Since 2004, Trinity Western University has shared the Christmas message of hope, wonder, and peace through a stunning musical performance at the Chan Centre.
A remarkable season ushered in by song
Now in its 19th year, TWU’s annual Christmas at the Chan celebration will once again mark the beginning of this remarkable season through a beautiful choral and orchestral concert on Dec. 3, 2023 that features the TWU Masterworks Chorus & Chamber Choir under the direction of Dr. Benjamin Ewert, joined by The Langley Fine Arts School Chamber Choir under the direction of Jonny Michel. Special performers include Alison Nystrom (soprano), Dinah Ayre (alto), and David Rosborough (bass).
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023 | Doors open at 2:00 p.m. Concert begins at 2:30 p.m.
UBC Chan Centre for the Performing Arts | 6265 Crescent Road, Vancouver, BC
A vision to bless the city
Christmas at the Chan began with the Chan family and the vision of Dr. Tom Chan and Mr. Chapman Chan to bless the City of Vancouver with an event that highlights the meaning of Christmas. TWU’s choirs have performed at Christmas at the Chan, first under the direction of Dr. Wes Janzen and then Dr. Joel Tranquilla, expressively sharing the joy and beauty of the season. In 2023, Christmas at the Chan is led by TWU Director of Choirs Dr. Benjamin Ewert, a TWU graduate who participated in the Christmas at the Chan tradition as a student under Dr. Janzen’s direction. For this year’s concert theme, Dr. Ewert has drawn inspiration from Isaiah’s prophecy that points to Jesus as the light of the world.
Seeing light in the darkness
“This year, it is my privilege to work with the Chan family and the School of the Arts, Media, and Culture at TWU to present a program that reflects a message of hope, joy, and light of Christmas in the midst of a tumultuous world," Dr. Ewert shares.
The Dec. 3 program follows the progression of Advent and begins by encouraging listeners to anticipate the coming of Christ. As Dr. Ewert introduces, “Bach’s Wachet auf cantata, written for this very time of year, beckons us to the feast while his Magnificat pours out the infectious joy of a response to Christ’s coming. Macmillan’s O Radiant Dawn echoes Isaiah’s prophecy while the ancient texts of Quartel’s This Endris Night and Matre’s Norwegian hymn bring us to the manger, where we linger in reverence before breaking out in celebration with Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols.”
In addition to these choral delights, audiences may recognize the familiar carols O Come, O Come Emmanuel, O Come All Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Concert attendees are welcome to join in, as Dr. Ewert encourages, “As fitting for any feast, you are warmly invited to sing with us.”
TWU Masterworks Chorus & Chamber Choir
The choirs of Trinity Western University have gained a strong reputation through their regular stand-alone performances and collaborations with professional ensembles, such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, the Sea to Sky Symphony, the Canadian Chamber Choir, and the Vancouver Chamber Choir. In recent years, the TWU Chamber Choir has toured to China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. A newly commissioned oratorio by Dr. David Squires was premiered by the choirs in spring 2023, and members of the program travelled to New York City to perform at Carnegie Hall.
Benjamin Ewert, Director of the TWU Chamber Choir & Masterworks Chorus
Dr. Benjamin Ewert conducts Trinity Western University’s Chamber Choir, Masterworks Chorus, and Concert Band and teaches music history at the University. In addition to this, Ben is the director of music at St. John’s Vancouver Church. He was the director of the chapel choir at Churchill College in Cambridge, England, has worked in churches and universities throughout Canada and the United Kingdom, and has sung professionally with Pro Coro Canada.
Ben holds degrees from Prairie College, Trinity Western University (2008), the University of Cambridge (MMus), and the University of Alberta (DMus), where his doctoral research explored the intersection of faith, liturgy, and culture in the work of Scottish composer, James MacMillan.
About Trinity Western University
Founded in 1962, Trinity Western University is a global Christian liberal arts university. We are dedicated to equipping students to discover meaningful connections between career, life, and the needs of the world. Drawing upon the riches of the Christian tradition, seeking to unite faith and reason through teaching and scholarship, Trinity Western University is a degree-granting research institution offering liberal arts and sciences as well as professional schools in business, nursing, education, human kinetics, graduate studies, and arts, media, and culture. It has campuses in Canada in Langley, Richmond, and Ottawa. Learn more at www.twu.ca or follow us on Instagram @trinitywestern, Twitter @TrinityWestern, on Facebook and LinkedIn.