Canon André Aurat
1929 - 1945
Born in 1881, in the Berry county, André Aurat studied in Bourges and later in Paris where he graduated with a three years’ diploma in history eagerly pursuing to improve his musical knowledge all the while. Back in his native Berry and ordained a Priest, he taught history in the small seminary of Issoudun, while managing the local high school’s choir. He took part to the performance of great classical works in the Cathedral of Bourges, where a considerable number of singers gave the line to two organs and an orchestra.
Canon Aurat had such a reputation that no one was surprised when he was chosen as head of the Monaco’s Choir to succeed to Monseigneur Perruchot. He devoted himself ever since exclusively to music.
Thus, on each Sunday or celebration day, a first class liturgical office was performed in the Cathedral as it had been before. No matter how painful the war years were, they never interrupted this intense activity.Truth be told, no task would have discouraged this untiring worker – no matter how hard.
He gathered the ancient works collected by his predecessor and greatly expanded them by way of his own personal contributions. But above all, he classified them in an exemplary manner. Seniors still recall his cardboard boxes, meticulously ordered in the cupboards with labels stuck thereon that indicated the works’ names, written with a magnificent “round” handwriting. Those cardboard boxes have been used for decades.
In order to increase the influence of the Choir and to better support it, Canon Aurat took the initiative of creating an association named “The Choir’s Friends”, whose moral and financial support was far from being negligible.
On March 12th 1945, Canon Aurat gave a lecture in Monaco about “the part choir singing could play in education”. Soon after, the first signs of an illness that would eventually take him away appeared and despite all treatments, he died in Paris on August 5th 1945.