Throughout the area there are many local wind bands (known as ‘L’Harmonies’ and sometimes ‘Fanfares’), many of which owe their origin in some way to the mining industry that once was and which used to encourage their development. Lens, too, had it’s Harmonie band (L’Harmonie des Mines de Lens); however, as happened with many of the ensembles: as the mining industry declined, it became municipally funded and in this way they carry on to this day. I have joined the now titled ‘l’Orchestre à Vents de Lens’ whilst I am living here as part of my residency, and I am enjoying meeting and rehearsing with my fellow local musicians.

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