Debra Lacoste

Music History, Understanding Music; Trumpet

Debra LacostePhone: 519-885-0220 x24226


Debra Lacoste’s professional activities span a number of fields: medieval chant research, university teaching, freelance trumpet playing, choral directing, private music instruction. Debra is Project Manager and Principal Researcher of CANTUS: A Database for Latin Ecclesiastical Chant, an online digital archive of medieval manuscript indices with which she has been associated since it was moved to Canada in 1997. Debra was successful in bringing CANTUS to the University of Waterloo in the spring of 2011 with funding from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and is delighted to have the database associated with other exciting digital humanities projects as part of MARGOT.

In addition to teaching duties at several area universities including Conrad Grebel University College, Debra has been an active member of "Cantus Planus" (a Study Group of the International Musicological Society) as well as other associations dedicated to the study of the Middle Ages and early Latin chant.

Originally from Kitchener, Ontario, Debra Lacoste attended Wilfrid Laurier University (BMus, Music History, 1992). Shortly afterwards, she completed the requirements for her Associate Diploma in Trumpet Performance from the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto (A.R.C.T.). She continued her musicological studies at The University of Western Ontario (MA, Music History, 1995; PhD Systematic Musicology, 2000) where her research and dissertation focused on some of the earliest medieval ecclesiastical chant books from the abbey of Klosterneuburg, near Vienna. She has been the winner of numerous scholarships, including several OGS awards, a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) Doctoral Fellowship, and a SSHRC Post-Doctoral Fellowship. A SSHRC Standard Research Grant has allowed her to continue her research into the classification of responsory verse-tones.

Her publications to date include the book Four Klosterneuburg Antiphoners: Augustiner-Chorherren Stiftsbibliothek, 1013, 1012, 1017 and 1018. A CANTUS Index (Ottawa: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 1998), six journal articles, a festschrift and a newsletter article, two papers in conference proceedings, several book reviews, two project manuals, an editorial role in the book Salamanca, Archivo de la Catedral, 5, 6, 7, 8. A Cantus Index (Ottawa: The Institute of Mediaeval Music, 2001), as well as many electronic submissions to the CANTUS database, both as primary indexer and as editor. She is currently co-editing a 1000-page volume of conference proceedings for the Cantus Planus Study Group.  She has presented papers at conferences and colloquia in Zürich, Regensburg, London (Canada), Waterloo, Toronto, Leuven (Belgium), Rochester, Niederaltaich (Germany), Oxford, Hamilton, Halifax, Vienna and Ottawa, as well as several at the annual Medieval Congress in Kalamazoo.

Outside of academic life, Debra enjoys freelance trumpet playing, directing her community choir “Fireside Voices,” and spending time with her family. She is a member of the “Brass Essentials” quintet, and operates a private teaching studio.

University of Waterloo

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