Former coal miner Maurice André from the Cevennes in France.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3fZ4ss01Sc"]YouTube - Maurice André, Telemann Sonata in D[/ame]
Maurice André was born May 21th, 1933, into a miner's family in Ales in the Cevennes. His father was an amateur trumpet player and a great music lover. He played in the small villages and one day he came back with an old cornet. Maurice who then was 12 ½ years old had done his solfeggio for two years. He fell in love with the instrument:
"Dad gave me Lily Lily Bye Bye and other little love songs to play... after 5 days I could play these melodies (they were quarter notes followed by half notes). He got me hooked onto this, then he taught me popular songs."
His father also did a great thing when he sent Maurice to study with a friend of his, Monsieur Leon Barthélémy who had studied at the Paris Conservatory under Professor Merri Franquin (1848-1934).
With Barthélémy, Maurice had to buy method books like Arban and as he says:
"the great method which I practiced with M. Barthélémy, that of Merri Franquin. Yes, the method .. the question of soft and loud attacks, all kinds of tonguing. He stuffed me full of these tonguing exercises, pianissimo without forcing the high register or the low. You know, looking back I look on Franquin's method as one of the best."
After 4 years study, Barthélémy told his father that he had to get Maurice, who then was working in the mine, to Paris to study at the Conservatory. But being a miner he could not afford that.
Then Barthélémy got the idea that Maurice should try to become a member of a military band. Soon after, Maurice was in Mont-Valerien with the 8th regiment. At the Conservatory you could get a free place as member of a military band. At 18, in 1951, Maurice left the mine and entered the Paris Conservatory in the class of Professor Raymond Sabarich (1909-1966).
Here he is talking, together with his long-suffering wife. She listens with a fond expression on her face as he, ahem, blows his own trumpet.
[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nqJbsZzJHKU"]YouTube - Maurice André interview[/ame]