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Burnaby high school choirs join Amabilis Singers for Christmas

The chamber choirs from Burnaby Central Secondary and St. Thomas More Collegiate will be featured in this weekend's Voces Angelorum.
The Amabilis Singers, seen here in a past concert, will be joined by two Burnaby high school choirs — from Burnaby Central and St. Thomas More — at their Voces Angelorum concert Dec. 9 and 10.

Two Burnaby high school choirs are stepping into the spotlight this weekend as they share the stage with one of Metro Vancouver’s longstanding community choirs.

The Burnaby Central Chamber Choir and the St. Thomas More Collegiate Chamber Singers are special guests for the Amabilis Singers’ Voces Angelorum concert, Dec. 9 and 10 at New Westminster Christian Reformed Church — one of a busy schedule of choral concerts happening around the region this season.

Burnaby Central’s singers, under the direction of Carrie Taylor, perform on Friday night, while the STM ensemble, directed by Johnson Lui, performs on Saturday afternoon. The school choirs will perform their own sets, as well as joining the Amabilis choristers for massed numbers under the direction of Frank Lee, the new artistic director of Amabilis.

“Come listen to the music of angels, love and shimmering starlight,” a post from the choir says. “Our program will feature the rich harmonies of Brian Schmidt’s Lux Aeterna, the gentle sweetness of K. Lee Scott’s A Welsh Lullaby, John Rutter’s Angels’ Carol, Josu Elberdin’s Izar Ederrak (“The Beautiful Star”) sung in Basque, and the stunning Ubi Caritas by the Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo.”

The program will range from traditional to contemporary, from sing-along carols to Ingrid Michaelson and Sara Bareilles’ Winter Song and Sarah McLachlan’s Angel

The Amabilis Singers, now more than 60 members strong, are an auditioned, SATB chorus that began in 1980 as the Douglas College Community Choir and became an independent community choir in 1989.

Lee, the choral director at Carson Graham Secondary School in North Vancouver, took the helm in the fall of 2022. He’s joined by longtime Amabilis pianist Ingrid Verseveldt.

The concert also features guest musicians Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on harp and Elliot Lo on percussion and guitar.

Voces Angelorum: Christmas concert with Amabilis Singers

  • What: Voces Angelorum, a Christmas concert by the Amabilis Singers, with special guests the Burnaby Central Chamber Choir (Friday) and St. Thomas More Collegiate Chamber Singers (Saturday)
  • Where: New Westminster Christian Reformed Church, 8255 13th Ave., Burnaby
  • When: Friday, Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Dec. 10 at 2 p.m.
  • Tickets: $25; free for children under 12. Book through

Follow Julie MacLellan on Twitter @juliemaclellan.
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