Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Stairwell Interviews - Denyse Mageau, PART 2 - Sacred Music

"Maman" gazing at Ottawa's Notre Dame Cathedral

Singing  the Latin mass at the Ottawa catholic cathedral in the early days of the choir was quite an ordeal, but we pulled it off -- all eight of us singing a capella in front of the congregation!

Singing Latin Mass at Notre Dame de Lourdes,  Ottawa, 1987

At my suggestion, Pierre had accepted to sing at Robert and Racine funeral chapel on Saint Patrick’s street. First, for Madame McNicoll, mother of a friend of mine, then for Pierre Tremblay, editor of the newspaper Le Droit, a friend’s husband.

One of Pierre's haunting warm-up harmonies (normally used at rehearsal) would invite silence and attention without announcing that the choir was to begin. Then, we sang Pierre's a cappella arrangements of Vittoria’s O vos omnes and Pie jesu Domine from Fauré’s Requiem.

We've sung for two memorials at the Beechwood cemetery. A few years ago, we sang  O nuit for Renée Joyal’s (soprano) father. Then, singing for Pierre Chartrand’s sister, Huguette, was also very moving. It was not a mass, but we did sing a Kyrie, and at one point O Jesu Christe. I remember having a blank at the beginning of this one. I thought I was distracted, but joined in and realized we were singing much higher than usual. Luckily, I am at ease in the high notes and I felt the group pulled it off  brilliantly without blinking an eye.

Interpreting a vivid Ding Dong Merrily on High at Paul Churchill's memorial service was also quite moving. He passed away the day after singing with us at Le Mondial in Laval Quebec. Our director, out of town because of family, would have been proud of us to see how professionally we followed Keith Bailey who served as our director.

- Denyse

You can hear  Denyse's voice on our Sacred CD, Cantate Domino.   

 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.


Denyse's Stairwell Interview PART 1

PART 3 -- A Rose by any other name? -- coming soon.

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

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