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Brandon University professor wins National Choral Award

By: Brayden Hnatiuk
Posted: May 22, 2020 12:24

The award recognizes a book, collection or printed resource that provides a contribution to the choral community

Image: courtesy Brandon University

Brandon University School of Music professor Dr. AndrĂ©e Dagenais has been recognized with a National Choral Award. 

Dr. Dagenais' critical edition of Pierre Robert, Motets pour la Chapelle du roy, vol. 1, was chosen as the Outstanding Choral Publication by Choral Canada, which presents its national awards every two years.

The Choral Canada Award for Outstanding Choral Publication recognizes a book, collection or printed resource that provides a significant contribution to the choral community. Awards are based not only on the scope and depth of the publication but also on the writing style and quality of its presentation. 

Published by France's prestigious Centre de Music Baroque de Versailles, it is the first of five volumes that restore the full scores of Robert's collection of 24 Motets pour la Chapelle du roy. This volume comprises a critical introduction to first five motets as well as to the entire collection. A 17th century composer in the court of Louis XIV, Robert is remembered for his grand motets. This type of choral work, accompanied by a five-part string orchestra, is an emblematic type of sacred music prevalent in the French Baroque period.

The announcement was made this week on CBC Music, with the presenter lauding the "exceptional authority and quality" of Dr. Dagenais' publication, stating that "the jury was struck by how she combined meticulous editing skills and comprehensive understanding of performance practice."

An Associate Professor in the School of Music, Dr. Dagenais conducts the BU Chorale, the BU Concert Choir, and teaches courses in conducting and choral music Education.

"To have my edition published by the Centre de Music Baroque de Versailles was very rewarding," says Dr. Dagenais. "To later learn that it had been nominated and then chosen to receive a National Choral Award was unexpected, and I see with this award a wonderful opportunity to disseminate the work of this lesser known French Baroque composer and to increase the canon of this genre."

The critical edition is reflective of a longtime commitment to research by Dr. Dagenais, who is considered North America's foremost expert on the music of Robert.


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