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Erica Phare-Bergh has her M. Mus. in Choral Conducting from McGill University. A native of Montreal, she directed numerous choirs there from 1988-2010, including the Vanier College Choirs and the McGill Conservatory Choirs. She married and moved to Calgary in 2010, where she directed the choirs at William Aberhart High School, as well as Westwinds Green Choir, Savridi Singers and taught Music and French with the Calgary Board of Education. She is in demand as an adjudicator and presenter and was the guest conductor for the 10th Anniversary of the CBC-McGill Youth Gala. Now living in Victoria, British Columbia, she directs the Voices-in-Motion Choir, an intergenerational choir for those with Alzheimer’s. She and her husband, Rick, write children’s books together (A Song with Every Story Series), in which Erica incorporates both original songs and classical music into children’s stories. She is passionate about building cultural bridges through her arrangements of French choral music with Cypress.

A Place in the Choir

by Bill Staines, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh,

SATB – piano and violin – CP 1639   – duration 3:15
SAB – piano and violin –  CP 1933
SSA – piano and violin –  CP 1684

TTBB – piano and violin – CP 1732
Instruments parts and BackTrack are available
Listen to the coyote howl with this knee-slapper.  Bring down the house with this funny joyful composition; an easy sing with a rousing chorus. Get the audience to sing along. The piano part is for dexterous fingers – but a four handed piano version is also available.

L'amour de moy

arr. Erica Phare-Bergh

SATB a cappella  –  CP 1701   – duration 4:50
What is it about the nightingale that inspires so many poets? This lovely folksong gained popularity during the 1970’s with a recording by Nana Mouskouri. The Swingle Singers also recorded a beautiful rendition.  This setting by Erica has intuitive voice leading and long vocal lines – ideal for any choir!

Le bas de Noël

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

SSA with piano  –  CP 1433   – duration 3:20 
optional violin and accordion parts are available upon request – no charge

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  –  CP 1434   – duration 2:00  
SATB with piano  –  CP 1752
optional violin and accordion parts are available upon request – no charge

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

Carefree Highway

by Gordon Lightfoot, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh

SATB with piano – CP 2105 – duration 3:30  
TTBB with piano – CP 2281

SSAA available upon request  
Carefree highway
Let me slip away on you
Carefree highway
You’ve seen better days
The morning after blues
From my head down to my shoes
Carefree highway
Let me slip away on you

En passant par la Lorraine

arr. Erica Phare-Bergh

SATB with piano – CP 21078– duration 2:20  
SA with piano – CP 21073
En passant par la Lorraine is a catchy French folksong derived from a legend about the feisty Anne of Brittany (1488-1514) who, as queen, would wear wooden clogs in order to associate with the commoners. A great concert ender, this piece includes body percussion and a few hidden melodies (La Marseillaise and Wagner’s Bridal March). The lyrics are quite repetitive making this folksong accessible for non-francophone choirs.  Erica’s composer notes go into detail. click here.


by Michel Conte, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh,

SATB with piano  –  $2.75    CP 1551   – duration 8:20  
SSA with piano  –  $2.75    CP 1595
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.”

Mary Ellen Carter

by Stan Rogers; arr. Erica Phare-Bergh,

SAB with piano – CP 2249 – duration 5:15

This is a Canadian classic! It tells the story of a heroic effort to salvage a sunken ship, the eponymous Mary Ellen Carter, by members of her crew.
Rise again, rise again.
May her name not be lost to the knowledge of men.
All those who loved her best and who were with her ’til the end
Will make the Mary Ellen Carter rise again.

Mes hivers

by France Levasseur-Ouimet, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh,

1 – Nuit d’hiverSATB with piano or string – CP 2045
2 – Fille d’hiverSSA with piano or strings – CP 2046
3 – Merveilles de l’hiverSATB and SSA with piano or strings – CP 2047

France and Erica have created gorgeous choral music about the Winter season. Memorable melodies are enhanced with compelling lines for each singer, approachable intuitive voice leading and sumptuous harmonies. The piano player will appreciate the sparkling accompaniment. Dr. Laurier Fagnan commissioned the trilogy and added it to his collection “La série enchantée“.

Noël nouvelet

arr. Erica Phare-Bergh – Traditional French Carol

SSA with piano  –  CP 1402   – 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.  This score includes both the original French and an alternate English version.

Quittez pasteurs

arr. Erica Phare-Bergh – Traditional French Carol

SA (two part) with piano or organ  –  CP 1422   – 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.

Rainy Day People

by Gordon Lightfoot, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh

SATB with piano  –  CP 1766  – duration 3:05   
SSA with piano  –  CP 1891
Erica has given an authentic treatment to the Gordon Lightfoot hit. We all need such people in our lives.
Rainy day people always seem to know when it’s time to call
Rainy day people don’t talk – they just listen till they’ve heard it all

Riu Riu Chiu

arr. Erica Phare-Bergh – Traditional SpanishCarol

SA a cappella with recorder & percussion  –  CP 1481   – duration 2:00  
SAB a cappella with recorder & percussion  –  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  –  CP 1432   – duration 1:40  
SATB with piano  –  CP 1484
optional violin and accordion parts are available upon request – no charge
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.

Winter Awakening

by Robbie Smith, arr. Erica Phare-Bergh

SATB with piano and instruments  –  CP 1961   – duration 4:05
SSAA with piano and instruments  –  CP 1975
TTBB with piano and instruments  –  CP 2109

This is one of Robbie Smith’s most beautiful songs – in a minor key – and Erica has given it a stunning choral arrangement with sweet-spot vocal registers and interesting lines for each singer. The ideal instrumental accompaniment should include violin and recorder. However, this song would work well with almost any combination of C instruments. We also have a solo option for flute, violin, oboe or recorder.

Wind awakens winter in me
And leaves my spirit bleak and barren
Yearning for fond moments to be 
And the spring in all its fragrant finery

Skies are dressed in dull shades of gray
And the farmland fields lie sleeping fallow
A lone bird call takes me away
To future promise far away from today