Baritone Alex Vollant is from the Innu First Nation in Québec. They moved to Vancouver in 2020 where they are currently completing a degree in Piano and Voice Performance at the UBC School of Music.

Alex previously sang in Chor Leoni’s Men Choir under the direction of Erick Lichte. Following this experience, Alex discovered a passion for choral singing and community building. They have since joined the ranks of Vancouver Youth Choir and have sung with the Christ Church Cathedral Choir. They previously studied voice with Allison Anderson and Neil Craighead, and currently study with Krisztina Szabó in the voice performance program at UBC.

When not singing, Alex spends their time writing. Their first book “Nipinapunan” is a poetry collection recollecting many of their memories of their home community, Pessamit.

Auass (Child)

by Alex Vollant

SSAATB a cappella – CP 2350 – duration 3:40

Auass means “Child” in the Innu language. In this piece that I have offered to Carrie Tennant and the Vancouver Youth Choir as a gift, I wanted to explore issues of the history of Canada that are usually difficult to approach, such as Residential Schools, which were designed and founded by the government to “kill the Indian in the child.” They are the main symbol of colonialism and the racist history of our country. Today, there is still a generation of elders that survived those terrible institutions, and I composed this piece to honour their courage, resilience and healing. 

At the very beginning of the composition process, I envisioned a survivor elder at the end of their life, during which they had gone through an incredible journey of healing. They would go inside their own self, to visit their inner child, asking it: What happened to you? What can I do to help? However sad this all may be, the most important portion of this piece is the ending, which is filled with hope and anticipation for a brighter future. At the end, the elder say to the inner child: “Tomorrow will be brighter.” This is I think a beautiful part of the Truth and Reconciliation process in Canada, the one that is focused on hope and directed forward. That is what I wanted to give the spotlight to in this piece.