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Event Archive - Sanctuary of Song: Vancouver Peace Choir

Sun. April 25th 2010 VST Epiphany Chapel (All Ages)
3:30 pm - 5 pm doors at 3:00 pm
$20 adult | $15 senior | $10 student
Tickets at:, choir members, at the door

Event Categories

Music: Classical
Choir Offers Earth-day Sanctuary

The Vancouver Peace Choir will celebrate Earth-day this year with what director Timothy Corlis describes as a “Sanctuary of Song.” The ensemble’s concerts on April 18 in Langley and April 25 at UBC in Vancouver will feature the 40 voice mixed choir along with clarinetist Erika Block and pianist Christine Jones. 

“In a choir, we build the sanctuary with our voices,” Corlis describes. “When it comes to singing, I feel there is a unique opportunity to experience togetherness, both with each other and with the earth.” The first half of the concert will feature Eric Whitacre’s Lux Aurumque, Sarah Hopkins Past Life Melodies, and a work by composer and choir member Eric North, entitled Flame inspired by the universal symbol of spirit. Sanctuary of Song will conclude with a performance of Corlis’ Missa Pax (Peace Mass), which was commissioned by the Elora Festival in commemoration of their 30th anniversary.

The 32 minutes work for mixed choir, piano, and clarinet draws on Corlis’ years of experience as a chorister in an Anglican boy’s school. “I must admit that I've spent most of my adult life distancing myself from my Anglican roots,” Corlis states. “As a composer and as a peace activist, it often feels as though the church tradition of my childhood carries too many experiences of being judged . . . But of course, the old rituals from your childhood never go away and all-of-sudden you find yourself performing the Mass as a hired tenor and realizing that you're in tears. 

This is why I wrote the music for the Missa Pax - or "peace mass." To me, it's a fresh musical expression inspired by a text that has spoken for centuries about the topic of peace and about a spiritual love for earth... "et in terra pax (and on Earth, peace.)"

The Missa Pax has already established a strong track record with mid-concert ovations both at the Elora Festival and at the prestigious Festival of the Sound. Reviewer Steven Preece (The Record) described the piece after its premier as "conjuring of heavenly radiance", “fantastically cathartic”, and possessing an “emotional authenticity irresistible to the listener.” Clarinetist, Erika Block, will perform the Vancouver premier with the choir. Block is a recent arrival to Vancouver from the US where she studied with such clarinet giants as Thomas Martin in Boston and Ricardo Morales in Philadelphia.

The Vancouver Peace Choir, now only in it’s second concert season is a growing ensemble of musicians who share a common interest in the topic of peace. Their stated vision is to search for inner and outer expressions of peace through music, to create a place to experience deep contemplation, and to become a source of inspiration for the peacemakers in our world.

Timothy Corlis is pursuing his doctorate in music composition at UBC.


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Vancouver Peace Choir (choral)

The Vancouver Peace Choir (Timothy Corlis, director) is dedicated to the search for inner and outer expressions of peace through music. Its vision is to create a place to experience deep contemplation and to become a source of inspiration for the peacemakers in our world. The choir will bring together experienced musicians that share a passion for ... more info