When we first moved to France in 2015 we made a point of visiting as many local events as we could just to see what was going on in and around our new home. At an event organised by a neighbouring Dutch ceramic artist we met some English people from our village, Le Petit Pressigny. In the course of conversation I let it slip that I was interested in music.

Dave and his fiddle.
(Photo- Janet Newcomer)

The following day, we received a visit from the then chairman of the village’s Comité des Fêtes. He introduced himself and explained that the Committee was organising a celebration for the Fête de La Musique, a national French festival, which takes place on June 21st every year.

By the time he left, I had offered to play my violin using the backing tracks from my CDs; offered the use of my P. A. system, which was fortunate as the committee had been thinking about buying a new system, and I had also offered to find some more musicians and run a disco at the end of the evening. The village would look after tents, seating, a meal and a bar. What could go wrong? Well, nothing did go wrong actually.

Having only been in our new home for 3 months I ran the music part of the evening which was well-supported by the local population and many visitors from surrounding villages.

It’s June 2020 and we’re organising our 6th Fête de la musique. Due to the Coronavirus outbreak we cannot meet together, so we are creating a different musical experience. But, more of that later.

In Previous Years

Over the years we’ve had some great performances from a variety of different groups. Our bands, Celtiqua and the “I Don’t Know” band have played every year. You can listen to Celtiqua singing the Irish song Jock Stewart and playing Margaret’s Waltz by following this link https://youtu.be/LxOFrNPXdfk

Celtiqua.

We have welcomed two local Chorales to our stage. The chorale from Descartes, “Decartimento” and from Preuilly-sur-Claise, “Passe Moi L’sol”. You can listen to a concert by Passe Moi L’sol by following this link.

Passe Moi L’sol.

In recent years, our friends Jim Craig and Dominique Bourgeois formed the duet, The Old Hat band. They can be heard singing and playing in local bars. They opened last year’s concert in fine style. Listen to Jim and Dominique here.

Each year our celebration has begun with a wonderful classical concert in the Petit Pressigny church with Denise Blanc’s chorale –

Les chanteurs de
Chevarnay opening the Fête de La Musique in Le Petit Pressigny, June 2019.

2020 and Covid-19

June 21st 2020 will be considerably different from previous years. We are in the middle of a Pandemic and the country is coming out of a lockdown or confinement. Although some of the restrictions are being lifted with shops and restaurants opening, we cannot meet, even in the open air, for activities, like concerts, which involve lots of people gathering together in one place.

It is clear that people still wish to celebrate music and so we have organised a virtual music festival, “Fête virtuelle de La Music”, on the Le Petit Pressigny Facebook Page.

Facebook Title for the Virtual Fête de La musique.

We have programmed a wide range of music to be uploaded to the Facebook Page between 09h00 and 23h00.

Starting with Johnny Hallyday, a great favourite in France, right through the last 6 decades with YouTube clips of Nina Simone, Édith Piaf, Maurice Chevalier to name but 3 through to contemporary singers such as Aya Nakamura and Alizé.

We are also featuring those who have performed at the Fête de La Musique in previous years. Celtiqua, The Old Hat band, Akwasi Satchmo, and local Chorales, Passe Moi L’sol, Les chanters de Chevarnay, and Descartimento.

We are also encouraging anyone to upload a link for their favourite song or piece of music. It should be a feast of entertainment and will remain of the Facebook Page forever.