School of the Arts, Media + Culture SAMC

Joel Tranquilla, DMA

Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music

  • Biography

    Noted for his versatile musicianship and creative programming,
    Dr. Joel Tranquilla is Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University where he teaches various music courses and administers a choral program of six choirs. Before joining the faculty at TWU, Joel lived and worked in Windsor, Ontario where he served as Chorus Master of the Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Artistic Director of the Windsor Classic Chorale, and conductor of the University of Windsor Women’s Chamber Choir. Under the auspices of these organizations, Joel initiated the Windsor Choral Festival which has brought together hundreds of singers from the choral community of southern Ontario and provided free music workshops in local schools and churches. 

    Joel holds degrees from Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, and Mount Allison University as well as ARCT diplomas from the Royal Conservatory of Music in both piano and voice performance. His research interests include Canadian choral-orchestral repertoire and arts advocacy. He has taught conducting at the undergraduate level at Michigan State University and ear training at Dalhousie University and the University of Windsor. A proud alumnus of the National Youth Choir of Canada (2004 and 2006), Joel was the 2012 National Youth Choir apprentice conductor and the winner of the 2012 Sir Ernest MacMillan Foundation Award in choral conducting. In June 2013 he was named the Emerging Artist of the Year at the Ontario Premier’s Awards for Excellence in the Arts. 

    In 2014 Joel was appointed Associate Conductor of the Canadian Chamber Choir, having previously performed with the ensemble as a singer, pianist, and conductor. Choirs prepared by Tranquilla have appeared under the batons of Robert Franz, Kevin Mallon, John Morris Russell, and Ivars Taurins. Joel is a frequent adjudicator and clinician and was selected as the Guest Conductor of the New Brunswick Youth Choir in 2013 and 2014. He served a term as Vice President of Advocacy of Choral Canada, and he believes strongly in the power of choral singing to build community.

  • Education

    • DMA (Michigan State University, Lansing, MI)
    • MMus (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI)
    • BMus (Mount Allison University, Sackville, NB)
  • Memberships & Affiliations

    • American Choral Directors Association
    • British Columbia Choral Federation
    • Choral Canada (formerly the Association of Canadian Choral Communities)
    • Chorus America
    • International Federation for Choral Music
  • Major Works Conducted

    • Bach, Cantata 106 and Johannes-Passion
    • Bernstein, Missa brevis
    • Bevan, Nou Goth Sonne Under Wode
    • Dett, The Chariot Jubilee
    • Doolittle, Elegy
    • Duruflé, Requiem
    • Elgar, Serenade for Strings
    • Fauré, Requiem
    • Grieg, Four Psalms
    • Handel, Alexander's Feast and Coronation Anthem No. 4
    • Mozart, Vesperae solennes de confessore
    • Purcell, Come, ye sons of art
    • Raminsh, Magnificat
    • Tavener, Svyati
    • Vaughan Williams, Five Mystical Songs
    • Watson Henderson, From Darkness to Light
    • Willan, Apostrophe to the Heavenly Hosts

    Works commissioned

    • Kathleen Allan, TBA (2015)
    • Ben Duinker, “Materia ex nihilo” (2014)
    • Jeff Enns, “O Holy Spirit, Root of Life” (2011)

Department or Program:

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