Erica Phare-Bergh

 

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Le bas de Noël   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh, text by Mary Travers known as “La Bolduc”     


SSA with piano  -  $2.50    CP 1433
    (listen here and view the score)  duration - 3:20

Remove stockings from the mantel when the fireplace is in use!

Often considered to be Quebec’s first singer-songwriter, Mary Travers (known as “La Bolduc”) hit the peak of her career in the 1930s. She popularized the well-known turlutte (French Canadian mouth music) that is now synonymous with Québecois folk song. She wrote mainly political and satirical songs, but also a number of New Year’s songs, although this particular one is a Christmas song. Le bas de Noël, depicts the antics of a family as they meet to celebrate Christmas together. La Bolduc’s tongue-in-cheek tone is found even here in her non-political song.


This piece was premiered in 2007 as a commission by the CBC and was directed by Zimfira Poloz at the CBC-McGill Youth Gala Concert in Montréal. It is the second arrangement of three songs by La Bolduc, originally entitled, La Bolduc en fête. It now forms part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series, La série enchantée.


Performers on this recording (and several pieces below) are as follows:

Zimfira Poloz, conductor

Anne-Marie Denoncourt, piano

André Brunet, violin

Frank Sears, diatonic accordion

Pierre Chartrand, spoons, bones and podorhythm



Bien vite c’est le jour de l’an   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh, text “La Bolduc”     


SSA with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1434
    (listen here and view the score)  duration - 2:00

Mary Travers (known as “La Bolduc”) wrote mainly political and satirical songs, but also a number of New Year’s songs like this one. It speaks of families getting together for New Year’s – the good old times, the hugs and kisses, the gastronomical list of treats and of course, Grandma’s meat pie (tourtière). This arrangement is part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series entitled La série enchantée.



Évangéline   by Michel Conte, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh,


SATB with piano  -  $2.75    CP 1551
    (listen here and view the score)  duration - 8:20

SSAA with piano  -  $2.75    CP 1595  - duration - 8:20

Evangeline is an epic poem that was written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in 1847. It describes the betrothal of a fictional Acadian girl named Évangéline Bellefontaine to her beloved, Gabriel Lajeunesse, and their separation when the British deported the Acadians from Grand-Pré, Nova Scotia, during the Bay of Fundy Campaign in 1755. The poem follows Evangeline as she spends years in search of Gabriel across America; sometimes she is near Gabriel without even realizing it. As an old woman, she works as a Sister of Mercy among the poor. While tending the dying during an epidemic, she finds Gabriel among the sick, and he sadly dies in her arms. The final verse of Michel Conte’s lyrics says, “Your name is more than Acadia…it stands for all those who, despite unhappiness, still believe in hope and love.”



Noël nouvelet   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh - Traditional French Carol
SSA with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1402
    (listen here and view the score)  duration - 1:45

This early 16th Century carol in Dorian mode is believed to be a New Year’s song as it includes not only the Nativity, but also a the visit from the Magi, which is associated with Epiphany on January 6. The most complete text that we have dates from the Bible des Noëls anciens, 1791, which has all 13 verses.



Quittez pasteurs   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh - Traditional French Carol


SA (two part) with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1422
    (listen here and view the score)  duration - 2:25

This is an SA arrangement of an old Flemish tune with the French text first appearing in the Recueil de noëls angevins (1874). Listen for the hint of Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony and a lot of open fifth bagpipe bourdons embedded in the accompaniment that give it a pastoral feel. This arrangement is part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series entitled La série enchantée.



Riu Riu Chiu   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh - Traditional SpanishCarol


SA a cappella with recorder & percussion  -  $2.35    CP 1481
(listen here and view the score)        duration - 2:00

SAB a cappella with recorder & percussion  -  $2.35    CP 1123

This well loved ancient Christmas melody really sparkles with Erica’s setting. Up tempo and easy to learn, your choir and audience will love it.


parts for recorder, triangle and djembé are available (no charge) upon request.



Voilà l’Père Noël   arr. Erica Phare-Bergh     


SSA with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1432
    (listen here and view the score)  duration - 1:40

SATB with piano  -  $2.35    CP 1484

Mary Travers (known as “La Bolduc”) wrote mainly political and satirical songs, but also a number of New Year’s songs. However, this song is actually a Christmas song in which children are being admonished to go to bed early to ensure that when Santa arrives with his reindeer and gifts, he will be in a good mood. This arrangement is part of Dr. Laurier Fagnan’s series entitled La série enchantée.


 

Erica Phare-Bergh obtained her M. Mus. in Choral Conducting from McGill University. A native of Montreal, Phare-Bergh formerly conducted the Vanier College Choirs, FACE Young Singers, and the McGill Conservatory Choirs. In Calgary, she directed the William Aberhart High School Choirs, Westwinds Green Choir, Kairos Young Singers, the Savridi Singers and taught Music and French with the Calgary Board of Education. Her choral ensembles have performed in festivals both nationally and internationally. She is in demand as an adjudicator and presenter (ChoralFest, MCA, Podium) and was the guest conductor for the 10th Anniversary of the CBC-McGill Youth Gala. In 2008, she spearheaded the Montreal première of Oratorio Terezin, a large-scale work involving 270 performers at Place-des-Art. In July 2006, she traveled to Uganda to work with the African Children’s Choir Literacy Schools. She and her husband, Rick, currently reside on Vancouver Island, BC. Together, they write children’s books (A Song with Every Story Series) in which Erica incorporates both original songs and classical music into children’s stories.