Circa 1920. Photograph by Société d'histoire Mouillepied — Fonds Société chorale de Saint-Lambert.

Choir

Our History

A CENTURY OF HISTORY: 1919-2019

1919

Founded in 1919, the St. Lambert Choral Society has its roots in a predominantly anglophone community (62%) which included almost 4000 souls… and many music lovers!

Already in the 1890s, several groups offered concerts and services, sometimes for pleasure, sometimes to help the poor or finance the construction of churches in this growing municipality. It is from this matrix that our institution, now a century old, has emerged today.

In 1919, Saint-Lambert was a residential suburb with mainly white-collar and specialist workers, enthusiasts for regattas, bowling and gardening, as Saint-Lambert also boasts the oldest horticultural society still active in Québec!

The era of operettas: 1919 to 1965

Responding to the tastes of the public at the time, the St. Lambert Choral Society – then known as the St. Lambert Amateur Operatic Society – initially presented operettas and comic operas from the English duo Gilbert & Sullivan, with one production per year. Some of the elaborate sets and sumptuous costumes will even be shown in Montréal, at the Théâtre Saint-Denis and the Chalet de la Montagne in the Mont-Royal Park.

When the costs of producing such performances explode in the mid-1960s, the institution must reconsider its focus.

A necessary shift and a change of name

The Society now makes a shift in its repertoire and turns towards sacred choral works, masses, oratorios, Baroque music, classical music, extracts from operas and songs from various cultures around the world.

This turns out to be a wise choice that assures its survival and current success.

In 1971, the name St. Lambert Choral Society is adopted, and a bilingual status is formalised in 1991, with the group becoming La Société chorale de Saint-Lambert / St. Lambert Choral Society.

The repertoire is enriched under the direction of David Christiani, in his position for 35 years (from 1979 to 2015), then under the leadership of  Xavier Brossard-Ménard, who has led the choir from 2015 to 2022. 

David Christiani, Conductor Emeritus and Xavier Brossard-Ménard. Photograph ©Maxence Bilodeau 2019

2019

The population of Saint-Lambert has quadrupled in the last century, and now stands at almost 22,000 people. It is now 79% francophone.

Cultural offerings have multiplied, and music is now accessible 24 hours per day, on all platforms.

The St. Lambert Choral Society also contributes to this exciting music scene by presenting high-quality productions in front of large audiences. Its two annual concerts are usually sold out. Our mixed, bilingual choir currently has about fifty choristers.

Pictures of us over the years

Our new artistic director

Gabrielle Gaudreault is the new choir director and artistic director of the SLCS.

Nineteenth in this position and the first woman to conduct our choir since its founding in 1919, Gabrielle holds a PhD in Choral Conducting from McGill University (2020).

Young and very talented, Gabrielle was included in the 2021 CBC list of the most promising classical musicians under the age of 30 in Canada. Her university research focused on the choral works of 20th century Québec composers.

Originally from Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville, our new conductor grew up in a family of particularly gifted musicians. Passionate about choral singing since her studies at Vanier College, and a fine teacher, she has worked with several children’s choirs, amateur choirs and professional choirs.

Gabrielle was deputy conductor for maestro Kent Nagano at the Staatsoper Hamburg (2020), deputy conductor of the National Children’s Chorus in Washington, D.C., and artistic director of the South Shore Children’s Choir in St-Lambert (2017-2020).

She has also worked with us on several occasions, as accompanying pianist or substitute conductor (2017-2019). We have always appreciated her sensitivity, as well as her great musical and pedagogical skills.

This year, Gabrielle has also taken on the artistic direction of another large choir, the Ottawa Choral Society, as well as directing the Schulich Singers and the University Chorus of McGill’s Schulich School of Music.

Gabrielle Gaudreault, cheffe de choeur
Gabrielle Gaudreault - Photograph by ©Maxence Bilodeau 2023

Our choristers

The St. Lambert Choral Society includes about fifty choristers coming from St. Lambert, from several surrounding towns in the Montérégie region, and from Montréal.

Our rehearsals take place every Tuesday from 7:00pm to 10:00pm in the Multifunctional Centre, 81 rue Hooper, in St. Lambert.

Who they are

Sopranos 1
Betty-Jo Christiani
Fiona Darbyshire  
Nikki Di Milo
Katherine Ferguson
Marissa Halil
Louise Rousseau
Sophie Valentin
Ashley Bash Walker

Sopranos 2
Sylvie Barthez
Carole Berthiaume
Odette Chabot 
Marie-Josée Chapdelaine
Josée Fabien
Monika Friedberg
Isabelle Gélinas
France Mailloux
Laura Prince
Guylaine Saint-Pierre
Maria Tacu

Altos 1
Lucie Allyson
Elizabeth Bourdon
Adeline Chrétien
Johanne Gervais
Jennifer Martin
Flavie Paquin
Monique Paré
Ginette Richard
Louise Roy

Altos 2
Geneviève Biraben
Emily Fleming
Claudine Genest
Mariya Lahbat
Danielle Matteau
Deborah Metchette
Louise Paré

 

 

Tenors
Karole Arsenault
Diane Chevrier
Eugène Delage
Charles Deragon
Luc Lavoie
Michel Raymond 
Nathalie Richer

Bass-Baritones
Mario C Charest 
Louis Ducharme
Xavier Fugère
Jerry Gamache
Michel Girard
Jean-Jacques Grill
Ernst Jouthe
Alexandre Noël
Robert Lepage 
Jakub Sawicki

 

 

Photograph by ©Maxence Bilodeau 2023

Benjamin Kwong: our rehearsal pianist

Benjamin Kwong is a Montreal-based pianist, coach, and music director. Having completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at McGill University in piano performance, he now works as a vocal, instrumental and choral pianist, and chamber musician. He is the choral pianist for the St. Lambert Choral Society since 2014.

Photograph by ©Maxence Bilodeau 2023

The Board of Directors

The SLCS is an incorporated, not-for-profit organization governed by an all-volunteer board of directors.

President: Jean-Jacques Grill
Vice-President: France Mailloux
Treasurer: Marissa Halil
Secretary: Flavie Paquin
Directors:  Marie-Josée Chapdelaine, Mario C CHarest, Charles Deragon and Jakub Sawicki.

Our revenues come from diverse sources, and all fundraising activities are used uniquely for paying our expenses related to the production of our concerts.

  • Annual dues from choristers
  • Sale of individual tickets
  • Grants, sponsorship and advertisements
  • Corporate and private donations

The SLCS provides official income tax receipts for each deductible part.

To communicate with one of the members of the board of directors, please send an email to the address below:

[email protected]

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Auditions and Rehearsals

Next auditions : September 2024

The St. Lambert Choral Society is always looking for choristers for all sections. Do you have choral singing experience and a basic, intermediate or advanced level of musical training? Do you have a good musical ear, would you like to perform great tunes from the repertoire with a dynamic and inspiring conductor? Then this choir is definitely for you. 

To audition, please fill out the following form:

Contact
[email protected]
514-953-0293

REHEARSALS
Every Tuesday from 7:00 pm to 9:45 pm at Centre multifonctionnel HOOPER
(81 Av. Hooper, Saint-Lambert, QC)

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