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Our recent month’s stay in Brittany included 15 and 16 September which are Journées du Patrimoine in France. I had already seen on the internet that St-Connec was holding a brass band concert in the church on the Sunday evening, and while posting it on Living France Facebook, I arranged with the Mayor to reserve seats.
In addition, I sent an email to the conductor requesting an English composition be played if possible, as we would be there on holiday.
St-Connec is the neighbouring commune to Hémonstoir where we used to live, and so, not only as brass enthusiasts did we eagerly anticipate the concert, but it also gave us the opportunity to see old familiar faces.
It was quite an event for the population of around 288 and the church was packed – the ladies in chic French fashion while some of the farmers wore their best blue overalls.
The Brass Band Lorient Bretagne Sud is well-known for performing each year in the Inter-Celtic Festival held in Lorient, which is visited by 700,000 people from all over the world.
The concert was most enjoyable and did include MacArthur Park, a firm favourite of ours! Towards the end, I somehow grasped the translation “Un air traditionnel écossais joué a la fin de l’annee” nudged my husband and whispered “I bet this is Auld Lang Syne” and lo and behold, a lone piper entered through a side door playing the very tune, letting in all the evening sunshine.
A perfect ending, with a bit of Britain in the middle of the Breton countryside.