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Raymond Perrin

Associate professor and director of the Faculty of Music’s Chœur de l’Université de Montréal

An encounter with Raymond Perrin, associate professor and director of the Faculty of Music’s Chœur de l’Université de Montréal (Université de Montréal Choir).

  • Talk to us about your area of research.

The opportunity of making music in a social fashion: choral singing is an activity based on collaboration, and its community-based side is the very opposite of my second field of research, the organ, where everything is essentially individual and secluded. Choral activity is work where individuals find their place in the community with which they’re constructing the work. Nothing is possible if it’s not by and for the group.

  • What distinguishes your way of teaching?

It demands above all a never-ending adaptability and responsiveness. The conductor must not only inspire his ensemble, but also be its most attentive listener. And since the members of the choir are not, in the beginning, singers, but rather instrumentalists, what I have to do is personalize my approach with each student enrolled in the course: be attentive to their voice type, in addition to teaching them to search for their particular sound, their expressive possibilities and the importance of their personal involvement.

  • An encounter with a memorable professional? 

A German conductor named Hermann Max, at a training session in choral conducting at Romainmôtier in Switzerland. Thanks to him I was able to understand the extent to which the chorus master is responsible for the musical result of his ensemble.

November 2020