Our Martin Pasi pipe organ principally leads our singing.

About Music Ministry

Music in service of Worship at West Vancouver United Church celebrates the following (click each item below to read more):
We strive to offer a widely inclusive Christ-centered music programme, dipping into music from past ages, different cultural traditions, and including but not restricting ourselves to modern contemporary Christian repertoire. We seek to both comfort and challenge our congregation, in presenting music that honours our heritage and stimulates our faith into action, underscoring the message that God is accessible to all.
Hymns and choral works are selected to support the Scripture reading of the day. We generally follow the Lectionary, as we are inspired by the completeness of its scope and how it challenges us to present a diversity of themes and wisdom in our preaching and music. We strive to unite Word, sermon and music at every worship service. We view hymnody and choral works as mini-sermons, supporting the Spirit in its work amongst us.

When the Spirit leads or inspires us to respond to the particular needs of our congregation we are happy to diverge from the Lectionary in the presentation of sermon series, in responding to day-to-day events, or in marking significant occasions in the life of our congregation.
Our worship seeks to praise God, and to open up space for God to be present. We aim to create those moments where barriers amongst us can dissolve into moments of sublime beauty, powerful connection, or shared vulnerability. We pray with God’s grace that at least once in the service for each person present, such a moment will be found, whether through spoken, sung or played word, prayer or silence.
We embrace the concept of Large Choir, the congregation, who participate principally through hymnody, and Small Choir, our thirty-voice mix of professional singers and experienced lovers of singing, who participate in the presentation of two to three sacred choral works per service.

The congregation is encouraged, supported and educated in its role as the Large Choir. We have over the last three years sung nearly three hundred different hymns, with music and text from across the centuries.

The Small Choir has sung almost as many choral works with repertoire ranging from chant and Renaissance polyphony through to contemporary Christian and newly commissioned works. Please click here for a list of current repertoire.
Our 31 rank, 2-manual, mechanical action Martin Pasi pipe organ principally leads our singing. We believe that the continuously long-sounding, wind- inspired and variegated sound of the natural organ pipes best accompanies, leads and inspires the breath and sound of the human voice.

We are also blessed with the support of a Bösendorfer grand piano, and frequently use guitar and percussion instruments in accompaniment as well.
Our church is also home to some of the finest choirs and instrumental groups from the North Shore and Greater Vancouver, who love to perform in our space with its fine acoustics and instrumental resources.

Several community choirs regularly rehearse as well as perform at the Church: The Pacific Spirit Children’s Choir, the Pacific Spirit Choir, Pandora’s Vox, Espiritu, [Korean choir]. We are delighted to have these groups participate in our Worship Services from time to time.
Music has always been a valued and well-support component of Worship and Congregational Life at West Vancouver United Church. We have enjoyed the leadership of several of Canada’s finest church musicians including Bruce Johnson, Elinor McLean, Rupert Lang, and our current Minister of Music, Gerald van Wyck, who has been serving the congregation since 1987.

Past soloist/section leaders have included tenors Ben Heppner and Fraser Walters, and numerous other fine singers, conductors and composers who have gone on to significant musical careers. Many of these musicians have been supported through the Dien East Scholarship Programme, which supports the education of post-graduate musicians, who in turn share their talents with the congregation.
You can hear our services live on the web or listen to the services at a later date. Please understand that in order to maximize the clarity of the spoken word, the audio feed is compressed and equalized, resulting in an even-volume sound throughout. If you want to fully experience the passion and intensity of the music, and hear the congregation and choir sing a true fortissimo and pianissimo, please attend live, in person. We would love to welcome you.