Throughout their history, the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary have placed great importance on musical expression. Their archives contain many original compositions and recordings. Among these collections are the works of Sister Anne Cecile. Her accomplishments reflect the value of music in the lives of the Sisters and their students.
Frances Marie Daigle was born in Seattle, Washington on June 25, 1908. She was the oldest of four children born to Peter H. Daigle and Mary Ann Stoskoff Daigle. As a child, she attended Sacred Heart Elementary School and Cathedral High School. She entered the novitiate of the Sisters of the Holy Names of Jesus and Mary on July 26, 1926 and received the name Sister Mary Anne Cecile. On August 5, 1928, she made her first vows. She made her final vows on August 5, 1932.
Sister Anne Cecile’s lifelong dedication to music began at the age of six when a traveling salesman gave her a violin in exchange for purchasing 60 music lessons. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Music in Violin from Marylhurst College in 1934, a Master of Music in Composition from DePaul University in 1949, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Composition from the University of Southern California in 1960. Her musical teaching career began at St. Francis Academy in Portland. She later taught music at Holy Names Normal School in Spokane, Holy Names College in Spokane, and Marylhurst College in Marylhurst. At Marylhurst College, she served as the Consultant for Orchestral Services in Continuing Education and was named Professor Emeritus in 1992. She was a member of the National Association of Music Teachers, American String Teachers Association, American Musicological Society, and International Society of Composers.
In addition to her career as a music teacher, Sister Anne Cecile was an accomplished composer. She composed more than a dozen commissioned works. Her original works include Chronicle of Creation, Suite for Solo Violin, Quintet for Piano and Strings, English Folk Tune Suite, and American Folk Tune Suite. She was honored by the University of Southern California’s Composition Department for her outstanding achievements in the field of music in 1960. She was selected as the Composer of the Year by the Oregon Music Teachers Association in 1973 and selected as the Northwest Woman Composer of the Year by the National Federation of Music Clubs in 1974. Her original works have been performed by the Spokane Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra.