Damis Paul

Damis Paul. Organist, pianist, choirmaster, violinist, b St-Hyacinthe, Que, 9 Mar 1827, d South Bend, Ind, 13 Dec 1913. He studied at the seminary at Ste-Thérèse, Que, with Father Charles-Joseph Ducharme, at the same time as the organ builders Joseph Casavant and Louis Mitchell. L.

Paul, Damis

Damis Paul. Organist, pianist, choirmaster, violinist, b St-Hyacinthe, Que, 9 Mar 1827, d South Bend, Ind, 13 Dec 1913. He studied at the seminary at Ste-Thérèse, Que, with Father Charles-Joseph Ducharme, at the same time as the organ builders Joseph Casavant and Louis Mitchell. L.-Nazaire LeVasseur relates that he was a violinist 1847-57 with the Quebec Harmonic Society, but it is documented that on 7 Mar 1850 he inaugurated Casavant's fifth organ at Notre-Dame Basilica in Ottawa after helping to build and install it.

Paul was organist 1842-52 at the Montreal Cathedral and 1852-69 at St-Roch Church, Quebec City. His repertoire leaned heavily on transcriptions and paraphrases of opera. Following the restoration by Mitchell of the Elliott organ in the Quebec Basilica, Paul and his son Léopold took part in the inaugural recital, 9 Feb 1864, along with Ernest Gagnon, James Pearce, and Antoine Dessane. Paul became the AMQ's first secretary 7 May 1868, having participated in its foundation a few days earlier.

In the autumn of 1869 Paul settled in the USA, first in New York, and then in South Bend, Ind, where he ended his career as organist-choirmaster at the Church of Notre Dame.

Paul left works for piano, organ, and voice, including Scintillation, a 'grande étude de salon' dedicated to Prince Louis-Napoléon and published in Quebec City, Montreal, and the USA in 1863 (reprinted in CMH, vol 2), Jubilé, a grand march for piano; and a Regina coeli for solo voice and choir.


Further Reading

  • Gagné, Richard. 'Un siècle d'activités musicales à St-Roch de Québec,' musicology thesis, CMQ 1975