Celebrate in Song 2022: Music to lift the heart and sing the world awake

A celebratory collaboration between the New Brunswick Choral Federation, members of the Canadian Chamber Choir, and guests from around the region

Friday, October 28 to Sunday, October 30, 2022

Dr. Joel Tranquilla, Conductor

Joel Tranquilla

Thomas Gonder, Accompanist

With singers from the Canadian Chamber Choir: Chloé Thiessen, Soprano; Deborah Buck, Alto; Darrell Christie, Tenor; Christopher Lane, Bass

And with other special musical guests

Grace Memorial Baptist Church

536 Northumberland Street

Fredericton, NB E3B 3K8

Celebrate in Song 2022 is an opportunity for choral singers to learn and perform challenging and beautiful music in collaboration with Dr. Joel Tranquilla, members of the Canadian Chamber Choir, and musical guests from around the region. It is:

  • A celebration of the ongoing resilience of choral music in New Brunswick
  • An opportunity for singers to grow and learn, and to connect with and
  • expand their musical family
  • A rare opportunity for New Brunswick student and adult singers to
  • work with and learn from some of Canada’s best choral professionals

No matter how long you have been away, Celebrate in Song is a wonderful way to re-discover the joys of music-making

To register, complete the online form here

or contact the NBCF office.

About the Music

The theme of this event is waking and rising, and the power of music to bring us more fully to life.

  • Requiem by John Rutter (Movements 2 Out of the deep and 6 The Lord is my shepherd)
    Aesop’s Fables by Bob Chilcott (1 The Hare and the Tortoise and 4 The Goose and the Swan)
  • Five Mystical Songs Ralph Vaughan Williams (1 Easter and 4 The Call)
    Waniska by Sheryl Sewepagaham 

Click here for a list of rehearsal aid suggestions Updated September 28 with files from Joel Tranquilla.

About the Event

Fredericton favourite Joel Tranquilla and four professional singers from the Canadian Chamber Choir have generously made themselves available to come to Fredericton to rehearse and perform with our Celebrate in Song 2022 registrants.

Music will be sent to registrants in advance. There will be an online pre-rehearsal, and in-person rehearsal Friday October 28 and Saturday October 29.

The project concludes with a celebratory choral performance on Sunday afternoon, October 30, 2022.

Registration fees are:

  • $40 Individual NBCF member
  • $50 member of an NBCF member choir
  • $70 student (age 24 or younger)

Contact the NBCF office to ask about group discounts. A group must be approved, and all members of the group must individually register, for any discount to apply.

Registrants who are traveling are responsible for their own accommodations and meals. Light refreshments will be provided over the weekend.

More details, including our approach to COVID mitigations, will be provided. COVID mitigations will be based on the most reliable available science and recommendations, and will take into consideration both the safety and comfort of the performers and the audience, and will maximize air cleaning and ventilation among other measures.

Please register using this online registration form. If you cannot use the form, please contact the NBCF office for assistance. Please register as soon as you can, so as to have enough time to learn the music.


Click here for a PDF of the schedule.

All virtual rehearsals take place using the Zoom platform. Please contact the NBCF office if you need help using Zoom.
All in-person rehearsals take place at Grace Memorial Baptist Church. Please enter the church from the parking lot on the east-facing side, not from the main entry on Connaught Street.
All rehearsals are with Joel Tranquilla and the Canadian Chamber Choir quartet
The length of each rehearsal is subject to change, though the daily start and stop times are unlikely to change.
Coffee, tea and light refreshments will be available at the breaks. Meals are not provided. We will circulate a list of nearby restaurants and advise them that there may be increased traffic between Friday October 28 and Sunday October 30.

Saturday, October 1
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm New Brunswick (Atlantic) time. Zoom pre-rehearsal with Joel Tranquilla and quartet

Saturday, October 22
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm New Brunswick (Atlantic) time. With Joel Tranquilla but without the quartet.

Friday, October 28
5:45 pm doors open
6:00 pm to 6:30 pm Registration
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm Rehearsal (with break)

Saturday, October 29
9:00 am doors open
9:30 am to 10:10 am Rehearsal
10:20 am to 11:00 am Rehearsal
11:10 am to 12:00 pm Sectional rehearsal
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm Lunch On Own
1:30 pm to 2:10 pm Rehearsal
2:20 pm to 4:00 pm Dress Rehearsal, breaks as needed

Sunday, October 30
12:20 pm Pose for photos at Grace Memorial Baptist Church
12:30 pm to 1:15 pm warm-up, run-through excerpts, practice entrance and exit
1:15 pm to 2:00 pm guest choirs warm-up, run-through excerpts, practice entrance and exit
2:00 pm doors open
2:30 pm Concert. Approximately 70 minutes
After concert, music and name tag return

Biographies of the Partners

Joel Tranquilla

Originally from Fredericton, Dr. Joel Tranquilla is a conductor and music educator noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming. He is currently the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University where he leads the choirs and teaches various other courses within the School of the Arts, Media + Culture. Recent tours have taken the TWU Chamber Choir to Ottawa, New York City, Hong Kong, China, Japan, and Taiwan. Joel is also the Artistic Director of the Valley Festival Singers in Abbotsford and the Associate Conductor of the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir. In high demand as an adjudicator and clinician, Joel works regularly with singers across BC’s Lower Mainland and is a past Guest Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Choir and the Manitoba Provincial Honour Choir. 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. Joel lives outside Vancouver with his wife Meghan and their 3 kids.

Thomas Gonder, Accompanist

J. Thomas D. Gonder, born in Cayuga, Ontario in 1971, exhibited musical gifts at an extremely early age. He spent most of his life in London, Ontario, his family having relocated there in 1981. Immediately becoming involved in the musical life of St. Paul’s Cathedral, he spent many years there as a chorister, Organ Scholar, Assistant Organist, and Organist and Master of the Choristers. Thomas began under the tutelage of D. Mervyn Games. His teachers, mentors and greatest influences also include David Palmer, Ian Sadler, William McArton, Catherine Crozier, Simon Preston, Gerald Bales, Naji Hakim and David Briggs.

He developed a strong connection to Fredericton and Christ Church Cathedral after a concert he gave at the Cathedral in 2019, and was welcomed as Cathedral Music Director and Organist in January 2020, just before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Making up for lost time, Thomas h quickly become deeply embedded in the music scene in his adopted home, playing for soloists ensembles at events of all kinds in the Fredericton area and beyond.

Chloé Thiessen, Soprano

Chloé Thiessen has never had a hard time finding joy and passion in music. Starting at a young age with piano, she was able to branch out and pursue numerous skills and instruments including tuba, trombone, and voice. Through the encouragement of her family, friends, and mentors, Chloé also developed a love for jazz music, choral conducting/singing, and composition. She has had the immense pleasure of performing with world-class ensembles including the Canadian Chamber Choir, Vancouver Chamber Choir, Dead of Winter, Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Jazz at Lincoln Center House Band, Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Manitoba Underground Opera, and several other professional and semi-professional groups throughout Canada as well as the U.S., China, Hong Kong, Japan, and Taiwan. She stays busy writing, teaching, conducting, and playing music of all kinds while pursuing a Masters in Voice Studies at the University of Manitoba.

Deborah Buck, Alto

As the child of a minister it naturally followed that Deb would join the church choir at an early age.  She was instantly smitten, and choral singing would become a lifelong pursuit, bringing memorable musical experiences and lasting friendships.  She has sung alto in the Canadian Chamber Choir since the early 2000’s, collaborating with choristers in communities from Victoria, B.C. to St. John’s Newfoundland and every province (and one territory) in between.  Deb works as a freelance musician in her home city of Saskatoon, where currently she conducts the Saskatoon Men’s Chorus and her parish choir, teaches voice, and accompanies the University of Saskatchewan community chorus, U. of S. Greystone Singers, and many soloists.  She has many credits as both a music director and performer with professional companies such as Persephone Theatre, Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan Festival, Globe Theatre, and Rosebud Theatre.  She is excited to be part of this NBCF weekend and looks forward to making new friendships and memories.

Darrell Christie, Tenor

Hailing from the UK, Darrell Christie is recognized for his versatility and collaborative approach to performance and arts education. Having studied at both Keele University in the UK, York University and Queen’s University in Canada, Darrell specializes in vocal performance (music theatre and classical voice), conducting, and music education. Having built a successful international career as a performer, musical director and educator, Darrell holds a faculty position at Queen’s University where he leads the choral program, in addition to teaching voice, conducting, and music theatre. In addition to his work at Queen’s, Darrell is Artistic Director of the Kingston Chamber Choir and Music Supervisor for the Watershed Music Theatre Festival at Queen’s University. Darrell’s research focuses on music creation and the capacity that choral music may have outside of Eurocentric practices of choral performance. Through engaging choral groups in collaborative composition, his research examines how encouraging creativity in a group setting may lead to greater engagement in choral musicking, a more diverse and inclusive musical practice, and aid in supporting the wellbeing of participants.

Christopher Lane, Bass

A native of Saint John, New Brunswick, baritone Christopher Lane has appeared in both concert and opera presentations throughout New Brunswick and Southwestern Ontario. He made his professional operatic debut with Opera New Brunswick in the 2000 production of Carmen. He appeared on numerous occasions with Orchestra London Canada, in St. John’s Passion and Rigoletto, both under the baton of celebrated Canadian conductor Timothy Vernon. He sang the roles of Robin Oakapple in Ruddigore and Sir Joseph Porter in HMS Pinafore with Musical Theatre Productions in London.  He has performed as bass soloist in Handel’s Messiah on numerous occasions. Mr. Lane is Director of Music and Administration at Saint David’s United Church and is in demand as a vocal teacher, coach, adjudicator, clinician. and musical director for local theatre companies. A graduate of Western University, he directs the Carleton Choristers and Harbour View Choral Ensembles and also serves as Artistic Director of the Sussex Choral Society.  He has been Music Director of the Kennebecasis Valley Players since 2012 and is a longtime member of the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir.

The Canadian Chamber Choir

It began as an unlikely dream nurtured by alumni of the 1999 National Youth Choir, and became a phenomenon that grew out of passion and determination. A decade and a half later, the Juno-nominated Canadian Chamber Choir/Ch?ur de chambre du Canada (CCC) has matured into an artistic force whose mandate to bring new and existing Canadian choral music to every corner of Canada has allowed singers, conductors, audiences, and composers to come together in celebration of the depth of this country’s choral heritage. Under the artistic direction of renowned conductor and music educator Julia Davids, the CCC has pursued artistic excellence in every performance while always remaining true to its core mission: building community through choral singing.

The CCC offers some of Canada’s finest choral singers a professional choral environment in which to nurture their gifts, and the singers in turn give of their talents to the communities in which they perform. Each CCC tour features workshops for local singers and conductors of all ages and stages, as well as performances of diverse music by Canadian composers both established and emerging. Through these interactions, the CCC has inspired, nurtured, and mentored thousands of choral enthusiasts while working tirelessly to champion the vast wealth of choral music created in Canada. The power of this unique vision has allowed the CCC to truly become Canada’s coast-to-coast chamber choir.