Tyndale University College & Seminary is delighted to bring you the sounds of Christmas! For its 9th year, Christmas in the Chapel presents the Tyndale Community Choir with special guest Laila Biali. Directed by Dr. Melissa Davis, this year’s concert will help you start the Christmas season with traditional favourites and a blend of genres to stir your heart.
This annual benefit concert supports Tyndale’s scholarships and bursaries. With your help, we are preparing students to shine in a world that needs hope. All proceeds from this event’s ticket sales and your gifts will assist Tyndale students.
† Christmas in the Chapel is now SOLD OUT. To be placed on a wait list please email events [at] tyndale [dot] ca giving us your contact information and request details. We will contact you in case tickets do become available.
Laila Biali is one of Canadian jazz’s brightest young stars. She was awarded the SOCAN Composer of the Year and Keyboardist of the Year at Canada’s National Jazz Awards. She has played the world’s most prestigious venues, toured with Grammy award winners and recorded with an international icon (Sting).
Born in Vancouver, Biali began playing piano at a young age, studying classical piano for many years. At the Royal Conservatory of Music she was attracted to jazz. When she was seventeen she attended Humber College in Toronto. Eight years later she released the album, Introducing the Laila Biali Trio.
She moved to New York City and found work as a pianist and vocalist for other musicians. While touring with Paula Cole, she met drummer Ben Wittman whom she later married. In 2009, she sang background vocals for Sting’s DVD, A Winter’s Night: Live from Durham Cathedral. She has also toured with Grammy winners Chris Botti and Suzanne Vega, and has headlined at venues around the world including Carnegie Hall in New York City and Koerner Hall in Toronto.
Her second album, Tracing Light (2010), received a Juno Award nomination. She recorded House of Many Rooms (2014) with strings and the Toronto Mass Choir. For this album, Biali wrote songs and the arrangements. In 2014, she joined the female band Rose & The Nightingale. A few years later she appeared as guest host for Tonic, a jazz program on CBC Radio 2, then became a regular host for Saturday Night Jazz in 2017. Laila released her first album of entirely original music in 2015 entitled House of Many Rooms which was an indie-pop project featuring a chamber orchestra and the Toronto Mass Choir. Her latest project, a self-titled album released earlier this year, debuted at #1 on iTunes Canada and won Biali the top prize for Jazz in this year’s Canadian Songwriting Competition.
As a skilled musician, Mark Kelso plays drums and percussion as well as a sings, produces and composes. He has earned 4 Juno awards as a sideman and was recently nominated for the first time this year as a leader with his own group, the Jazz Exiles. Since 2005, Mark has been head of the percussion department in the prestigious Humber College Music Program. Mark’s ability to play a wide variety of musical styles has helped him become one of Canada’s most sought after drummers.
He has worked/recorded with a wide array of artists including Laila Biali, Michael Bublé, Holly Cole, Herbie Hancock, Donny Osmond, and Olivia Newton John. Mark runs “Groovy Drums Studio” where he records drum tracks for many artists around the world. To date he has played on over 300 recordings and has been a featured clinician/performer at various festivals. In 2016, Mark released his very first instructional DVD, Musician First, Drummer Second to great acclaim. Aside from TV, radio jingles and movie soundtracks, Mark has also been featured in Drums Etc., Canadian Musician and Modern Drummer magazines.
Electric bassist/composer, Rich Brown, has been playing professionally since 1992. He has released 3 albums as a leader and appears on over 70 recordings ranging from Jazz to Funk to traditional Arabic and Asian music. Rich has performed with a wide variety of artists that include Rudresh Mahanthappa, Steve Coleman, Angelique Kidjo, Kurt Elling, Kim Mitchell, James Blood Ulmer, The Parachute Club, Molly Johnson, and David Clayton Thomas. He also leads his own musical groups, rinsethealgorithm and The Abeng. In 2016, Rich was nominated for a Juno Award in the category of Jazz Album of the Year: Solo for his latest album, Abeng.
Tyndale Community Choir
Directed by Dr. Melissa Davis, Assistant Professor of Music and Worship Arts, the Tyndale Community Choir is a multi-generational, multi-cultural, multi-denominational choir, made up of Christian singers throughout the GTA, including Tyndale University's students, staff and faculty.
The Tyndale Band
Toronto musicians Joy Lee, Chris Raaber and Wayne Thompson form the TCC Band. Each expressing unique giftings and a wealth of experience in music ministry, this gifted trio unites with TCC for its second season.
Canadian pianist Joy Lee is a collaborative pianist, teacher, soloist, and scholar. She holds a MMus in solo piano and has worked with many leading pianists. She is currently in the Doctor of Musical Arts program at the University of Toronto, studying with Steven Philcox, Head of the Collaborative Piano Program.
Joy is piano faculty at Tyndale University College and Claude Watson School for the Arts, a pianist for Toronto Children’s Chorus, and a vocal coach at the University of Toronto. She has participated in such festivals as Banff, Orford, and Doamine Forget. As a voice-piano duo, she and soprano Maeve Palmer are the second-prize winners of the 2017 Eckhardt-Gramatté National Music Competition.
Joy is thrilled to be joining the Tyndale Community Choir for its second season, and looks forward to reaching out to the community and sharing beautiful music in ministry.
William Jones is a graduate of Tyndale University College & Seminary (BA English, minor Psychology 2017). During his studies he served as a Worship Intern, and Chapel Coordinator at Tyndale. William currently serves as Worship & Ministry Director at Zion Christian Reformed Church in Oshawa, ON and also is the Worship Team Instructor at Durham Christian High School in Bowmanville, ON. An accomplished pianist for over 18 years, and organist for over a decade, William has accompanied worship gatherings and events in several multi-denominational settings across the GTA. William loves to use his musical gifts to serve the Kingdom and to lead God’s people in worship!
Music at Tyndale
Music is an essential part of Tyndale culture. In addition to participating in Tyndale’s various music ensembles (the Tyndale Community Choir, Tyndale Singers, and Tyndale Band), undergraduate students have the opportunity to earn a BA in Music in either a Performance or Worship Arts stream. Students in other programs may also add a Music and Worship Arts Minor to their studies.
Through this program, students explore their gifting and refine their craft in music performance and leadership, through innovative courses, both individual and group training, mentorship, and performance and ministry opportunities.
Dr. Melissa Davis, Assistant Professor of Music & Worship Arts, brings more than twenty-five years of combined music ministry, performance and instructional leadership experience that spans across Canada as well as the globe.
Join with the Tyndale community in the Dining Hall immediately following the concert for light refreshments.
Special thank you to our generous reception sponsor: