October 15 2022

Meet the composers from Light of Humanity!

Read below to learn about many of the composers coming up at Light of Humanity, the first concert in our 2022-23 season. Tickets are on sale, click here to purchase now!
Dr. Tracy Wong hails from Malaysia and is a choral conductor, music educator, composer, vocalist, and pianist. Dr. Wong is passionate about helping choral educators to provide unique experiences for their students through collaborative commissions, customized workshops, festivals, and artist residencies. She had conducted workshops for choirs in North America and internationally.
The newest baritone in the choir, Hussein Janmohamed is a singer, composer and musical educationist passionate about choral music. A South Asian Ismaili Muslim, born in Kenya, raised in Central Alberta and nurtured in British Columbia, music was the inspiration for him to transform negativity through racism and discrimination into something more positive. Singing with others was the bridge between choral music in school and congregational recitation in the prayer hall allowing Hussein to reconcile his Canadian and Muslim identities. Knowing first hand the power of group singing, Hussein is dedicated to making it possible for young people of all backgrounds to access and enjoy the benefits of creating and singing choral music of the highest level while contributing their strengths and diversities to a plural Canada.
Russell Wallace is an award-winning composer, producer and traditional singer from the Lil’wat Nation. His music can be heard on soundtracks for film, television and theatre/dance productions across Canada and the U.S. Wallace is one of the founding members of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast and is an alumnus of the UBC Creative Writing program. Wallace has written poetry, short fiction, theatre, and music theatre. Wallace was the artist in residence at the Vancouver International Jazz Festival in 2019, a guest programmer for Word Vancouver and was the artistic director for the Aboriginal Electronic Music Festival for a number of years. In addition, Russell will be performing with us at our concert on October 22nd!
A native of Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Craig Galbraith is one of Canada’s exciting young composers. He has won awards including the Karen Keiser Prize in Canadian New Music and first prize in SOCAN’s Hugh Le Caine Award, for an electroacoustic work, Silhouette. He was also a prize winner in CBC’s National Competition for Young Composers, and received its People’s Choice award. He performs frequently as a tenor with various choral ensembles, and sat on the Artistic Directorship of the Canadian Contemporary Music Workshop (CCMW) from 2004-2012, an entity dedicated to promoting emerging composers. Galbraith’s music has been performed by many distinguished artists and has been broadcast frequently on CBC radio. He has received numerous prestigious commissions, including those for Soundstreams, the Elmer Iseler Singers and Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, the Gryphon Trio, musica intima, and Tapestry New Opera Works. In 2012, Mr. Galbraith received his doctorate in composition from the University of Toronto, and now lives in Vancouver. As VCS Composer in Residence, we are excited to premiere his piece Lux Humanitas, which in English translates to Light of Humanity.
Shireen Abu Khader is a Palestinian Jordanian artist, composer and educator living in Toronto, Canada. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Oberlin College Conservatory in 1994 and a Master’s degree in Choral Music from the University of Southern California in 1998, Shireen’s musical odyssey drew her to Palestine to teach music for several years. She earned her PhD Music Education from the University of Toronto in 2019.
A long time bass in the choir, Larry Nickel is a Canadian composer, conductor, music publisher and singer who devotes much of his focus to choral music. He is an associate composer of the Canadian Music Centre, and has composed for a wide spectrum of genres; electronic and computer music, string quartet, woodwind and brass quintet, Symphony Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and choral ensembles, including both secular and ecclesiastical music. Primarily, he has written and arranged hundreds of compositions for choirs.