Chorale Saint-Jean

Chorale Saint Jean of Campus Saint Jean of the University of Alberta since its creation has grown to become the most respected and most active choir in Western Canada. The choir has as primary goal to celebrate and preserve the cultural and linguistic heritage of the francophone community. The choir is made of students and members of the francophone community of Alberta. Managed by Laurier Fagnan, a highly respected music teacher, the choir is renowned all over Canada for its beautiful sounds, its passionate interpretations, its musicality, and the extraordinary live in their voices.

The choir sings in many languages, and it has a collection of classical music with orchestra, acapella songs, spirituals, and folklores. The choir has commissioned twenty five original songs, four records in the market, and has other productions in plan.

The choir has great achievements among which, a ten day stay in Quebec in 2005 during which the choristers sang in front of an audience of 10 000 Quebeckers. During the 2007 spring, the choir interpreted "Elles s'appelaient Marie: grande suite pour choeur" composed by France Levasseur-Ouimet specially for the choir. This great piece was given a special award during the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the city of Quebec in 2008. For this special event, the choristers of Chorale Saint Jean sang with 1400 choristers who came together to mark this unique celebration during a gala concert at Colisée de Québec. The conductor of Chorale Saint Jean, Laurier Fagnan, had the honor to be among the six conductors (the only one who was not from Québec) chosen to direct this mega choir. In July 2011 the choir made a tour in France to celebrate and showcase the franco Albertan rich musical and cultural heritage; the choir performed in Lyon and many other cities in France.

Chorale Saint Jean has won the "Prix Eugène-Trottier" and the "Prix impact" awards of the Association canadienne-française of Alberta. In 2008, the National Film Board produced a documentary on the choir. In this documentary titled ` « Le choeur d'une culture » the producer showcases Chorale Saint-Jean as the driving force behind the unique and rich culture of Canadian francophones out of Québec.

In 2011, the choir was awarded the Prix de distinction from the Hall of Fame of the City of Edmonton. This reward was to acknowledge the exceptional contribution made by the choir to the artistic and cultural life of the capital of Alberta. In July 2012, the choir hosted the Choralies Internationales Edmonton 2012; this festival brought together hundreds of choirs and conductors of the francophone world to Edmonton. This is the twentieth season of the choir under the direction of Laurier Fagnan.


Portrait of Laurier


Laurier Fagnan (director)
Laurier Fagnan is a holder of a Master`s degree in voice teaching from the University of Laval and a Doctorate degree in chorale directing from the U of A/IRCAM, Paris. Professeur Fagnan is in charge of the music programme of Campus Saint Jean, and he has been the choir director of Chorale Saint Jean since 1995. His current and innovative area of research, vocals acoustics, has been subject of a lot of interest. As such he was invited as guest speaker to international symposiums in Stockholm, Paris and Maimi. He has also offered workshops on vocal techniques to choirs all over Canada. His thesis, The Acoustical Effects of the Core Principles of the Bel Canto Method on Choral Singing, was awarded national prizes in Canada and the United States of America. Thanks to the generous funding of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, Mr. Fagnan in 2006 started the first vocal acoustic laboratory in Canada at Campus Saint Jean. In July 2008, he was honoured to direct a choir of 1400 voices during the gala concert marking the 400th anniversary of Quebec City. He is often requested as trainer at the Symposiums for choir directors of Québec. In 2009-2010 he had the privilege to share his research work at the international choral singing festival, Festival 500 as well as at the general assembly of the Federation of Choirs of Europe in Sofia, Bulgaria. In July 2012, he was the artistic director of Choralies Internationale 2012, a festival that brings together francophone choirs from all over the world. Laurier just lunched his new DVD on vocal techniques for choirs and in summer 2013, he trained choristers for two festivals, namely Choralies International at Vaison-la-Romaine in France and Domaine Forget in Québec. Since 1995, he is director of Chorale Saint Jean.

Portrait of Catherine


Catherine Kubash (Assistant director)
Catherine Kubash enjoys the artistic and cultural scene of Edmonton. Having been singer in many local choirs, she was on international stage in Vienne, Boston, Toronto, Montréal, Budapest, and in Pretoria. Catherine obtained her Bachelor's degree with distinction from the university of Alberta, a diploma with honors from the International Insititut of Music of Kecskemét in Hungary, and a Bachelors in Education form Campus Saint Jean. Currently she sings with Pro Coro Canada, one of six professional choirs in Canada. She studied singing with Eva Bostrand from Edmonton, Martin Elliot from England and János Klézli of Hungary.

Portrait of Dessislava


Dessislava Gavrailova (accompanist)
After obtaining a Master's degree in Music from the Music Academy of the state of Bulgaria, Madam Gavrailova continued her post-secondary studies in France at the Université François Rabelais de Tours where she was accompanist for many choirs and Opera singers. With fifteen years' experience as a piano teacher, she is also very knowledgeable about choir directing. Mrs Gavrailova took part in many international competitions as either choir director or accompanist (notably in France, in Sweden, and in Bulgaria). Most of her students have successfully pursued their musical studies in renowned European universities. Furthermore, Mrs. Gavrailova spent two years in China where she gave professional development courses to piano teachers, and she also gave a preparatory course for the national exams of the Conservatory of the State of Beijing where she facilitated several workshops on choral singing. Finally, Mrs. Gavrailova has been sharing her incredible talent with the Alberta community for five years now. She is the co-founder of the Strathcona Conservatory of Music, and she is the accompanist for singing lessons at Campus Saint-Jean.