Robbie McDougall
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Robbie McDougall

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada | SELF
Band Classical Singer/Songwriter

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Music

Press


Rev. Robbie McDougall performs a prayer/liturgy concert at the St. Boniface Cathedral - Winnipeg Free Press Sept 8th, 1988


BMI award to Robbie McDougall for "The Theme" - RPM 1973


The response to pianist Robbie McDougall was warm, and he felt it.... - Lively Art and Living Sept 11, 1974


The Gap between contemporary secular music and the world of sacred music may seem to wide, but Robbie McDougall has never had a problem reconciling the two.... - Manitoba Moods Winter 1977


McDougall is a talented musician and his appearances are always an exceptional treat - Prairie Mesenger april 15th 1978


Winnipeg's renowned musical priest gave up a life most men dream about... - The Edmonton Journal March 16th 1991


Robbie McDougall laughs when it's suggested his story sounds like it might make a good movie of the week. - Regina Sun, July 28th 1991


St. Vital Man uses his multiple talents to lift sagging spirits and soothe the grieving - The Winnipeg Sun Dec, 6th 2006


Robbie opens for Lighthouse with a couple of his tunes

Full story see "My Story/Articles" - Music Canada Quarterly September 1973



While attending Mass at St. Michael’s Cathedral in Toronto nearly 40 years ago, a renowned concert pianist discovered how he could better use his musical talents for God.

Thirteen years later he would be ordained to the priesthood and for the past 21 years has been leading scores of people across Canada in retreats, parish missions, workshops and Christian concerts.

Fr. Robbie McDougall is a priest based in the Manitoba archdiocese of St. Boniface. He founded a ministry more than 20 years ago to combine his love for sacred music and evangelization.

Before becoming a priest, McDougall was a musician and composer. It wasn’t until 1972 when he heard a preacher at St. Michael’s Cathedral speak about talents that he was inspired to use his musical gift to compose a 10-part Mass.

“For some reason it touched me and I thought, ‘Well I have to give back so I’m going to write music,’ ” McDougall said.

After completing the Mass in 1975, he founded a music and publishing company to separate his secular and religious works. Adoramus Ministries now encompasses his evangelization outreach through facilitating retreats and workshops.

Over the years, his passion for sacred music just grew.

“Very deeply it touched me and transformed me in many ways.”

McDougall became a composer in residence for the Jesuits at St. Paul’s College at the University of Manitoba, where he also directed the choir for special celebrations. While composing sacred music, he continued in the contemporary music field, performing with top acts such as Dionne Warwick, Jose Feliciano, Sonny and Cher, Ocean and Lighthouse.

McDougall later left Winnipeg to study liturgical music at St. Joseph’s College in Indiana. After obtaining his certificate in Liturgy and Sacred Music, he went to Laval University in Quebec City where he completed bachelors’ and masters’ degrees in theology and obtained certificates in management, facilitation and clinical pastoral education.

When asked what drew him to the priesthood, McDougall said it was a calling he did consider as a youth but ignored that in favour of a passion imprinted in his first memories.

“Dad had a band, an old time band — they did polkas, waltzes, practised twice a week in our home — I was about three years old and I can still remember sitting on the staircase watching them practise and then going to the piano and trying to play the keys. “

His parents encouraged each of their six children to learn an instrument from an early age. This was reinforced at the Catholic grade school they attended where the convent offered private music lessons. He was six when the piano lessons and ensuing school performances started.

“When it’s in you like that it’s got to come out so I just started to express it,” he said.

At age 11, he played piano in a family band his father formed to play at community events.

When he was 14, McDougall and his brother Donnie, who later joined The Guess Who, joined a rock band called The Gentry. By the time he turned 17, McDougall was performing as a solo artist.

The radio and TV performances, recording contracts, etc., made the priesthood seem far from realization.

“As a matter of fact, by the time I was writing the Mass, I was also dating seriously a young girl and was thinking more marriage,” he said.

But realizing that the reoccurring thoughts about the priesthood could only be an authentic call, he left the dating life behind to discern.

Despite his love for the sacred, McDougall hasn’t left the contemporary behind, sometimes breaking out into favourite pieces for fun at various events.

Since his ordination he has done parish ministry, taught sacred music, worked as full time chaplain for a hospital and halfway house for the mentally challenged, done vocational work for the archdiocese, directed various sacramental programs, led prayer groups and directed grief and loss workshops.

And the music is only a tool.

“The most important part for me is the Word of God and all is focused around that,” he said. “So using music, singing, really is like a healer. It assists the process. I use a lot of the instrumental music, which I find soothing, relaxing and very helpful for spirituality and prayer.”

And it proves a very useful tool in his ministry for the grieving, which he started doing in 1988. Though he had worked in hospital care, hearing about grief from patients and suffering relatives, the realization came while visiting the grave site of a brother who in 1987 was hit by a car.

“I would go out to pray there and visit by his tomb with my mom or a member of the family — sometimes all of us. It was through that I noticed people all over the cemetery grieving or crying together. So I approached the owner at that time, said we had to do something for these people that are grieving.”

Since then, he has hosted grieving workshops five times a year

“I promise you that chapel is full, probably about 250 people,” he said.

With all the experience as a musician, McDougall said he continues to find inspiration in swimming laps at a nearby pool. The sound of the water, its calming effect, helps shut out the noise of the world and provide a place for reflection.



- The Catholic Register 2010


His playing was polished and ranged from semi -classical to rock styling - The Tribune Friday April 9th 1971


Robbie talks about his composition methods for his song "Four Seasons" and his t.v. show titled Vedette en Direct

Full story see my story/articles http://www.robbiemcdougall.com - Winnipeg Free Press 1978


Discography

Robbie McDougall
01. The Theme
02. An Open Door
03. The Theme from "The Rowdyman" | (IMDB)
04. The Theme for a Friend
05. San Andreas
06. Hope & Reunion
07. Why I'm Sad
08. Nazareth
09. Four Seasons
10. Importance

Beautiful & Precious
01. Beautiful (Vocal)
02. Marie
03. Thoughts on Continuing
04. Mother
05. Colin's Two Step
06. Precious To My Heart
07. Ave Maria
08. It's a Joy
09. May He Strengthen You
10. Alleluia II
11. Beautiful

Piano Compositions
01. Morning
02. Precious
03. Strength Within You
04. Healing
05. Opening
06. Mary
07. Why I Am
08. Creator
09. Mercy
10. A Friend
11. A Dream
12. Gentle Woman
13. Beauty

Tu As Du Prix A Mes Yeux Et Je T'aime
01. O Jesus, Vivant En Marie
02. Marie (Instrumental)
03. Je Vous Salue Marie
04. C'est Une Joie
05. Il M'a Mis Au Large - 2 Samuel 22:20
06. Tu As Du Prix A Mes Yeux Et Je T'aime - Isae 43
07. Beautiful (instrumental)
08. Seigneur, Je Ne Suis Pas Engne
09. Beautiful
10. Mon Ame Exalte Le Seigneur - Magnificat
11. Tu As Du Prix A Mes Yeux Et Je T'aime - Isae 43 (Instrumental)
12. Marie Mere De L'Eglise
13. Oui Seigneur

Photos

Bio

I am a bilingual (English/French) artist, concert pianist, singer, songwriter, and composer. I am available for bookings: concerts, workshops (variety), studio work (piano/vocals), jingles, and music for films.

In 1972 I was signed to a recording contract with RCA, in which one of the Hit Tunes, The Theme, became the # 1 record in Canada. This won for me a BMI Award, and a Yamaha Music Award

I have performed in concert halls, Pop festivals, on Television, Radio, at Schools, Colleges, Universities, Churches, and a variety of places as a solo artist; with such notables as: Jose Feliciano, Sony and Cher, Dionne Warwick, Lighthouse, Ocean, Lorne Green, and others.

I have performed for Mother Teresa, The Royal Family, Prime Minister Pierre E. Trudeau, and more.

As well, I compose music, much of which could be used for Theater and Film.

I come from a musical family and began studies in music at age six. During my early years I sang and played on the stage at school and in a band with my Dad. At 14 I joined a rock band with my brother Donnie who later played as a band member with The Guess Who. By the time I was 17 I was playing as a solo artist and have done so ever since.

Whether at a school playing and singing for youth, or at a concert in Toronto with 60,000 people in attendance, each performance has been meaningful to me, each one giving a wealth of learning. I hope that I have touched others with my music.

After the sucess of a career in performing and recording for RCA, television, radio, and concert halls, I stepped back to pursue other intersts.

Throughout the 80's, 90's, and up until now, 2010, I have been busy teaching, studying, and graduating, earning several diplomas from various schools, such as: the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, a Bachelor's and Master's Degree from the Universtity of Laval, a Certificate in Liturgy and Sacred Music from St. Joseph's College in Rensalaer Indiana, a Certificate in Management by Responsibility as well as a Certificate in Facilitation from Marge Denis Ph.D and Associates.

I founded a music and publishing company, Adoramus Ministries, in 1975 and continue to work and operate this company today.

My main focus is sharing my sound with people, through voice and piano, to bring them good energy, joy, hope, and relaxation. I beleive that much of my music is composed for film, as themes to movies, and in these years, I want to continue to share my music with and for people.

Facilitating workshops, teaching, reflection, and retreat days, concerts, and performances are my passion. I hope to continue this work for a long time to come. I beleive that we are all gifted and called to share our gifts with others in constructing a better and more harmonious world.

Robbie