Charles Écuyer

Charles écuyer (or Ecuier). Priest, choirmaster, composer, baptized Montreal 20 Nov 1758, d Yamachiche, near Trois-Rivières, Lower Canada (Quebec), 29 May 1820. He was ordained in 1783.

Charles Écuyer (or Ecuier). Priest, choirmaster, composer, baptized Montreal 20 Nov 1758, d Yamachiche, near Trois-Rivières, Lower Canada (Quebec), 29 May 1820. He was ordained in 1783. After serving in Montreal, Pointe-Claire, Que, and, for nine years, Repentigny, Que, he was the parish priest at Yamachiche from 1802 until his death. More gifted as a musician than as an orator, according to Caron, 'he preached to his parishioners through the medium of a magnificent choir which he had formed himself'. His compositions included psalms, motets, vespers, and a Magnificat. When Sir George Prevost, commander-in-chief of the British forces during the war of 1812, passed through Yamachiche, Écuyer wrote the song 'Prevost le magnanime'. The melody of a Sanctus was still remembered in 1877 by two surviving choristers, so that Gustave Smith was able to publish it as a duet with organ accompaniment in Le Foyer domestique (May 1877). The Sanctus is one of the oldest Canadian compositions extant.


Further Reading

  • Caron, Abbé N. 'Notes sur Yamachiche,' Foyer Domestique, Apr 1877; also published in his Histoire de la paroisse d'Yamachiche (Trois-Rivières 1892)

    DCB, vol 5