A New Musical Work—In Honor of Jesus’ Grandmother


KITCHNER — Do you know the name of Jesus’ grandmother?

Most people have no idea. But that will change a little after Saturday, when a concert will present a brand new composition dedicated to Sainte-Anne.

The composer is Justin Lapierre, 24, from Cambridge, whose family is originally from a part of Quebec, Montmagny, where Anne is revered. One of the world’s greatest shrines to her is in a nearby town, Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré.

“I think my grandmother had more pictures of Sainte-Anne than she had of me,” jokes Lapierre.

Anne, the mother of Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not mentioned in the Bible. But Lapierre was fascinated to learn that her story is described in the Koran.

“When I found this, I was like, ‘This is so beautiful,'” Lapierre said.

“Most French Canadians don’t know that there is a connection between Islam and Christianity,” he said.

At the heart of the “Messe de Sainte Anne”, a setting to music of a poem by Rumi. The decor is dedicated to the victims of the 2017 attack on a mosque in Quebec City, in which six worshipers were murdered.

Lapierre points out the similarities between the tenets of Christianity and Islam throughout the book. Hymns and Quebec folk music are also intertwined in the music, the story of Saint Anne found in the Koran as well as other Christian texts, and the phrase “Peace be with you”, which is said by Catholics attending Mass. , with a handshake to the person next to them.

When the 26-minute work receives its Saturday night premiere at St. Matthews Lutheran Church in downtown Kitchener, Lapierre will be among friends.

He graduated from the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University. Many singers and instrumentalists are students and graduates of the same school. He also met conductor Ben Wallace at Laurier.

Lapierre is preparing his master’s degree in composition at the University of Toronto.

He has already made his mark as a composer. His works have been programmed by the DaCapo Chamber Choir of Waterloo, the Aliro Voices Choir of Minneapolis and the Canadian Chamber Choir, among others.

For more information on the concert, and to hear excerpts from the “mass of Sainte Anne”, visit the Lapierre website

Luisa D’Amato is a Waterloo Region staff columnist for The Record. Contact her by email: [email protected]


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