Joseph Beaulieu | The Canadian Encyclopedia


Joseph Beaulieu

Joseph Beaulieu. Teacher, folklorist, composer, b Mattawa, Ont, 21 May 1895, d North Bay, Ont, 1 Oct 1965; B MUS (Montreal) 1942.

Beaulieu, Joseph

Joseph Beaulieu. Teacher, folklorist, composer, b Mattawa, Ont, 21 May 1895, d North Bay, Ont, 1 Oct 1965; B MUS (Montreal) 1942. He settled in Ottawa in 1915 and studied piano with Oscar O'Brien and Amédée Tremblay, and later with Harry Puddicombe at the Canadian Conservatory of Music (Ottawa), where he subsequently joined the teaching staff. He also taught at the University of Ottawa (piano, singing, business) and at the same time participated in musical evenings with Charles Marchand, O'Brien, and Tremblay. He made his first folk music tours with Marchand. In the course of his travels in Quebec and Ontario he collected numerous folksongs and harmonized them for the Petits Chanteurs céciliens, which he founded and directed 1931-43. His song collections include Chantez, les petits (Thompson 1960), the eight-volume series Mon école chante (La Bonne Chanson 1956-64), Gerbes de chansons nouvelles and Chantez petits et grands.

In 1942 the Benedictines of St-Benoît-du-Lac engaged Beaulieu to teach voice. Having settled in Toronto, he then served 1943-65 as an assistant director in charge of the teaching of music for the Ontario Ministry of Education. He moved to North Bay in 1946 and for nearly 20 years spent his summers at nearby Lake Talon, where he taught music, particularly singing, to boys. Beaulieu wrote some 200 religious and folk-inspired songs, many of which were published by La Bonne Chanson and Thompson. He composed the operetta Le Trésor du pauvre and the Vatican II Mass for four mixed voices. In 1967 the Joseph Beaulieu Camp for the study of music was opened on the Île-aux-Chênes in Lake Nipissing, and in October 1968 the Joseph Beaulieu Centre, which includes a library and a theatre, was opened in North Bay.

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