A Vermont Franco-American Songbook
This collection consists of 12 songs and a nursery rhyme from the family repertoires of Carmen Beaudoin Bombardier and Kim Chase. It was compiled as a part of the Revitalizing Franco-American Song in the Champlain Valley of Vermont project, a partnership between Beaudoin Bombardier, Chase, musician and scholar Lisa Ornstein, Young Tradition Vermont and the Vermont Folklife Center.
Revitalizing Franco-American Song in the Champlain Valley of Vermont is supported in part through a grant from Champlain Valley National Heritage Partnership.
Carmen Beaudoin Bombardier is the 2nd daughter of Louis & Julie Beaudoin. She has been singing French answering songs since she was 4 years old, learning them from her Mom & Dad, aunts, uncles, family and friends, at home parties and get togethers. She has taught French cultures and songs for Artists in Residence programs in schools. She previously taught songs to French teachers at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts. She has 40 years of performing experience with La Famille Beaudoin, the Julie Beaudoin Family and the Beaudoin Legacy. In 2003 her Beaudoin family was honored with the Vermont Heritage Award sponsored by Vermont Life Magazine and the Vermont Folklife Center and presented by the Governor.
Kim Chase is a second-generation, bilingual Franco-American. She is the third daughter of Claire Bouffard Chase, raised in Winooski, active in the French-Canadian Genealogical Society as well as many cultural awareness initiatives, including the Vermont French Cultural Commission and ActFANE (Action for Franco-Americans of New England). She has been singing French-Canadian folksongs all her life, having learned mostly at home but also with friends and extended family. She has been a French teacher for over 30 years and has taught every age from preschool through college. She has always incorporated music into her teaching. She is also a writer and translator, and has published essays, short fiction, articles, poetry and translations for many years. She has been a grant-writer for Franco-American cultural awareness programs and has won several grants for her own work in gathering oral histories, songs and stories. She has paddled along some of the very rivers and walked the portage trails in Northern Quebec, the place of origin of the ‘Chansons à Répondre’, one of the songs that will shared during the class.
Fiddler and folklorist Lisa Ornstein fell in love with Franco-American music as a teenager when she met and was befriended by Louis Beaudoin and his family. That deep and enduring friendship set her on the path which eventually took her to Quebec for twelve years where she was a member of La Bottine Souriante (Quebec's traditional music supergroup) and also received an M.A. in Folklore from Université Laval. Over the course of her graduate studies, she collaborated with Canadian folksong scholars on a number of books and recordings of traditional French-language song, including Marc Gagné’s Chantons la chanson and Georges Arsenault’s Complaintes acadiennes de l’Île-de-Prince-Édouard. She also has considerable experience in public sector folklore doing community outreach with the goal of rendering archival materials useful to their heritage communities. During her seventeen-year tenure as director of the Acadian Archives at the University of Maine at Fort Kent, she developed award-winning programs in conjunction with the Franco-American community of northern Maine to disseminate, celebrate, and perpetuate local traditional songs.