Norman Gingras really is one of an almost lost breed. He is one of the most skilled organists in the diocese and he plays one of the most beautiful organs in the diocese.
Given the trend these days for people to change their employment paths every few years, it's hard to imagine someone staying on in the same job for half a century. But Normand Gingras has enjoyed every moment of the five decades he has served as organist and choir director at St. Anne's Church and Shrine.
Despite his years of formal European music training, Gingras still sets aside time each day to practice on the grand pipe organ in the choir loft of St. Anne's Church that he oversaw the installation of more than 40 years ago. And at 80, he wouldn't even think twice about going out of the house without his signature jacket and tie.
He's traveled around the world, and makes regular jaunts to New York's Metropolitan Opera. So does he ever think of retiring?
"Why, if I can still do it? I don't know what I'd do with myself," he says.
He says he will keep on playing at his requisite five Masses a week and numerous weddings and funerals throughout each year as long as he can continue to ascend the 40 steps leading to his perch high above the pews with ease.
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