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Shaughnessy Heights United Church Sanctuary Choir

Music is integral to the life of the congregation at Shaughnessy Heights United Church, a means of both expressing the faith and experiencing the gift of the Spirit. The Sanctuary Choir provides music for regular Sunday worship (September through June), as well as for special services such as Remembrance Day, Tenebrae, and Lessons and Carols. Over the years, the group has presented its own concerts and has also collaborated in performances of larger works, including the Requiems of Mozart, Fauré and Brahms.

The Shaughnessy Heights Sanctuary Choir is committed to the best of sacred music, presenting works by composers such as Arnesen, Britten, Bruckner, Dove, Duruflé, Esenvalds, Gjeilo, Handel, Haydn, Honegger, Lauridsen, McDowall, Mealor, Messaien, Mozart, Pamintuan, Praulins, Rachmaninoff, Raminsh, Sisask, Stopford, Todd, Whitacre and Willan.

At present the choir consists of 35 singers, 5 of which are paid leads. The defining, galvanizing trait of this group is its deep desire to sing challenging, rewarding sacred music, knowing that all things are possible when we are of one heart, one mind… and a common work ethic.

Our rewards as members of a church choir consist of those exceptional moments of music-making that grace our worship and deepen our spirituality. The sublime beauty and expressiveness of extraordinary sacred music, we believe, can both strengthen our United Church community as well as transcend the boundaries of denomination, drawing us all together in God’s love.

Upcoming Events


7:00pm Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Shaughnessy Heights United Church

  • Music by Arnesen, Dove, Hagenberg and Pamintuan



7:30pm Thursday, April 11, 2019              

Holy Rosary Cathedral

646 Richards St. @ Dunsmuir St., Vancouver

Tenebrae (Latin for “shadows” or “darkness”) is a solemn observance of Jesus’ passion and death which has been practiced by the church since medieval times. Once a service within the monastic community, Tenebrae became an important part of Holy Week for many denominations. Our service this morning marks Jesus’ journey to Golgotha, and allows for extended meditation through scripture, music and silent reflection. We gather here together to enter into the dramatic narrative of Jesus’ betrayal, arrest, and crucifixion, and to reflect on God’s wondrous love.

  • Music by Barnum, Casals, Dove, Duruflé, Jenkins, Luboff, Schlenker and others



Audio Sample: Partial recording of Sanctus (from Missa Brevis) by Jonathan Dove. Used with the kind permission of the composer and Edition Peters.

To learn more about SHUC music programs, contact Music Director Roy Campbell,         

If you wish to audition for the Sanctuary Choir, please contact Dr. Ramona Luengen, 

Past Highlights

December 2018   

Lessons & Carols Service – Shaughnessy Heights United Church                                                                                              Music by: Biebl, Forrest, Honegger, King, Lauridsen, Warland and Woo

November 2018 

Guest Choir: Fall Festival Concert – Cariboo Hill Salvation Army Temple, Burnaby                                                         Music by: Arnesen, Forrest, Hagenberg, Hayes, Parker, Stopford and Todd

July 2016

One of our most memorable highlights, undoubtedly, was our 2016 European tour which saw us singing in both Protestant and Catholic churches, cathedrals and monasteries in Austria, Germany and France. Anyone who has toured with a choir knows that it is an incomparable experience on a personal, social, musical, cultural and spiritual level. We sang in venues whose long history and beauty left us speechless; we learned what it means to know repertoire deeply for having sung it night after night; we made new friends and closer friends, and were recipients of unexpected generous hospitality; we came to realize that sacred music does indeed transcend nationality and denomination, and that our musical offerings were not only appreciated but deeply felt; and, finally, we realized how every moment of a tour abroad was a true gift for a Canadian church choir like ours.

Please click on the photos below to see their captions.

March 2016

Tenebrae Service – Holy Rosary Catholic Cathedral, Vancouver

December 2015                

Lessons & Carols Concert – Shaughnessy Heights United Church

March 2015

Tenebrae Service – Holy Rosary Catholic Cathedral, Vancouver

October, 2014

Thanksgiving Service with Amabilis Singers – Shaughnessy Heights United Church

May 2014  

Concert – Holy Rosary Catholic Cathedral, Vancouver (Recorded live for Gloria CD)                                      Music by: Briggs, Dove, Forrest, Gjeilo, L’Estrange, Luengen, Mulet, Praulins, Stopford and Widor

June 2013 

Tour to Seattle – St. James Catholic Cathedral and St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral

January 2013

Mass – Westminster Abbey, Mission (Ecumenical and musical outreach)

May 2011

Mass – Holy Rosary Cathedral, Vancouver

May 2011

Tour to Seattle – St. James Catholic Cathedral and Plymouth United Church of Christ

October 2010

Fauré Requiem with Phoenix Chamber Choir – Holy Rosary Catholic Cathedral, Vancouver

April 2009 

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem with Amabilis Singers – Shaughnessy Heights United Church

April 2007 

Fauré Requiem with Amabilis Singers – Shaughnessy Heights United Church

April 2007

CD: Music for Holy Week                                                                                                                                                                                 Music by: Bach, Fauré, Handel, Hawley, Lotti, Mozart and Müller

Visual, Film and Performing Arts

In addition to our tradition of music, SHUC intentional small group ministry explores expressions of faith and gifts of Spirit through visual, film and performing arts with special focus on programs for children and youth. Check the Calendar on this website and the weekly church email for updates year-round.

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