Saturday, February 18, 2017

The Stairwell Interviews - Denyse Mageau -- Part 3 - a Rose by any other name?

The Stairwell Carollers have always been bilingual.  

We'd chosen an alternate French name,"L'ensemble vocal des quatre vents", but had to let it go as the meaning was too different. About 15 years ago I had a phone call from the reputed Lanaudieres Festival in Québec asking me  if our group still existed. I answered yes, but under the name Stairwell Carollers.  Nothing came of it.

 Here are the notes I  used as MC with Michael Oullette at a  Concert at a community center -

L’ensemble vocal des Quatre vents a vu le jour en 1978 sous le nom de Stairwell Carollers. Pierre Massie alors étudiant en musique à l’Université d’Ottawa avait rassemblé quelques amis pour égayer les puits d’escalier des résidences pendant le temps des examens de Noël. Cet élan initial culmina quelques années plus tard dans le lancement d’un disque en 1986 grâce à l’encouragement de Gord Atkinson de CFMO.
Stairwell Carollers 1986 vinyl record for Ronald McDonald House

Mais les Carollers étant essentiellement des chanteurs errants, le groupe a évolué.

À la manière des ménestrels, il a voulu chanter la vie, la joie, l’amour durant les quatre saisons de l’année. Son répertoire s’étend donc aux quatre coins du monde. Folklore de divers pays, madrigaux de la Renaissance, musique des grands maîtres, voilà ce que nous aimons chanter sans accompagnement.

Mesdames et messieurs, l’ensemble vocal des quatre vents.

Le ronron de Mélodie, children's book by Denyse Mageau

Another interesting experience I had was being the narrator for my story Le ronron de Mélodie (later published at Vermillon) with children from l’école Cadieux having integrated the choir in my story.

Stairwell Carollers do an outdoor concert in Montebello

Let us not forget the Petite Nation’s tour with a full house for both the concert in Chénéville and the Sunday mass at Ripon. the audience was so enthusiastic, they were on their feet singing “Bravo” after the first song. 

They loved us and we loved them and gave our best. At the church, the mass was advertised as a “Messe concert” Before the ceremony, we sang a few songs, including the 8 parts Pater Noster from Handel, thinking it was too long to sing it during the mass. 

Waiting for the Sunday Mass to begin at Ripon

Well, the priest nodded to us and we sang it a second time before the Agnus Dei. 
Too bad it was not recorded at that time.

Stairwell Carollers sing for Facette Reunion
Then, a few years later, we sang at Facette and met some of Pierre Massie’s relatives that he had not ( or never) seen in years. This made possible by the initiative of Marie-Josée bourgeois of the Melomanes who enjoys doing genealogy research.
The Massie's of Facette, PQ.

I could go on and on but after musing on our past, I come to the conclusion that our choir excels in sacred music.

- Denyse Mageau

You can hear  Denyse's voice on all of our CDs.    
Listen to excerpts of  CANTATE DOMINO - a selection of Renaissance Sacred choral pieces.   Order Cantate Domino

Cantate Domino is dedicated to the memory of Paul Churchill, Tenor, whose voice and heart will be forever remembered.

If you live in the Ottawa area, you can purchase our CDs directly from choir members. 

You can also buy them at Ottawa area stores, online, or at our live concerts.


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You can also email your questions to me - info (at) stairwellcarollers (dot) com.
Holly :)

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