Trinity Western University choral singers mixed the real and the virtual during a special Christmas concert that saw singers perform outdoors and online to meet COVID-19 restrictions.
“Pilgrimage,” unveiled on Dec. 24, was conducted by Cathrie Yuen, TWU Interim Choir Director, who said it allowed them to continue the Langley-based university’s Christmas concert tradition.
“2020 has not been the easiest year for choirs around the world, but definitely the most adventurous one,” Yuen commented.
“We would like to give our audience a brand new experience this year from our beautiful campus.”
In the 30-minute virtual choir performance, singers bring the audience on a pilgrimage to Bethlehem on the night when Jesus was born, Yeun explained.
“We picked a diverse style of music, including Gregorian chants, Baroque arias, upbeat gospel, and of course, some of our favourite Christmas carols.”
“Our concert is titled, ‘Pilgrimage’ to reflect the pilgrimage to Bethlehem, but beyond that, we view this performance as a personal pilgrimage in connecting our community with our musicians,” Yuen added.
Despite this semester’s pandemic-related challenges, Yuen said TWU choral singers performed with excellence and professionalism.
“The musicians exceeded all my expectations this year,” said Yuen. “All of the choirs had to transition to online rehearsals in September. It has been a steep learning curve for all of us to navigate through the audio and video technology, as well as having our musicians learn in isolation (via Zoom) in an environment that is usually a group collaborative effort.”
“I am proud to be a part of this journey with them,” Yuen commented.
The concert was made possible by the efforts of faculty member, Jef Gibbons, and his wife Becca Gibbons, who spent many hours producing the video.
Yuen also credits the help of Anna-Marie Ryan, Director of the TWU Masterwork Chorus and a School of the Arts, Media and Culture alumna.