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Richard Proulx

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Biography

Richard Proulx was one of the most successful American liturgical composers. His many and varied accomplishments as a composer, conductor, and organist were acknowledged with a number of prestigious awards. These include a commission from the National Endowment for the Arts for a new opera (1989), an honorary doctorate from General Theological Seminary in New York (1994), and the Pax Christi Award from St. John's University College (1998). In 1994, the BENE award from Modern Liturgy magazine singled him out as "the most significant liturgical composer of the last 20 years." Proulx was raised to music from a young age, starting piano studies at the age of six. He partly attributes his later successes to the rigorous musical training he received in the Catholic school system of St. Paul, MN. After working for many years at the Church of the Holy Childhood in Seattle, his first major appointment was as the music director of St. Thomas Church in Medina/Seattle in 1970. At St. Thomas, he directed choirs and a chamber orchestra while also serving as organist at the Temple de Hirsh Sinai. In 1980, he rose to the prestigious position of organist and music director at the Cathedral of the Holy Name in Chicago. From his energetic devotion to renovating and improving the cathedral's music program, Proulx set an example at the Holy Name that positively influenced church music not only in the Chicago area, but throughout the U.S. He is credited with generally having raised the standards for liturgical music programs across the country. Besides his activities as an organist and conductor, Proulx has composed hundreds of works in sacred and secular genres, including a great deal of congregational music, song cycles, and two operas. He's known outside of church circles for such pieces as the Union Pacific Railroad theme song and for his various musical contributions to film and television. The action movie The Devil's Own (1997) includes his organ arrangement of Veni Creator. Proulx has also served on the boards of liturgical music commissions and participated in choral festivals across North America and Western Europe. In 1994-1995, he served a term as composer-in-residence at the Cathedral of the Madelaine in Salt Lake City. From 1995 onward, he worked as a freelance composer and conductor.

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Born:

03 April 1937 in St. Paul, MN

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