Junos

Junos·Updated

Did you know that Canada's Governor General is nominated for a Juno Award?

Julie Payette sings in the soprano section of the Ottawa Bach Choir.

Julie Payette sings in the soprano section of the Ottawa Bach Choir

Julie Payette poses for her official photo in the Long Gallery at Rideau Hall, in Ottawa, Ontario, on August 8th, 2017, ahead of her installation ceremony as the 29th Governor General of Canada. (Sgt. Johanie Maheu, Rideau Hall, )

The 2020 Junos have been cancelled since this article was first published.

It's a well-known fact that Canada's Governor General, Julie Payette, is a former astronaut who was the first Canadian to join an International Space Station mission.

What's less known about Payette is that she's also an accomplished musician with deep experience singing in professional choirs.

In fact, her singing has earned her a 2020 Juno nomination. Payette is one of six sopranos in the Ottawa Bach Choir, whose album Handel: Dixit Dominus, Bach and Schütz: Motets has been nominated for classical album of the year: vocal or choral.

Apart from the 17 years Payette spent in Houston, Texas, training as an astronaut and taking part in space missions, she has always been involved in choral singing. Her resumé includes experience singing with the choirs of l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and l'Orchestre Métropolitain, the Tafelmusik Chamber Choir, the choir at Ottawa's National Arts Centre and the Ottawa Bach Choir.

"There are many things I enjoy about singing in a group, but I really like that it is all about being part of a team," she told the Ottawa Citizen. "You need to listen to your fellow singers, keep pace with them, tune with them, and follow the conductor's nuances, tempi and instructions. I have been saying for many years that there are wonderful health and social benefits to being a part of a choir."

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