Louis-Joseph Lachance was born in Quebec on April 21, 1918. In 1944, he married Marguerite Gignac of Quebec. The couple took up residence in Edmundston and had four children: Louis-Antoine, Marguerite, Pierre et Jean-Yves. Louis-Joseph Lachance had a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Bachelor in Philosophy, a Bachelor in Pedagogy, a Licentiate in Music and a Certificate in Gregorian chant. He was elected “Fellow” for life of the InstitutInternational des Arts et des Lettres (F.I.A.L.). He received his musical education from Joseph Turgeon, Alfred Laliberté, Pierre Monteux and Guy Mayer.
Having arrived in Edmundston in April 1944 as organist of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral`s Casavant organ, Louis-Joseph, as several took pleasure in calling him, became choirmaster and director of the St. Cecile Choir. From the beginning, he founded a Petite Maitrise. He was co-founder and the first lay professor at the Collège Saint-Louis founded by the Eudists in 1946, in the military barracks. He taught French, Latin, History, Philosophy and Music. He worked as professor until the time of his death.
He gave private piano, organ and singing lessons. He tutored a few great musicians of importance such as Mr. Martin Waltz, who was director of the Music Department of Université de Moncton during a few years and is now director of the Chœur Neil Michaud of Moncton.
Louis-Joseph produced three operattas in the beginning of the 1950’s, composed a dozen liturgical masses (Latin and French), several motets and other pieces. During the 1950’s and 1960’s, he directed the Community Concerts (sponsored by Columbia Records). He was the instigator of the Edmundston music festivals at the beginning of the 1960’s and director of the Edmundston Symphony from 1964 to 1966. His motto, Mens Sana InCorpore Sano (ASound Mind in a Sound Body), is engraved on a trophy at Université de Moncton, campus d’Edmundston (Collège Saint-Louis) and awarded to the student who has succeeded in combining both his intellectual and physical education. Louis-Joseph encouraged a complete education through arts, culture and sports.
On a social and community level, he was a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Club Richelieu, the Caissepopulaire of the Immaculate Conception parish and the Insurance Company “Les Artisans”. He held many voluntary functions within these organizations. He was judge in musical contests, collaborator for Le Madawaska newspaper, CJEM radio station as well as for a historical society. He was also an Edmundston School District trustee from 1967 to 1970.
A man of culture and accomplished musician, Louis-Joseph Lachance succeeded in making classical and liturgical music accessible to the local population. In less than 25 years, he has left a great musical heritage to the Madawaska County. He passed away in Edmundston at 52 years of age while he was still active in various positions. He was buried at the Edmundston Cemetery for one year. Since 1972, his remains rest at the St. Charles Cemetery in Quebec.