Modern Languages and Literatures

Québec Rhythms: A Night of Music, Dance, and Cultural Delight with Gentil Chorus !

Publication Date

Last Fall term (November 1st, 2023), students from French courses and one of their professors, Charles Batson, went to Hamilton College for a concert organized by the French department.

Our host, Claire Mouflard, invited us to a concert by Gentil Chorus, a traditional Québec music group from Sherbrooke.

Gentil Chorus, a traditional Québec music group from Sherbrooke

The three members played guitar, violin, flute, accordion, and mandolin during the performance. But the most surprising instrument they used was the foot, an essential part of traditional music from Québec. Songs, all performed in French, dealt mainly with the subject of love and travel.

In the show's second part, all the spectators were invited to take place on the round dance floor to learn the steps of a traditional dance. This dance is performed with a partner and is similar to traditional French dances. The performance ends the way it always ends in Québec, with a waltz, whose steps we also had to learn.

Spectators learn steps of traditional dance
Performance ends with a waltz

After the show, students were delighted. One said, “I wasn’t expecting this type of music, and I enjoyed it. It was different and great”. For another, ‘It was great to be immersed in the Québec culture and tradition.’ Another found the dance ‘Great and vibrant, fun and engaging.’

When interviewed, Charles Batson said, ‘The performance was wonderful. I teach a class about Québec, so it’s a chance to experience its culture’.

One thing is sure: the students won’t forget this experience! They learned a lot about how music is appreciated and lived in Québec.

We thank Claire Mouflard, from Hamilton College's French Department, who invited us to this concert, and Romain Pasquer Brochard, a French professor at Union College, who helped organize the event for Union students.

Author: Alexandra Pucheu, Language Assistant in French 23-24