMC Music program at Trinity Western University, visit  For advertising and sponsorship opportunities at SAMC Music events, email


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