Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music
Music Building
+1 (604) 513-2121 ext. 2053

Department(s) or Program(s)


Dr. Joel Tranquilla is a conductor and music educator noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming. As the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University he oversees a program of six choirs and teaches various other courses within the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. In addition to his work at TWU, Joel is the newly appointed Conductor of the Valley Festival Singers in Abbotsford and the award-winning Coastal Sound Youth Choir in Coquitlam. He is also the Associate Conductor of the Canadian Chamber Choir and has performed extensively with that ensemble since 2007. The CCC’s latest CD, "Sacred Reflections of Canada" was nominated for a 2016 Juno Award. Before moving to British Columbia, Joel served as Artistic Director of the Windsor Classic Chorale, Chorus Master of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, and taught as a sessional instructor at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario.

Major works conducted include Mendelssohn’s St. Paul (Sea to Sky Symphony and TWU Choirs), Handel’s Alexander’s Feast, Requiems by Fauré and Duruflé (Windsor Symphony Orchestra and Chorus), Frank Martin’s Mass for Double Choir, and Allan Bevan’s Passion oratorio Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode (TWU Choirs and Orchestra). Choirs prepared by Tranquilla have appeared under the batons of Robert Franz, Kevin Mallon, John Morris Russell, and Ivars Taurins. In March 2016, the TWU Chamber Choir was invited to take part in a performance at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Dr. Richard Sparks.

In high demand as an adjudicator and clinician across the country, Joel is a past Guest Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Choir and was the Assistant Conductor of the 2012 National Youth Choir. He was the winner of the 2012 Sir Ernest MacMillan Memorial Foundation Award as well as the recipient of the Emerging Artist Award at the 2013 Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. He holds degrees from Mount Allison University, the University of Michigan, and Michigan State University where his doctoral research was in the area of Canadian choral-orchestral works.

Research & Scholarship


  • DMA (Michigan State University, Lansing, MI)
  • MMus (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)
  • BMus (Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB)

Awards & Honors

Major Works Conducted

  • Bach, Cantata 106 and Johannes-Passion
  • Bernstein, Missa brevis
  • Bevan, Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode
  • Dett, The Chariot Jubilee
  • Doolittle, Elegy
  • Duruflé, Requiem
  • Elgar, Serenade for Strings
  • Fauré, Requiem
  • Grieg, Four Psalms
  • Handel, Alexander's Feast and Coronation Anthem No. 4
  • Mozart, Vesperae solennes de confessore
  • Purcell, Come, ye sons of art
  • Raminsh, Magnificat
  • Tavener, Svyati
  • Vaughan Williams, Five Mystical Songs
  • Watson Henderson, From Darkness to Light
  • Willan, Apostrophe to the Heavenly Hosts

Works commissioned

  • Kathleen Allan, TBA (2015)
  • Ben Duinker, “Materia ex nihilo” (2014)
  • Jeff Enns, “O Holy Spirit, Root of Life” (2011)

Affiliations & Memberships

  • American Choral Directors Association
  • British Columbia Choral Federation
  • Choral Canada (formerly the Association of Canadian Choral Communities)
  • Chorus America
  • International Federation for Choral Music


Canadian music, conducting, choral literature, score study and analysis, ear training, choral arranging, vocal pedagogy