The Drummers of the VIGNON Family - photos collection - version en Français




Jacques (photo)



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Philippe (photo)













Luc (photo)





Jacques VIGNON (1854-1926) (photo)

He was a son of Antoine (weaver of muslin) and Jeanne-Marie (embroiderer), born herself Vignon. They had six children and lived in Sainte-Colombe-sur-Gand and close in the hamlet of La Sauvetey, in Chirassimont. These children established in the villages in the surroundings, including Chirassimont and Panissières, a small town above Feurs, a place where still are numerous descendants of our family. In this branch, the tradition of drummers was lost.

Jacques, who lived in Montchal, was the first drummer who is known in the family, but we have only one information about his learning, in the 104th Regimental, which was in Verdun. He is mentioned as a drummer on the 24th of April, 1877. This date can be considered as the beginning of the family drummers story. Jacques was known as a good "caisse" that is proved through this story. Farmer, he worked hard in the way of giving a farm to each of his four children.


Jean-Claude VIGNON (1870-1945) (photo-1) - (photo-2) - (photo-3) - (photo-4)

Younger brother of the previous, from who he learned to play Drum, certainly a little before going to do his period in the French Army. He did it, from 1891 November to 1894, September, in the 152° Regiment in Épinal (Vosges). Only three weeks after his arrival in the regimental band, he became instructor for the drummers, then Caporal. His technical capacities thus result altogether from the area of Chirassimont, and not from the military band, what is exceptional. Only a few of drummers, may be excepted in Paris, owned at this time his technical capacities, which still today allow to do it as a profession. The reputation of his playing qualities and his endurance was real. This is from this period that the dominance of the Vignon family for all in relation with Drum is recognized in the area, and even farther away.

He mainly had the occasions of playing during conscript days, and also religious processions, frequent in this time. He used to play up to he was 72. He was of course also a founder member of the band in Chirassimont (l'Indépendante)  see text  in 1931.

Jean-Claude (or rather "Jean") put into practice his lively and ingenious mind in a lot of simultaneous activities see commercial card : watches, sewing and all sorts machines repairer, merchant of hats, saddler, weaver. He owned several motorcycles and also one of the first cars in the village.

He brought from the regimental band three marches for Drum, today named "Marches de Chirassimont", still played in our Batterie-Fanfare, but in no other place in France, as I know. His Drum (photo) takes of course a big place in the family collection, among all the others, and is often used for playing, bringing every time a real pleasure see roulage d'une peau animale.


Antoine VIGNON (1900-1967) (photo-1) - (photo-2)

First son of the previous. He learned to play Drum from his youth and so could assist his father for parades and processions, after the 14-18 war. He quickly got the technical knowledge of his father and so contributed efficiently to the continuity of the familial tradition. He also was a founder member of the Indépendante.

He also played Violin, often accompanying singers of feasts. His nice voice was heard every Sunday in the church during dozens years. As a true artist, he was him also in his job, behind his weaving looms, finding his contentment in the realisation of complicated articles.


Gustave VIGNON (1905-1981) (photo-1) - (photo-2)

Younger brother of the previous, he learned playing Drum, in only some months, as it is said, in the time of the creation of the Indépendante (1931), of which he was the first secretary. This late study (he was 25 or 26) prevented him from having all qualities of the other members of the family.

However, he inherited from his father art of repairing watches, clocks and other mechanical objects.

Having stopped his instrumental practice, he continued exercising functions in Indépendante, as vice-president, president, president of honour. He encouraged it in its success, with disease, and his advice filled with wisdom was sometimes very useful in difficult instants.


Robert VIGNON (1927-1985) (photo 1) (photo 2)

Son of Antoine. Man of exception, drummer of exception. Having begun early the study of playing Drum in a almost obligatory way, he participated in the upturn of the Indépendante at the end of 1944. He immediately was a very important and active member, in any case always a "support".

His very asserted qualities made him pointed out in the beginning of the fifties, by a regional responsible of the Federation Sportive et Culturelle de France. This Federation just placed at the head of the musical commission, Monsieur Robert Goute, young Tambour-Major of the band of Air-Force in Paris. Assisted by a small efficient team, he begun to go, annually and more if necessary, to the different French regions, for organizing sessions and individual exams for the players of the local bands. My father was one of the firsts taking profit of these opportunities. He worked hard and grew up all the steps, toward the "Premier Grand Prix Federal" in Macon (1960).

Then, he begun a long activity as a teacher. First of course in Chirassimont, and the group of his pupils, young drummers, was clearly distinguished, far around Chirassimont, and brought his important contribution to the success of the Indépendante in different competitions see "palmarès" . A lot of bands could also take advantage of his knowledge, through his courses. He did it with regularity and persistence, and also incomparable possibility of adaptation to conditions and local features. A lot of drummers owe him today their knowledge in the Drum, who allowed for some of them to make occupation.

His qualities brought him in examinant function, at regional or national level, charge that he always made with a correctness and a probity acknowledged. That often caused important displacements, which were made with a real pleasure, in a time when it was rarer than today.

His quick and premature disappearing, while he governed the destinies of the Indépendante, left of course a big space in every one, there are a lot, having gained advantage from his competences and from his devotion.

Ph.V. 1986-20-03 - rév. 2018-09-25  

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