Willan West 2018


San Diego based conductor, keyboardist, and musicologist Dr. Ruben Valenzuela (www.rubenvalenzuela.org) has long been keenly passionate about the Anglo-Canadian composer Healey Willan (1880-1968). 2018 will mark the fiftieth anniversary of the death of Healey Willan, which will offer a unique opportunity to study and perform his music. Newly formed San Diego-based WILLAN WEST is a year-long Southern California celebration of Willan’s life and music that is being organized by Ruben Valenzuela and Angel Mannion (www.angelmannion.com).

This will truly be a labour of love for those directly involved in its planning and execution.  Though portions of Willan's music are well-known, especially in church music circles, much of the repertoire he composed for St Mary Magdalene between 1921-1950 remains relatively unknown to most choral musicians. Additionally, 2018 will be the last major Willan anniversary where persons directly associated with Willan are still living and available to offer first-hand information about Willan's life and music. This is an extraordinary opportunity in 2018!  

Willan West will offer regular performances of Willan's music, with an emphasis on the choral music written for the Church of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto, where Willan served a remarkable tenure as its Precentor (Music Director and Organist) from 1921-1968.  Additionally, selected events will be preceded by symposia on topics related to Willan and related subjects. The majority of these events will be held at All Saints' Episcopal Church (Hillcrest, San Diego), with a few also held at All Souls' Episcopal Church (Point Loma, San Diego).  

In order to perform these works in liturgical and concert settings, Willan West is forming a chamber choir (The Willan Collective) from a roster of professional singers in the San Diego and wider Southern California region which will be under the direction of Ruben Valenzuela, Angel Mannion, Stephen Sturk, and others. While many of the singers are professional choral musicians who accept well-paying engagements locally and elsewhere, we are asking them to accept a modest honorarium for each event to make this project a reality. There are approximately 14 projects planned requiring choral singers, with each project costing anywhere from $800-$1,200. Therefore, this campaign is aiming to raise $5,000 (a 1/3 of the total cost of the project) to cover the costs of the Willan Collective.

For each Mass and Evensong and Benediction, the Willan Collective will be divided into 2 choirs: Gallery Choir and Ritual Choir, in keeping with the choral tradition established by Willan at St. Mary Magdalene. The Gallery Choir of 12 singers will sing the polyphonic repertoire from the West end of the church, whereas the Ritual Choir of 4 singers will sing the Gregorian Propers and Antiphons from the chancel at the East end of the church. 

Over the course of a year Willan West will perform Willan's 14 Missa Breves, his lesser known Motets (ex: I beheld her beautiful as a dove, Who is she that ascendeth, Look down, O Lord, O King to whom all things do live, &c.), Tenebrae Responsories, Reproaches, Fauxbourdon canticles, hymns, and more! 

For full schedule: www.willanwest.org
January – November 2018

Our first event begins is scheduled for late January. Therefore, we need your help today! This exciting and unique project will only be possible with the help of generous support from friends like you who are not ony passionate about choral music, but in particular Willan's music.

We invite you to consider financially supporting our efforts to support the work of Willan West. Any amount is greatly appreciated...participation is the key! We thank you in advance for your generosity. 


Dr. Ruben Valenzuela, Artistic Director
Mr. Angel Mannion, Co-Artistic Director

Mary Willan Mason (daughter of Healey Willan)
Albert Mahon (Assistant to Healey Willan, 1948-1968) 

Andrew Adair
• Director of Music, St Mary Magdalene, Toronto
Stephanie Martin
• Canadian Composer and Conductor 
(former Director of Music, St Mary Magdalene, Toronto)
 Fr. Scott A. Haynes, SJC
• Trustee, Healey Willan Society, Chicago
The Reverend Joseph Dirbas
• Rector, All Souls' Episcopal Church, San Diego
Dr. Stephen Sturk
• American Composer and Conductor
Nathan Costa
• Director of Music, St Bartholomew's Church, Poway
Dr. Anne-Marie Dicce
• Professional soprano and music educator
Holly Teetzel
• Volunteer coordinator
  • Anonymous 
    • $800 
    • 33 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $1,000 
    • 34 mos
  • Gaye Macy 
    • $5 
    • 35 mos
  • Gaye Macy 
    • $100 
    • 35 mos
  • Gary Payne 
    • $1,000 
    • 37 mos
See all


Ruben Valenzuela 
San Diego, CA
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