PHOTO CAPTION: Noon Tunes will feature musical artist Marc Mailhot in a noontime concert Thursday, Sept. 7, at the Franco Center at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. Tickets are $17 per person and include lunch and entertainment. Buy tickets at www.francocenter.org/shows or 207-689-2000. Submitted photo.
Noon Tunes concert to feature musical artist Marc Mailhot Sept. 7 at Franco Center
LEWISTON—The Franco Center opens its 2023-24 Noon Tunes live musical entertainment series at its quarterly La Rencontre luncheon Thursday, Sept. 7. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. for socializing. Lunch is served at 11:30 a.m. followed by featured musical artist Marc Mailhot.
This event is open to everyone including the community of Franco-American and French-speaking families in the area. It is an opportunity for everyone to connect with each other and with their neighbors of diverse cultures, languages, and backgrounds. Meals and stories will be shared, friends will be reunited, and memories will be made.
“Language is a common thread between the French Canadian immigrants of the mid 1800s and the immigrants of today,” said Denise Scammon, marketing/development director of the Franco Center. “We embrace the differences in cultures and languages of our neighbors today. This luncheon is an opportunity to bring the community together.”
The menu includes lasagna, vegetables, rolls, and dessert.
Noon Tunes La Rencontre entertainer Mailhot celebrates 63 years as a performing musical artist in 2023. He began his musical career in September 1957 at age 6, formally studying piano under the late, renowned Maine music teacher Louis Sirois for 11 years. Mailhot played his first formal public performance in a piano recital in May 1960.
Mailhot began playing drums in 1964, inspired by his father and the British invasion beginning with The Beatles. He continues playing, performing, and teaching both instruments today. In 1967, Mailhot was chosen to represent Westbrook High School as a tenor in the All-State Concert and in 1968 sang “Edelweiss” from “The Sound of Music” as a solo with the Westbrook High School Chorus in the All-City Concert.
During his musical career, Mailhot has performed thousands of gigs with pioneering Maine bands Love, Inc. and Pegasus in the 1960s and ’70s. He performed with The Chapparals and currently performs with Get Back, a Beatles ‘60s tribute band, and as a solo pianist and singer. Mailhot has also written, recorded, toured extensively, and produced music releases.
As a member of Love, Inc. in 1968, Mailhot opened for well-known Boston groups The Orphans and Ultimate Spinach. When performing with Pegasus in the 1970s, he opened for national artists Bob Seger and Edgar Winter. Love, Inc. was the first Maine pop band to record an album in 1970 and chart three singles in 1969, 1970, and 1971.
Pegasus recorded their only single at Record Plant East in New York City, in the same Studio where Don McLean recorded “American Pie.” The band’s producer was Dan Turbeville who co-produced the first Woodstock album, and engineer Dennis Ferrante who engineered George Harrison’s “Concert for Bangladesh” album.
Mailhot taught keyboard and drums at Starbird Music in Portland, Maine in the 1960s and early ’70s.
Long-time patrons of the Franco Center may recall that from 2015 to 2017, Mailhot was part of the “Connie Combo” for the Connie Francis Tribute Show.
Tickets are $17 and include the meal and entertainment. All seats are reserved. Tickets must be purchased by noon Tuesday, Sept. 5, so we can plan the number of meals to prepare. Tickets will not be sold at the door.
Call the box office at 207-689-2000 or visit between 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Purchase online at www.francocenter.org/shows.
The Noon Tunes La Rencontre series is sponsored by FACE Foundation, TV5 Monde, and the Quebec Delegation Boston. Season underwriter: Maple Way Dental. Media sponsors: Turner Publishing; Sun Journal; Uncle Andy’s Digest; Bennett Radio Group; WIGY 105.5/95.7; WOXO 92.7/100.7.
“French programs at the Franco Center are supported by TV5Monde, FACE Foundation, and the Quebec Delegation Boston,” said Scammon. “In addition to the Noon Tunes La Rencontre Series, they sponsor our free Parlez-Vous? French conversation meetup every other Thursday morning.”
The Franco Center offers tours of the former St. Mary’s Church with stories and exhibits about the French Canadian immigrants; miscellaneous French entertainment throughout the performance year; a French library with diverse resources including oral histories; and a Franco Trail L-A map which highlights significant Franco American locations in Lewiston and Auburn.
The Franco Center is at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. Parking is in the Oxford Street mill lot. Handicap access in on the Lincoln St. Side of the building.
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