Town or commune bands

Would anyone have any thoughts on music opportunities for amateurs? I’ve played french horn in a number of small-towns’ community bands. It’s been a great way to play music and make friends. It also might be a good way to integrate into a community, during the interim while I shore up my limited french conversation skills. Has anyone seen any town bands, comprised of amateur folks who play local concerts or perform for summer holidays or town events? Or is this not something I should expect to find or participate in, in France…

A friends wife regularly played with a few French horns in a couple local villages, my friend was devastated when he found out and they are now separated.


Hi Mary Wolcott. I don’t know about other towns, but in our small town (2,600 population of which about 8% are English or other European immigrants) there is a very lively and popular town band that performs at all town events, from the solemn to the frivolous, with great oomph and flair. I’ve no doubt if you lived here (in Lower Normandy) you would be most warmly welcomed and your skills would be much appreciated.

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Where abouts are you…??? Have you looked in your local paper to see what folk are up to ??

There are a great deal of musical goings-on in France…you just need to get tuned in …:relaxed: (couldn’t resist it)

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Hi Stella, the nature of town bands is a sort of interesting ‘live music’ experience. It’s more community service, from my experience in the US. I figured something like this might be more likely word-of-mouth or via the town halls; so for town bands, sometimes it’s good to know the ‘lay of the land’… Sometimes joining one is completely voluntary, sometimes a potential bandmember has to audition first, sometimes there’s a stipend. In the US music education in the primary and secondary schools has sharply waned so it’s harder to find town bands. They had their heyday in the mid-to-late-twentieth century. Not sure if this makes sense; but I think my main thought was that it can be good to ask around, first, to see if folks have heard of a local community band, and/or if they like the town band, the current conductor … can be good to find general opinion first before diving in. Town bands can be odd birds. I have lots of fun with some, and felt like I was back in high school with others. The latter, not so much fun.

Anyway, regarding musical goings-on YES yay! I’m so looking forward to seeing live music in France. I just met some jazz musicians who are expats and was invited to contact and see them play when I’m in France, which is perhaps a great, sort of safe-ish, start to my live music experience there. I’ve budgeted for many musical opportunities. There’s a great band called ‘Le S.N.O.B.’ which I would love to see live (Couldn’t resist mentioning).

If you go to any musical events please I hope you might mention your experience… Just a thought. I’m all ears. :slight_smile: Cheers. Thanks again.