Benoît (Fidèle) (b Benjamin) Poirier (b Perry). Organist, composer, b Tignish, PEI, 17 Oct 1882, d Laval, near Montreal, 7 Oct 1965; BA (St-Joseph, NB) 1902, honorary MA (St-Joseph, NB) 1928.
Benoît (Fidèle) (b Benjamin) Poirier (b Perry). Organist, composer, b Tignish, PEI, 17 Oct 1882, d Laval, near Montreal, 7 Oct 1965; BA (St-Joseph, NB) 1902, honorary MA (St-Joseph, NB) 1928. He was only 13 when he first played the organ at St-Joseph U in Memramcook, NB, and in 1897 he played at St Thomas Church. In 1903 he began teaching at the Collège de Montréal and accompanied the Trappist Father Guillaume on a tour of the city's seminaries and important churches to promote the methods of plainsong performance of the Benedictines of Solesmes, France. Poirier was for a time the organist at the Séminaire de philosophie and successively at the churches of Ste-Hélène in 1906, St-Patrice in 1908, St-Vincent-de-Paul in 1909, and St-Jacques in 1914. He also served 1921-54 as organist at Notre-Dame Church, succeeding J. Daniel Dussault. He gave organ recitals at all of these churches and taught 1921-5 for the Sacré-Coeur Convent at Sault-au-Récollet, Que.
Poirier was elected a member of the board of the Schola cantorum in 1919 and was its president 1923-5; he was a member of the board of examiners of the Conservatoire national, and was director and principal teacher 1953-9 at the Conservatoire Royal de Montréal. He left several compositions for organ, including Basso ostinato (CMH, vol 4a), and some for piano, eg, his Rhapsodie d'airs canadiens (Archambault 1922), of which a version for brass band by Joseph Vézina was performed in 1922 by Sousa's band in Montreal, Toronto, and Philadelphia. He also wrote numerous motets, patriotic songs, an 'Ecce fidelis' (Archambault 1922), and harmonizations of the 25 Cantiques d'après le style grégorien (Schola cantorum 1923).
Surette, Paul. Benoît Poirier: la vie d'un musicien acadien de 1882 à 1965 (Tignish, PEI, 1982)