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Richard Proulx


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A native of Saint Paul, Minnesota, Richard Proulx began piano studies at age six and benefited from the unique musical training then fostered in that city's parochial and private schools, where twice-daily solfege and choral singing were emphasized. He attended MacPhail College and the University of Minnesota with further studies undertaken at the American Boychoir School at Princeton, NJ, Saint John's Abbey, Collegeville, MN and the Royal School of Church Music in England.

Proulx's organ studies were with Ruth Dindorf, Arthur Jennings, Rupert Sircom, Gerald Bales and Peter Hallock, and extensive choral seminars were undertaken with Donald Bryant, Robert Shaw and Roger Wagner. He also studied composition with Leopold Bruenner, Theodore Ganshaw, Bruce Larsen and Gerald Bales.

During 1980-1994, Richard Proulx was Organist/Music Director at the historic Cathedral of the Holy Name in Chicago, where he did much to strengthen that cathedral's outreach to the city it serves by establishing an extensive and innovative music program. As hoped by visionary Cathedral Rector, Bishop Timothy J. Lyne, the consistent excellence of this broadbased and varied liturgical music program quickly became a model for cathedrals across the country. The highly-acclaimed concert series, Music for a Great Space, involved the cathedral choirs with many of the finest instrumentalists in the Chicago area. The choirs toured the Midwest in 1982 and 1991, and Europe in 1988. Proulx was also responsible for the planning and installation of two new mechanical action organs for the cathedral: Casavant (Quebec, 1981) and Flentrop (Holland, 1989).

Before coming to Chicago, Proulx served for ten years (1970-1980) at Saint Thomas Church, Medina/Seattle, where he directed three choirs and chamber orchestra, established a tradition of liturgical handbell ringing, and was organist at Temple de Hirsch Sinai. Previous positions included Saint Charles Parish, Tacoma; Saint Stephen's Church, Seattle; and fifteen years at Church of the Holy Childhood in Saint Paul (1953-1968).

Richard Proulx is a widely published composer of more than three hundred works, including congregational music in every form, sacred and secular choral works, song cycles, two operas, as well as instrumental and organ music. He has served as a consultant for such recent hymnals as The Hymnal 1982, New Yale Hymnal, The Methodist Hymnal, Worship II and III, and has contributions in the Mennonite Hymnal and the Presbyterian Hymnal. Proulx was a member of the Standing Commission on Church Music of the Episcopal Church and was a founding member of the Conference of Roman Catholic Cathedral Musicians. He has conducted choral festivals and workshops across the country as well as in Canada, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Scotland, Australia and New Zealand.

Proulx was appointed composer-in-residence for 1994-1995 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, UT and was named a 1995 Visiting Fellow at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX. He has served on summer faculties of the Montreat Conference on Worship and Music, the Evergreen Conference, Saint John's University School of Theology, and serves as vice president of the Catholic Liturgy Society. Currently working as a free-lance composer and conductor, he has also been an editorial consultant to GIA Publications and Augsburg Fortress.

In the field of commercial music, Proulx composed the 1971 theme song for Union Pacific Railroad, as well as an orchestral score for a documentary film, "The Golden Door." Two recent arrangements (sung by The Cathedral Singers) were featured in a May, 1996 episode of "ER" on NBC and his brief organ setting of Veni Creator is heard in the 1997 movie, "The Devil's Own."

In 1991, Richard Proulx founded The Cathedral Singers as an independent recording ensemble. This group has sung a number of live concerts in the Midwest and have produced over fifteen compact disc recordings of a great variety of choral music.

Richard Proulx has received a number of prestigious awards. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded him a commission for a new opera in 1989, the same year he was presented the Gold Medal of the Archdiocese of Chicago by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin. In 1994, he received a doctorate, honoris causa, from the General Theological Seminary in New York City and also the BENE Award from Modern Liturgy Magazine as "the most significant liturgical composer of the last twenty years." In 1995, he was cited by Duquesne University for outstanding work as a church musician and in recognition of the library of music given to Duquesne. He was also named the 1995 Pastoral Musician of the Year by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. In 1998, Richard Proulx received the Pax Christi Award from Saint John's University in Collegeville, Minnesota.

A rare combination of talents as a composer, conductor, music editor, and organist, together with wide experience across denominational lines, have given Richard Proulx a unique perspective of both the opportunities and the challenges found in liturgical music-making in our time; he remains committed to the enriching and balancing role of the arts in all people. Workshops Hymn Festivals Richard Proulx will be a conductor or organist at your hymn festival or choir festival. Hymnody Richard Proulx will share his insights on hymns ancient and new. Easy Music for Small Choirs Richard Proulx presents easy-to-learn music for small choirs. Unison, two- and three-part music by the masters will be highlighted.


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