Their faces were intent, some serious, a few initially nervous, and even a few looking like old pros. But everyone in the Leran Choir beamed and sparked an exuberance that lasted well into the evening. For the few of us ‘locals’ not in the Choir, this performance at Friday’s Marche Nocturne was a long-anticipated moment.
Somewhere between 30 – 50 brave souls, both French and English speakers, many whom had never carried a tune in their lives except in the shower, have trusted the re-education of their windpipes to the adept choirmaster Alan Simmons. And it paid off! Their renditions of Rag Doll, La Mer and Champs Elysees, to name a few, left audiences clapping repeatedly.
But when they solemnly sang the Areige departmental anthem….in Occitan…I couldn’t help but notice that they weren’t the only ones singing. Numerous others in the audience joined in with heartfelt pride. This will be the song the Choir will perform next week during the Leran’Cestral Spectacular. Next Stop, Broadway!
We are being visited by friends from Moab, Jim & Vicki, who just completed 14 days hiking Le Tour du Mont Blanc. We had instructed them if they were coming down our way, it had to include a Friday night. I don’t think they were disappointed. I caught them humming Rag Doll.