A boys’ choir from northern France, led by conductor Jerome Cupelli, gives a preview performance July 26, 2019, at the Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church in Tecumseh ahead of a free public performance Saturday night.
Dan Janisse / jpg
A travelling French choir is singing its way to Tecumseh to perform and immerse itself in local culture.For the second time in three years, La Maitrise Des Hauts de France — a boys’ choir from northern France — is performing at Ste. Anne’s Parish in Tecumseh on Saturday night as one of the final stops in its North American tour. The group, which performed for Pope Francis in 2015 at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, arrived by bus at Ste. Anne’s from Peterborough Friday evening.“We do tours which allows them to sing in different countries,” choir director Jerome Cupelli said through an interpreter. “It’s great, invaluable experience for the kids to discover new countries, new languages.”The 38 boys, who are between the ages of eight and 20 years, each auditioned to be in the choir, formed in 1970, Cupelli said.After arriving at Ste. Anne’s church, the boys gave a preview of their upcoming 90-minute performance that will be sung in at least four different languages. The boys were then assigned to one of 18 local host families that will be boarding them during their two-night stay.“At a time when the world has so much stupid going on, it’s nice to be part of something positive,” said Rodney Case, a coordinator of the event and volunteer for Ste. Anne’s.Rodney, his wife Ozelle and their son Andrew are hosting four boys this year and have been a host family for each of their past visits.
La Maitrise Des Hauts de France, a boys’ choir from northern France, is led by conductor Jerome Cupelli during a preview performance Friday at the Ste. Anne’s Catholic Church in Tecumseh ahead of a free public performance Saturday night.
Dan Janisse /
The choir first performed in the area in 2015 at Gethsemane Lutheran Church in Windsor, before returning a year later to sing at Ste. Anne’s. At the time, the choir performed in front of a crowd of 500 people, said Rodney, adding that this year they’re expecting between 400 and 700 attendees.“It’s kind of a wonderful rally point for the French culture in Ste. Anne’s and, you know, all the way up to St. Joachim and Belle River,” Rodney said. “We have people coming from as far as LaSalle to attend the concert, just to celebrate listening to a really wonderful French choir.”Rodney and Ozelle, along with the former priest of Ste. Anne’s Parish, Father Eugene G. Roy, helped bring the choir back to Tecumseh after their 2016 performance.“It just allows the French Canadian part of our community to celebrate a world class choir in their own neighbourhood,” Rodney said.
Father Eugene Roy greets members of the French boys’ choir at Ste. Anne’s church in Tecumseh on Friday.
Dan Janisse /
For the Cases, who lived in Paris 13 years ago, their personal connection with French culture and choral music are an added reason they’ve continued to be involved with the event, said Rodney.“The French people were very kind to us Canadians while we were living there, so this is kind of a way to pay back,” Ozelle said.The group arrived in Toronto on July 11th and has performed in Burlington, New York, Pennsylvania, and, most recently, Peterborough, among others. After Saturday’s performance, they’ll head to Waterdown and then Niagara Falls before flying back to France on Tuesday.All of the choir’s performances are free to the public, though a donation is welcome to help cover travel costs. Saturday’s performance at Ste. Anne’s Parish begins at 7:30 p.m.“We are really looking forward to a good performance,” Cupelli said. “It’s the church that we sang in three years ago, so I know the church and it has beautiful acoustics, the organ is beautiful.”email@example.com