Aiming ever higher
Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges celebrates its 60th anniversary
Temps de lecture :
Par Ginette Brisebois
The Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges (CCVS) has offered a gift concert to fans and the general public at three different venues this autumn to celebrate 60 years of singing pleasure. On November 12 at 2 p.m., the choir will perform at the Saint-Télesphore church. He will also take part in the Galileo show on December 23 at 7:30 p.m. at Sainte-Rose-de-Lima church.
In an interview with Éric St-Pierre, Chairman of the Choeur's Board of Directors, Néomédia found that the Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges is doing very well. "For our 60th anniversary, we wanted to make a gift to the public, the "Best of" of the Choeur, so to speak. You'll be able to hear some of the arias that have made our reputation, from Bach to Queen to Félix Leclerc".
Practice and more practice
The Choir is made up of 55 passionate choristers. "Over the past few years, we've put a lot of emphasis on recruitment, and we welcome five to six choristers a year", adds the president. "Our reputation follows us, he adds, and our choirmaster and artistic director since 2009, Jean-Pascal Hamelin, played a major role in this. He always wants to take us to the next level".
Mr. St-Pierre points out that, "to take part in the Choeur auditions, you need a good voice and, as far as possible, you need to read a bit of music, and not forgetting to practice at home".
"What's more, you need to be present at practice, every Tuesday evening from September to May, and let's add to that 2 or 3 "intensive" rehearsals per session (autumn/spring). They take place on a Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Concert with Galileo on December 23: Haydn's Creation
" For example, our next 'intensive' rehearsal will take place on November 18 at the Maison Tresler, where we will prepare our December concert with the Galileo orchestra," he points out.
"Of the 33 movements of Haydn's 'The Creation', presented by Galileo, the Choir, representing the people, will be heard in 10 movements," says Mr. St-Pierre.
Christmas market in Saint-Lazare
The Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges also invites the public to the Marché de Noël in Saint-Lazare, where it will perform twice with part of the choristers, once at 1 p.m. and again at 3 p.m.
Mr. St-Pierre is also a tenor and chorister in the choir. He is a graduate of the Conservatoire de musique in horn performance, but works in computers, which he has often used to work on the choir's virtual concerts.
During the pandemic, the Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges posted five videos on YouTube, which can still be heard today. Each chorister recorded his or her portion from home, and the whole thing was assembled virtually. A beautiful result.
Mr. St-Pierre confirms that there is room for all choirs in our beautiful region. A case in point is the Choeur en fusion concert presented in 2019 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the merger of the towns of Vaudreuil and Dorion. The latter, still available on YouTube, brought together four choirs from the region: the Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges, the Choeur Chants de coton, the Choeur Esperanto and the Ensemble vocal Les Enchanteurs.
"There's something for everyone and every taste, he says. We're not in competition".
To find out more about the Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges, please visit their website http://choeurcvs.org/, where you'll find the history of the Choeur, full of adventures and letters of nobility. The choir's Facebook page is also available.
A few highlights from its history
Jean-Pascal Hamelin took over the direction of the Chœur in 2009. He has succeeded in constantly raising the Choir's level of expertise, paying particular attention to sound quality and the blending of voices in interpretation.
In May 2016, the CCVS, accompanied by the Orchestre Philharmonia Mundi de Montréal, presented Mozart's Requiem to an audience of over 500 at the Vaudreuil arena:
In fall 2016, CCVS won the Ovation Vaudreuil-Soulanges award for a second time in the Cultural Organizations category, in recognition of its active role and influence in the region's cultural milieu.
In the winter of 2016-2017, the Chœur was selected from nearly 80 choirs across the country as part of Radio-Canada's Chœurs d'Ici, chansons d'ici competition.
The 20 winning ensembles each recorded a French-Canadian work, which appeared on an album launched in May 2017 to mark Canada's 150th anniversary.
In 2017, the Chœur took part in the OSM's Virée classique, winning the Audience Prize in the closing concert under the baton of Kent Nagano.
During the pandemic, the CCVS remained active and, in 2020 and 2021, produced 5 "virtual choir" videos in which each chorister recorded his or her part individually, each at home. These videos totalled several thousand viewers.
Choeur classique Vaudreuil-Soulanges, 2023
Mozart Requiem concert, Vaudreuil arena, May 2016
Maison symphonique, 2017 (winner of the audience prize at the OSM Virée classique choral concert)
"De la musique plein la vue", Centre Multisports André-Chagnon, May 2018
Choir's first concert, October 1963
Opéra-bouffe Barbe-Bleue, 1989