Les Petits chanteurs à la Croix de Bois

Les Petits chanteurs à la Croix de Bois. A 100-voice choir of men and boys founded 22 Nov 1933 by Henri Vermandere (Brother Séverin; b Courtrai, Belgium, 17 May 1904) with the assistance of his brother Joseph Vermandere. The choir at first was called the Petits Chanteurs de la Nativité d'Hochelaga, since its rehearsals were held 1933-43 in Hochelaga, a working-class district in Montreal's east end. At the request of Frédéric Pelletier, who wrote to Mgr Fernand Maillet, director of the Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois in Paris, the Montreal choir became affiliated with the latter in 1935 and took the same name as the Paris choir. The first concert took place in Plateau Hall in 1936; at this time the ensemble contained 150 voices. The choir's repertoire of 200 pieces included Gregorian chant, religious works of the 16th century, and secular works. The choir gave more than 300 concerts, appearing in Montreal, Quebec City, Lévis, Valleyfield, Nicolet, and other cities. At Wilfrid Pelletier's invitation it participated in Roger-Ducasse's Sarabande with the CSM in 1937 and was the angels' choir in the 1938 Montreal Festivals production of Parsifal. After a brief interruption in 1943 the choir resumed activities in Ville St-Laurent (Montreal) when Brother Séverin was appointed to the École supérieure Beaudet. He was there 1944-56. Subsequently he continued his work in St-Césaire, Que, with young singers who also took the name Petits Chanteurs à la Croix de Bois. This choir ceased to exist in 1961.