Proulx began his musical training with piano studies at age six and benefited from the unique musical training then fostered in Saint Patrick’s Parochial School in Saint Paul, MN, where twice daily music classes and choral singing were emphasized. He attended MacPhail College and the University of Minnesota with further studies undertaken at The American Boychoir School at Princeton, NJ, Saint John’s Abbey at Collegeville, MN, and the Royal School of Church Music in England. He was appointed composer-in-residence for 1994–1995 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, UT, and was a Visiting Fellow at the Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, TX. Currently working as a free-lance composer and conductor, he had also been an editorial consultant for numerous music publishers.
In 1994, he received an honorary doctorate from General Theological Seminary in New York City, and a second honorary doctorate in 2009 from the University of Saint Thomas in Saint Paul, MN. In 1989, Proulx was presented the Gold Medal of the Archdiocese of Chicago by the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin.
Founded in 1991 primarily as an independent recording ensemble, The Cathedral Singers produced over twenty-five compact disc recordings under the direction Richard Proulx. Selections from the Cathedral Singers’ recording, “Sublime Chant,” were featured in an episode of the NBC television drama “ER,” and the entire Chant recording is included in a New Earth Video, “Mount Shasta: Meeting of Heaven and Earth.” The Cathedral Singers appeared with the Metropolis Symphony Orchestra, and presented concerts in Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Saint Louis, Milwaukee, Cincinnati, Saint Paul, Indianapolis, and Chicago.
Richard Proulx was the son of the late Raymond Proulx. He is survived by his mother, Helen Proulx, sisters Jeanette Payette and Barbara Callahan, and brothers, Gerald and James Proulx. Richard was preceded in death by his youngest brother, Jeffrey.
Memorials may be sent to one of the following charities:
- Habitat for Humanity, 2201 S Halstead St., Ste 1251, Chicago, IL 60608;
- Greater Chicago Food Depository, 4100 W Ann Lurie Place, Chicago, IL 60632;
- Lambda Legal, 120 Wall Street, Ste 1500, New York, NY 10005;
- Doctors Without Borders, PO Box 5022, Hagerstown, MD 21741.