It's well-known that Montpellier is a very small place; you keep bumping into people you know in town and everyone knows what everyone is doing.
I had not been overly aware of this phenomenon, not making particularly frequent visits into town, and working outside the city. Still, this week I was hit full force.
After returning from doing my Masters during my ex-h's military service, and having played in an orchestra during my uni days in Bristol, I decided to seek out an amateur orchestra in Montpellier. I found one: the Ensemble Instrumental Contrepoint. It was made up of young people; many formerly of the Conservatoire who were pretty good, and then ones like me who were okay. I was lucky, I played the viola so was always in demand.
The conductor and director was one Franck Fontcouberte who was a passionate guy in more ways than one (and ended up marrying her), and dragged us all kicking and screaming to get the best out of us. We even made a mini disk. It was good fun. I missed the tour to Eastern Europe because I had got pregnant and would have to give up the orchestra as there would be no one to help me look after the baby (certainly not my ex-h).
That was in 1996. This week, the Ensemble Instrumental Contrepoint, directed by Franck Fontcouberte told us that it is going to participate in Promo'Arts' art auction to provide a chamber orchestra half-hour concert just before, and a quartet during the buffet. It seems that they practice at the Domaine de Verchant where we are holding our auction, and have agreed to offer us some delightful music.
Talk about a coincidence. I am delighted at the prospect of seeing the orchestra again and hearing how they have moved on from agreeably amateur to professional. Apparently Franck remembers who I am (there aren't that many viola players floating about) and I'm looking forward to catching up on what he's been doing.
It's a real blast from the past. My son is now 10!