Alfred Mignault

Alfred (Joseph Édouard) Mignault, organist, composer, teacher (born 8 December 1895 in St-Augustin-des-Deux-Montagnes, near Montréal, Québec; died 10 July 1961 in Montréal).

Alfred Mignault

Alfred (Joseph Édouard) Mignault, organist, composer, teacher (born 8 December 1895 in St-Augustin-des-Deux-Montagnes, near Montréal, Québec; died 10 July 1961 in Montréal). He took his first lessons with his mother, an organist and a pupil of R.-O. Pelletier. At the suggestion of his piano teacher Alfred La Liberté, whom he had met in 1916, he left university to devote himself to music. He continued his studies in piano with Léo-Pol Morin and in organ with Eugène Lapierre and Émile Lambert. He was briefly organist at the Montreal churches of St-Alphonse d'Youville, St-Étienne, Ste-Cunégonde, Ste-Catherine, and St-Georges, before serving 1924-57 as organist and 1944-57 as choirmaster at St-Enfant-Jésus Church. In 1937 he began broadcasting as organist and pianist on CBC radio. He was artistic director 1938-40 of 'L'Heure provinciale' on radio station CKAC, succeeding Henri Letondal. He was teacher of solfège and musical dictation 1943-61 at the CMM and director 1944-57 of voice and solfège teaching for the Montreal Catholic School Board.

Mignault composed vocal and instrumental works in his leisure time. He was a self-taught composer, and some of his works were published at his own expense ('Cor Jesu,' 'Ecce fidelis' for choir, 'Souvenez-vous, Vierge Marie' for voice), others by Boucher (Petite Pastorale en ré for organ, 'Homo quidam' and 'O salutaris' for choir, 'Ave Maria' for voice) and Archambault (Je vous salue, Marie'). For cello he wrote a Suite dans le style ancien, and also Berceuse, La Fileuse, Pensée musicale, and Pastourelle, the last four dedicated to his son André.

In 1938 several of Mignault's piano compositions were played by Annette Brunet in a recital at the Gesù Church hall. His Divertissement sur deux thèmes canadiens for piano and orchestra was performed with Brunet as soloist and the composer conducting 2 Oct 1938 on the program 'L'Heure provinciale,' along with his Petite Suite. Mignault's major work, a Messe brève de requiem for four equal voices and organ composed in 1944, was premiered the same year. He later orchestrated it. Mignault also wrote numerous songs, piano pieces, and harmonizations of folksongs.

See also André Mignault (his son).