Violette André has been in love with song and stage since she was 8 years old.
For the ITER employees assembled in the lobby of Agence Iter France on Thursday, the day started with coffee, croissants, and Charles Aznavour.
But the songs of this Armenian-French singer weren't the only ones on the repertoire ... there was also a Brazilian love song, a selection of French popular and traditional songs, and "Wild World" by English singer/songwriter Cat Stevens.
Amateur singer Violette André, assistant in the Human Resource Division, teamed up with guitarist Florent Jalabert, design coordinating engineer for system processes, and violinist Chris Walker, senior technical officer for diagnostics, for this early morning concert.
"We chose a repertoire that we thought would please our international crowd," says Violette, "and provided the words so that everyone could join in. Music is a great way to get beyond cultural barriers like language."
Musicians Florent Jalabert, guitar; Chris Walker, violin; and an accordionist from the crowd who joined in spontaneously.
The breakfast event was organized by Agence Iter France in honour of La Fete de la Musique, an event launched by the French Ministry of Culture in 1982 as a "spontaneous celebration of music" that has now been adopted by more than 100 countries around the world. Each year, on the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, concerts of every type—all free—are put on in music halls and on the street.
Event organizer Shawn Simpson comments: "Our intercultural breakfasts on themes like poetry, food and music all aim to promote intercultural awareness. Today was the second time that we've celebrated the Fete de la Musique and I'm sure not the last! There are many amateur musicians on the ITER team."
"I've been in love with song and stage since I was eight years old, and I'm always happy to share my passion with others," says Violette. "I'll admit, though, that singing at 8 a.m. in the morning is a first for me!"