Last Sunday we had the AGM for The Harmonie (town band) of Lannion, and our conductor resigned after 25 years of service at the age of 82.
He probably should have resigned at least 5 years ago, but we have got used to his idiosyncratic ways; so when he beats 4 and it’s a waltz in 3/4 we ignore him and he catches up (or sometimes he just sways from side to side then launches into the first bar so we have to be alert).
He’s a very amiable person, with lots of stories; in fact, during the war he was living in Lorraine when he was put up against a wall to be shot by German soldiers as a reprisal shooting, only to be pulled at the last minute by one of the soldiers as he was only 15 years old.
The Mairie was very generous. We had the agm in the council chambers, with a photo slide show on their big screen showing the history of the band. Afterwards, they provided all the drinks during which our outgoing conductor was presented with a sculpture in wood of the triple clef, and a painting of him conducting us.
Afterwards, we adjourned to a local restaurant for our annual meal. The new “chef ” is Jean Louis, who conducts a local classical orchestra. I have some doubts about him… musically he is fine, but he’s a bit of a control freak and the band is full of anarchists. His partner, Veronique, was at the meal. She played clarinet with us for a few years before succumbing to the modern ailment of marriage problems, but has been with JL a few years. The surprising thing for us was that she was pregnant with twins, and she is ..…52!