Music for Armistice Day memorial event

I’m going to play my first-ever France memorial celebration for Armistice Day. The orchestre I’m rehearsing with, has been rehearsing other music, but none of the music we’re scheduled to play at the village event on Monday morning!

The commemorative music titles are:
La Marseillaise (chantée par les élèves du collège)
Les Dragons de Noailles
La Marche de Robert Bruce
La Madelon
Les sonneries habituelles (Aux Morts, Au drapeau)

I’m going to be literally playing by ear. I’ve had to do this before with other town band performances (in the states, not in France though!), and I’m hoping that the general idea is to show up on time in proper dress, and of course with musical instrument; play as often as possible, as correctly as possible, and as softly as possible.

I’m going to participate in a French community event, along with all of these other musicians (only a few of whom speak English) most of whom are France natives and for whom this kind of thing is what they’ve been used to since childhood. I think it’s a bit thrilling and nerve-wracking; I hope I have the right attitude, given the situation, for this first time experience.

This evening, there’s a rehearsal, and perhaps they’ll hand out some music tonight. Crossing fingers and toes but generally just trusting that things will work out…



Good luck and enjoy it


Google and youtube might be your friends tonight? But well done you - a great thing to do!

I remember when I lived in a greek cypriot area my music teacher asked me to help at a big cypriot local event (I forget what it was now…just that there were a lot a small women dressed in black in the front row looking very stern). I play the saxophone, which is not a traditional instrument, and what he forgot to tell me is that the orchestra was his children’s orchestra and nearly everything was to be in 9/4. I am 5’10”, not a child, and not in any way greek cypriot looking. I was petrified - but the feedback was all very positive about the fact that I had joined in. So enjoy it as a great experience!


Cheers to and for you, Mary @MaryW!

Music is such a wonderfully integrating medium, all my wrinkles and jags smooth out when I sing, although I don’t play an instrument (we learned recorder at infant school, what teacherly genius! :hugs:).

Our “éléphant” band thrills us all in Sourdeval, and I hope very much you too thrill and are thrilled on Monday. Bon courage!

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Thanks, all! I so enjoy getting to chronicle some of the things happening in my new life in France.

I did get some sheet music of the songs.


Hi Peter,

Not sure what an elephant band is, but I’m thinking maybe it’s your local town fanfare?

Best always,

That’s it. The huge brass euphonium thingie is painted to look like an elephant’s head and trunk, and the band took on that name. It has a signature march, and I’ll ask what is tomorrow. It’s jolly, and invites a jolly crocodile to march along after it.

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And it’s fun to read them, and often instructive in all sorts of unexpected and original ways, I find.

I wonder if French immigrants to UK have such usefully novel experience there, and share them on forums, as we do. What on earth would they find life-enhancing?

Perhaps they will tell us. Mind you, @vero spills the cross-cultural beans very entertainingly and often :hugs:

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I haven’t really appreciated how sad a piece of music is Adagio for Strings, by Samuel Barber. I listened on earphones tonight with my eyes closed and couldn’t help but think how appropriate it is for these current wretched times, especially for the Palestinians.

It has been played in the past to memorialise horrors such as the Holocaust, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, Challenger Explosion, Manchester Arena Bombing, and most recently, Ukraine.

There used to be a Palestine Symphony Orchestra. I hope one day it can be reassembled and play this piece of music themselves.


Unfortunately, these things can take some time.

The other evening we met a few fiends (no, they’re friends!) in a local resto called L’Entre Deux which is in a village that is not only split between two departements, but also straddles two regions. consequently half the village is Saint Santin d’Aveyron and the other half is Saint Santin de Maurs (Cantal). Because it’s/they’re in France there are also two mairies and two churches which are just a few metres apart and both of which predate the 1st Republique by several centuries! Lastly between the two is a single war memorial, but on two faces are the dead of the Aveyronnais and on the other two sides are commemorated the deaths from the Cantal.

Cutting back to our diner, we learned that on Saturday, Saint Santin had two ceremonies, with two separate choirs, approximately 20m apart, singing from opposite sides of the village square - one lot in the Aveyron and the other lot safely in the Cantal! What hope is there for Palestine…?

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Palestine spirit?