Forty Years and Counting
The Pacific Mennonite Children’s Choir was founded in 1978. For over 40 years the choir has exemplified the best in choral tradition, discipline and dedication.
Since our organization’s inception in 1978, we have toured widely performing in Canada, the USA, Austria, Germany, Ukraine, Italy, and Korea. Choir members have and continue to be excellent musical ambassadors for their city, province, and country.
Some highlights include:
Representing Canada at the International Society for Music Education (ISME) in Austria (1986) and Korea (1992)
The 12th Mennonite World Conference in Winnipeg (1990)
Los Angeles, California Tour including singing at Disneyland and the Crystal Cathedral
Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1990 and 2005
Tuscany International Children’s Chorus Festival in Italy (1999).
The World of Children’s Choirs 2001 Festival in Vancouver, British Columbia
Niagara International Music Festival in Ontario (2003)
International Choral Kathaumixw in Powell River, British Columbia in 2000, 2004 & 2018
Christmas at the “Chan Centre” located in Vancouver British Columbia in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011 & 2018
The Riva del Garda International Choir Competition 2006.
Kiev, Ukraine in 2008.
Victoria, British Columbia in 2009.
Seattle, Washington in 2010.
Festival 500 in St. John’s Newfoundland in 2011
Unisong Festival in Ottawa, Ontario in 2014
International Children’s Festival in London & Canterbury UK 2016
International Choral Kathaumixw in Powell River BC 2018
Previous PMCC’s Directors
Nancy Dyck was PMCC’s founding Artistic Director and she served with enormous skill and commitment from 1978 until 2003. Her motivation and vision for launching the PMCC was attributed to her desire to teach, sing and serve. Over the years, many eager singers learned music that represented their heritage of faith, as well as classical and contemporary repertoire. Music was chosen with thought-provoking texts in order that the singers might be inspired by God to live a life worthy of their high calling in Christ Jesus. Nancy’s desire was that God would use her, in any way He chose, to teach singers to be instruments of His peace.
Calvin Dyck was interim Artistic Director for the 2003-04 concert season, and he brought enormous energy, skill and dedication to the task. Music for Calvin is a passion, a profession and a pleasure. He started his musical training on the accordion at age 5. His violin training began when he was 8. Following the completion of his A.R.C.T. in 1981 he went on to study at Biola University and the University of Southern California where, in 1991, he received his Doctorate of Musical Arts in Violin Performance.
Calvin has traveled around the world with various musical ensembles and enjoys a wide variety of engagements, including playing for musicals, weddings, films and recording sessions. Currently, Calvin is the concertmaster for the Vancouver Island Symphony in Nanaimo and director of the Abbotsford Youth Orchestra.
Kimberley and Wes Janzen became artistic directors of PMCC in 2004. At the time Dr. Wes Janzen was also the Director of Choral Activities at Trinity Western University and had been since 1981. Under their direction, the choir continued to focus on musical excellence, faith affirmation, and service to the community.
In 2010 The enduring legacy of PMCC was passed on to sisters Sonja Hindmarsh and Carmen Hollett, the first directors of the choir who are alumni members. They spent many childhood years singing and touring with the choir under founding director Nancy Dyck.
Sonja graduated from Biola University in Southern California with a Bachelor of Music Degree in Violin Performance. Sonjaʼs formative years were spent in violin studies with Dr. Calvin Dyck, piano with Dr. Betty Suderman and voice lessons with Melanie Krueger and Gail Suderman.
Carmen Hollett is currently a faculty member at Trinity Western University working with the TWU choirs. She holds a BA (Music) from TWU, an ARCT diploma in piano performance, and a degree in Choral Conducting (MMus) from California State University. Carmen is also a Mom to four little kids who keep her very busy and she daily tries to find a balance between her family and musical endeavors.
When Betty-Ann was a teenager she met a children’s choir director and thought, “I want to be just like her when I grow up.” Little did she know that one day her dream would come true! She spent most of her life practicing the piano, earning a degree in piano performance from Trinity Western University, but after graduation found herself directing choirs wherever she went. The beauty of voices singing together brings her continual joy, both in rehearsal and in performance, and she loves pushing herself and her singers to greater levels of musical excellence, for the glory of God. Betty-Ann who also has her ARCT diploma from the Royal Conservatory of Music was artistic director from 2014-2021. Betty-Ann currently works as the music director at Christ Covenant Church in Langley, BC. She lives in Abbotsford with her husband, Mitch, and her daughter, Susie, where she gardens all summer and knits all winter.