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TEXARKANA — Local conductor and music director Marc-Andre Bougie's 2020 pandemic project of a requiem mass is now a finalist for a national performing arts competition.

Bougie was announced Thursday as a finalist for the American Prize National Nonprofit Competitions in the Performing Arts by David Volosin Katz, the founder and chief judge.

Specifically, Bougie is a finalist for the professional division of the American Prize in Composition — Major Choral Works. He's one of 16 finalists for the honors.

Bougie is music director and conductor for the Texarkana Regional Chorale and associate professor of music at Texarkana College.

"I am thankful that the 'Requiem' will get national attention, and that this honor might further potential performances of it in various parts of the country. A composer's dream is always to have his/her music gain a life of its own, and for the music to be heard, felt and enjoyed by as many listeners as possible," Bougie said. "I'm looking forward to knowing about who the winner will be in these next few weeks, but in the meantime, I will keep on composing and working with student composers through my work at Texarkana College, and preparing for the Carnegie Hall premiere of the 'Requiem' in March 2022."

Bougie also serves as a board member of the Conductor's Guild and music director at Sacred Heart Catholic Church here in Texarkana.

The composer premiered the composition at Sacred Heart last summer as part of a Latin requiem mass. His requiem uses a solo soprano, solo baritone, flute, clarinet, French horn, trumpet, timpani and strings.

For Bougie, his passion for composing returned last year, he explained in a 2020 Gazette article, so he worked methodically on this composition.

Bougie said last year about composing the work, "I spent a lot of time this last spring, reading, meditating, praying, trying to make sense of this situation. The urge to compose came to me. Something that people might not know about me is that I was trained as a composer."

The composer and conductor is scheduled to bring the work to Carnegie Hall for a March 19 performance next year, and he was announced as a semi-finalist for the American Prize in Composition in February.

"This is also a memorable occasion for members of the Texarkana Regional Chorale and Texarkana College music students who will be performing the piece on stage," Bougie said then about the future Carnegie Hall appearance. "We will be joined by the New England Symphonic Ensemble and also world-class soloists."

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