Inter-municipal music school: Patrick Leclerc takes over

Change in continuity. The famous slogan could apply to the handover between Philippe Guyon and Patrick Leclerc at the head of the music school where a pianist takes the place of a saxophonist.

Patrick Leclerc took up his duties as interim director on 11 October. Piano teacher in the factory for 11 years, he also plays the keyboards of the big band of the Petite Camargue, the jazz formation created and directed still today by Philippe Guyon.

The world of the accordion

Originally from the Southwest, born in 1963, Patrick Leclerc was very quickly attracted to music and more particularly to the accordion. He was just four when he discovered this fabulous instrument. In no case would he have lost the Sunday meeting of the ORTF “Le Monde de l’Accordéon”.

Whenever there was this show, I would interrupt everything and sit in front of the TV at my grandfather’s house. I didn’t move, I was amazed by this show. My grandfather ended up saying to my parents: but this kid, he has to make music!

As a teenager, he devoted himself to training as a musician. During an exam in his native Southwest, he had the chance to meet a brilliant young accordionist from Avignon. The latter convinced him to take flight, to leave his region and to follow the pedagogy of the famous master Jacques Mornet. Jacques Mornet is the father of the singing teacher of the Petite Camargue inter-municipal school, Mylène Mornet.

Around the age of 21, 22 he starts his profession very young, he performs a lot on stage in various orchestras and groups … always on the accordion. He also starts doing some keyboards in these orchestras. It was in this period that he thought of enriching his training as a pianist.

I said to myself: I have passed all my accordion diplomas, I am young, I have the time, why not complete my career as a musician.

A musician friend, a professor at the Cavaillon Conservatory with whom he played from time to time, told him about the creation of an accordion and piano course in the institute.

So I started teaching at that time in 1987 at the municipal conservatory of Cavaillon.

From accordion to jazz

In the Durance valley he still has a great meeting that will open up a new musical horizon for him. Thierry Riboulet, Vaud, conducts the big band at the conservatory. He urges him to join the group.

Patrick, he told me, I don’t have a big band pianist, it would be nice if you came. I hesitated because I didn’t have much practice, he insisted and for me it was a revelation.

Here it is, this is how my story began … with my accordion diploma.

1990 is the beginning of the Aveyron adventure. Following a friend, a drum teacher, he was approached to teach jazz accordion and piano at the Aveyron departmental conservatory. A large facility, 12 branches, 1,600 students.

One condition, however. And, cut! He must first prepare a state diploma.

I had no choice, I started working like crazy. I had a dance orchestra, I taught at the conservatory, I led the band, I had a son and I had to take a training course for 15 hours a week. I worked up to longer hours, every day, Monday to Saturday.

I passed all my diplomas and got this academy price with State Diploma equivalence.

Soon after, the director of the conservatory suggested that I take over the direction of a branch, a music school. I found myself antenna director on two different schools. He was very formative for me. He allowed me to manage a team and understand that every person is different. And you have to approach each person differently to get projects through or explain things.

The changes in his personal life will lead him after several years spent in the Aveyron to move to the nearby Hérault department. The daily round trip trips from Montpellier to Rodez are becoming more and more restrictive and arduous. Furthermore, it is with great enthusiasm that he welcomes his appointment in 2011 to the Petite Camargue intercommunal music school. He is offered a new professional and artistic opportunity.

The inter-municipal school of music, the cultural jewel of the Petite Camargue

For 11 years Patrick Leclerc has been exercising his talent as a musician in the South of Gard establishment, whose reputation continues to grow. The artist and the pedagogue who are the same have found their place in the territory of the Camargue.

Taking over from Philippe Guyon is a formidable challenge. Perpetuating the spirit of the school, consolidating its achievements and at the same time guiding its development, these are the tasks that await the new director.

Bring your stone to the building

Philippe’s philosophy, his workhorse, what must absolutely be maintained is: music for everyone. And access to music for everyone.

We are a public service, we are at the service of the public – which should never be forgotten – and we have a chance at the music school, it is this contact with the students and this ease of being able to play together. There are already many ensembles, harmony, symphony orchestra, big band, choir, guitar ensemble, rock ensemble, jazz ensemble … It is already huge what has been done in this school … But we can go even further.

What I would like to bring is this openness of the school to the outside … on new educational projects … on the real work between the departments of tools and between teachers.

What can we ride together? Why not combine the symphony orchestra with the guitar ensemble? A real transversality between the different teachers and the setting of pedagogies or artistic projects mixed among all.

Encourage and advise groups of young people in training and creativity. These are called personalized trips. Around young teenagers that we could supervise and help them do open scenes in a place, a bar, a restaurant …

Music is a real social bond. There are no boundaries in music. There is no segregation. It is one of the means by which people can live happily together.

JI strongly believe in the future of the school. People will need to come together to share a common destiny. We are going through difficult times, they will have to get together on projects, forget worries, make music. It is living together on a cultural level.

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