Union musicale de Sherbrooke

Union musicale de Sherbrooke. Cultural society active 1892-6 and reconstituted in December 1921.

Union musicale de Sherbrooke

Union musicale de Sherbrooke. Cultural society active 1892-6 and reconstituted in December 1921. It contributed to the musical life of the Eastern Townships, where it introduced public teaching of solfège, encouraged choral singing, and organized local performances of operas and operettas in concert form. Its principal conductors were Oscar Cartier (Gounod's Faust 1922 and Lalo's Le Roi d'Ys 1924), Léonidas Bachand (Gounod's Mireille 1926, Roméo et Juliette 1927, and Thomas's Mignon 1928), and Charles Delvenne, the cellist and the director of the Sherbrooke Concert Band (Lehár's The Count of Luxembourg 1929, Oscar Straus' The Last Waltz and Offenbach's Le Mariage aux lanternes 1930, Bizet's Carmen 1931, Hahn's Ciboulette 1932, and Thomas's Le Caïd 1933). Adrien Leblanc conducted Massenet's oratorio Marie-Magdeleine in 1946 with piano accompaniment, for the society's 25th anniversary.

After 1945 the Union musicale's large-scale musical activities were reduced and taken over by the newly formed Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra. It nevertheless continued its literary evenings in affiliation with the Alliance française and other cultural groups, and occasionally presented solo artists in recital.

The pianist Joséphine Doherty (Mme Louis-Édouard Codère), who studied in Montreal with Dominique Ducharme, was active in the society as early as 1892, and was its president 1924-54. She was succeeded 1954-61 by Mrs Fred H. Bradley, who helped found the Sherbrooke Symphony Concerts in 1946. The Union musicale ceased its activities after 1961.

Among those who gave recitals for the society and became honorary members were Théodore Botrel and Jean Riddez in 1922, Edmond Clément and the tenor Rodolphe Plamondon in 1924 (the last three from the Paris Opera, the bass Ulysse Paquin in 1924, Eugène Lapierre and Salvator Issaurel in 1932, and Sylvio Lacharité in 1946. An archival collection is held at the Société d'histoire of Sherbrooke.


Further Reading

  • 'L'Union musicale de Sherbrooke,' P-T, Jan-Feb 1949

    Union musicale de Sherbrooke: 40e anniversaire (Sherbrooke 1961)

    Désilets, Andrée, ed. La Vie musicale à Sherbrooke 1820-1989 (Sherbrooke 1989)