A Sneak Peek at Christmas in the Chapel

By Tyndale Communications  /  Friday, November 13, 2020

Tyndale Community Choir and Tyndale Singers with Melissa Davis

Start the Christmas season with an evening of uplifting worship, heartfelt stories, and special performances as we celebrate the birth of our Saviour. On Saturday, Dec. 5, 2020, tune in to Christmas in the Chapel, Tyndale University’s free, virtual Christmas concert from 7:00 - 8:30 p.m.

To find out what audiences can expect this year, we spoke with Tuuli Hannula, Tyndale’s Director of External Relations in this socially-distant, behind-the-scenes interview.

What’s it like planning an event like this?

Events like this are such a thrill to organize! It’s a blessing to see Tyndale’s talented students share their gifts on a big scale and see the Tyndale Community Choir continue to grow, all under the direction of Dr. Melissa Davis, Tyndale’s Director of the Music & Worship Arts Department. Then to have world-recognized guest artists inspire students and the audience, and see the support of the Tyndale community come together is truly extraordinary. Together, we see God’s people doing amazing things!

This annual concert usually has an army of behind-the-scenes, talented Tyndale staff members coordinating the event months in advance. The same can be said this year, though organizing and filming a 90-minute concert has its own unique challenges! The External Relations Department works closely with Dr. Davis on creative direction, while she works closely with the TCC and students for months of preparation, and Tyndale’s Marketing Department is essential in bringing so much of this to life – especially this year with everything being online. This year we also had the unique opportunity to work with a few video producers to bring hundreds of video clips together into each choir song. It has been quite the exciting challenge for us all!

What’s special about this year’s Christmas in the Chapel?

You can bring your whole family together to enjoy Tyndale’s 10th annual Christmas concert from the comfort of your home. It’s free, live-streamed and will feature Tyndale’s talented music program students and special guests.

With all the challenges that this global health situation has brought our community, an evening of uplifting and encouraging music and words is something we could all use, and we look forward to celebrating Christmas together as current students, alumni, and all friends of Tyndale.

We also want to thank La-Z-Boy Furniture Galleries for sponsoring this concert for the 10th year in a row. We are so grateful! Their support means every donation received goes directly to supporting students through bursaries and scholarships. 

What can we expect during the concert?

The concert will open with a greeting by Dr. Marjory Kerr, President and Vice Chancellor. This year’s theme is Peace, Hope, and Joy. The program will include musical performances by the Tyndale Community Choir, Tyndale singers and students, and two special guest artists. You can also expect to hear testimonies and encouraging words from Tyndale students throughout the program.

Tell us more about the guest artists.

We are honoured to have Robert Pilon and Laila Biali join us this year. They are popular guest artists we have had in the past and each bring a distinctive musical style.

Robert joined us in 2015 during Tyndale’s first year on our new campus and is renowned for many musical collaborations over the years on screen and stage, including his lead theatrical roles on Canadian stage as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables and the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, and his own tailored show, Robert Pilon & Friends that has toured around the world.

Laila Biali first joined us in 2018 as our first jazz artist. Only a few months later, she was awarded the 2019 JUNO for “Vocal Jazz Album of the Year.” The year before that, she was awarded top prize at the Canadian Songwriting Competition in the Jazz category. And since 2017, Laila has been host of CBC Radio’s Saturday Night Jazz.

Sounds amazing! This year’s event is free, but previous concerts raised funds for Tyndale scholarships and bursaries. Do students still need help?

Absolutely. Many Tyndale students need financial assistance each year, and due to the impact of COVID-19, many have had a more difficult time finding ways to pay for their education. We are seeing greater levels of stress in students than ever before. We hope that funds raised through this concert can help ease the financial burden so students can pursue the calling God has on their lives.

Can people still support Tyndale students?

Yes! Every gift makes a big difference in the life of a Tyndale student. You can make a gift online at www.tyndale.ca/give/christmas.

Thank you.

To find out more about Christmas in the Chapel, visit tyndale.ca/Christmas. Don’t forget to mark Dec. 5 on your calendar!