The Trinity Western University Chamber Singers perfrom in Abbotosford on Friday, Nov. 16.

The Trinity Western University Chamber Singers perfrom in Abbotosford on Friday, Nov. 16.

TWU Chamber Singers perform A Remarkable Stillness

Concert in Abbotsford on Friday, Nov. 16 at Emmanuel Church

Trinity Western University’s (TWU) Music Department within its School of the Arts, Media and Culture presents A Remarkable Stillness – an evening of British cathedral music from the 15th to the 21st centuries.

The concert is held Friday, Nov. 16 at Emmanuel Free Reformed Church (3366 Mt. Lehman Rd.), starting at 7:30 p.m.

The choral repertoire of A Remarkable Stillness evokes all the prismatic hues of the resurrection story.

“Anyone familiar with Christian liturgical tradition would be accustomed to how wide the pendulum swings between darkness and light, highs and lows, when we retell the complete narrative of the gospel story,” says conductor Joel Tranquilla.

The program stitches together a fairly comprehensive history of British cathedral music, featuring works from Renaissance to contemporary times.

Much like the soaring buttresses of the cathedrals in which it is often performed, British choral music was created to draw the focus heavenward.

“There is remarkable capacity in the human voice to portray both joy and suffering, playfulness and heaviness of heart,” Tranquilla says. “It can raise the hairs on our arms but also calm or excite the emotions – much like a great concept album or compelling film.”

The evening’s repertoire is performed by TWU’s Chamber Singers, a 16-member auditioned ensemble of advanced choral students. It includes a mix of the quirky and the traditional, with selections from choral favourites Benjamin Britten, Thomas Tallis, Henry Purcell, Samuel Sebastian Wesley and Herbert Howells.

Britten’s colourful Rejoice in the Lamb, based on the eccentric writings of imprisoned 19th-century poet Christopher Smart, anchors the program.

The performance will feature British-born organist Edward Norman – TWU’s instructor of music, organ – on the pipe organ. Norman is the former organist for the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.

Tickets for the concert are $10 general, available through or cash at the door. Students are pay-what-you-can admission.

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