Margo Fournier Centre - 1211 1st Avenue West, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan S6V 4Y8
|Prince Albert Boys' Choir Alumni was founded in 1954 - ????|
|The Prince Albert Boys' Choir was founded in 1954 by Marguerite (Margo) Fournier originally as the Catholic Boys' Choir. It expanded over the years to include 5 seperate groups based on age. From youngest to oldest, these groups were called the Allegros (around 5 or 6 years of age), Moderatos, Prestos, Tempos, and Cantabiles (changed voices). The Tempos and Cantabiles would often perform together as the "touring" group. Once a member graduated from high school, they also graduated from the PABC.
Typically, the younger groups would perform at various local venues including retirement homes and the annual Prince Albert Music Festival. The senior groups did the same but also attended workshops in Saskatoon, Winnipeg and other locations. All 5 groups came together twice a year to perform both a Christmas concert, and a year end awards night show. All 5 groups would be taught new material for each of these shows.
In addition to Mrs. Fournier, the choir was also aided by a strong and involved parents' association.
Margo became a member of The Order Of Canada in 1983 for her work with the choir, penitentiary inmates and youth.
In 1984 she took the Cantabiles to Kathaumixw, an international choral competition in Powell River, BC. There, they won their category.
In 1985, Margo retired from the choir and turned it over to John Slauson. Mr. Slauson guided the touring group through its successful Expo '86 audition but left shortly thereafter to pursue other opportunities. He was replaced by Vanessa Mathews and Al Eggum who led the boys to both a return engagement in Powell River (where Vanessa also competed as a soloist and won her category), and their performances at the Saskatchewan pavilion at Expo '86.
Vanessa and Al then left the choir after the trip in '86 which brought Margo back into the fold for a Canadian government commissioned trip to Ottawa in September, 1986. There, a select number of the touring group along with a few returning overage members sang on Parliament Hill during the ceremony to unveil the statue of John Diefenbaker.
Once back home to Prince Albert, Norman Herle took over the choir for a very short time. Then (in late '87 or early '88) came Marta Green as director of the Allegros as well as Tempos and Cantabilies. Debbie McPherson directed the Prestos and Moderatos. Marta and Debbie would stay with the choir for years to come.
In 1990, Mrs. Green took the touring group to New York City for performances and workshops.
**(Darcy) I left the choir around 1989 - 90 right before the New York trip, so if anyone can fill in the blanks after that it would be appreciated. Also, please help me correct any mistakes I may have made so far. It has been a while!
Over the years, PABC accompanists have included:
Marguerite (Margo) Fournier (1919–2000)
“Margo” Fournier devoted her life to fostering the musical and athletic talents of many generations of Prince Albert’s youth. Born Marguerite Helen Leblond on August 16, 1919, she grew up in Rosthern and Prince Albert.
An accomplished singer and dancer, she joined the RCAF as an entertainer during World War II, touring bases in Canada, Britain, and continental Europe. She married Prince Albert’s L.J. “Pluke” Fournier, of the Canadian Auxiliary Corps, in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 5, 1945, and the couple raised a family of seven.
Margo Fournier became known as a take-charge music teacher and conductor of boys and girls, student nurses, church and local penitentiary inmates’ choirs. As well, she founded the local Music Festival Association and, in the early 1960s, helped organize and was president of the local Jeunesses Musicales group.
In September 1965, she was named to the Saskatchewan Youth Review Committee. She was best known as the founder and director of the Prince Albert Boys’ Choir, which received national and international recognition.
With her husband’s guidance, she also taught and coached swimming and diving.
A local multi-purpose recreation centre was named after her.
In 1983 she was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada.
©2007 University of Regina and Canadian Plains Research Center
Marta Green (1948 - 2007)
Marta, was born in Debrecen, Hungary, April 21, 1948 and passed away August, 13, 2007 at the age of 59, with her husband of 25 years at her side. She came to Canada in 1977, and became a music consultant/teacher for Prince Albert and area.
Upon her retirement in 2003 she continued to teach private music lessons to students ranging in age from two years to seventy years old. She devoted countless hours of love and dedication to her students. Each of her students had a special place in her heart.
When she wasn’t teaching, she enjoyed gardening and traveling to far away places. Two of her favorite destinations were New York and Vienna.
Donations in her memory may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society.