Archive for Local Music

AUBURN CHURCH TO REPRISE POPULAR CABARET NIGHT

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , , , , , , on January 15, 2018 by Ringer

February 2018

Back by popular demand, Sacred Heart Church in Auburn is bringing back CABARET NIGHT in celebration of its on-going parish-wide pipe organ fundraising campaign which is nearing its first milestone goal.

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Mark the date:  Saturday, February 3rd at 7 PM for the second annual fun-filled musical variety show for all ages, once again being hosted by guest entertainer Louis Philippe.

CABARET NIGHT is just one of many events the parish has undertaken as part of the overall fundraising drive launched in 2015 to help purchase, refurbish and install a 1954 Casavant Opus 2277 Pipe Organ which, through a donation to the parish, was acquired from the Sisters of Notre Dame in Toledo, Ohio.

The secondary goal of the Sister Elizabeth Platt Pipe Organ Fund for Sacred Heart Church is to provide education and training programs to parish organists, choirs and cantors, as well as subsidized organ lessons for deserving and talented young people.

Thanks to the generosity and enthusiastic support of parishioners, volunteers and the community at large, the parish is close to reaching its primary goal for the organ installation sometime this year, according to Carol DeRoy, Fundraising Committee Member and Cabaret Night Production Coordinator.

I believe that this endeavor has brought our community closer together in sharing a mutual dream,” DeRoy said, acknowledging the many gifts made in recognition of family and friends or in memory of loved ones.

Committee Member Roland Bergeron, in charge of Finance, agrees.  This project has lifted us up, and brought unity among our parishioners,” Bergeron stated, adding: “We are prayerfully grateful to be much closer to our goal in getting the pipe organ installed and creating beautiful sacred music for generations to come.”

At age 86, Sister Elizabeth Platt, C.O.C., currently serves as Pastoral Associate, and has dedicated over 30 years of service to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in religious education and the RCIA Program.  A period of her life she often speaks about with great fondness is her years of ministry teaching children to sing the parts of the Mass.  She also worked with the Boys’ Choir in Boston before coming to Maine.

Pam Vaillancourt, a familiar talent from the L-A area, began singing in the church choir since her elementary school days. She’s now Music Director at Sacred Heart Church (since 1994), a well-known advocate of music and ministry, and will once again serve as Stage Manager for this year’s event in addition to performing duets with Louis Philippe (Patsy Cline medley and a gospel medley).

“After our first Cabaret Night, there was so much positive feedback that we knew we had to do it again,” Vaillancourt noted.  “The cast and volunteers have worked really hard in bringing this show to our stage and much closer to our goal.  I hope that everyone who came to last year’s sell-out Cabaret Night will come back and see this one.”

This year’s line-up of diverse acts—guaranteed to entertain everyone— includes:  Ben Daigneault, Emma Daigneault, Rabbi Sruli Dredsner and his wife Lisa Mayer, The Noddin Boys (Lee and Bruce),  Philippian Troubadours (Dick Dubois, Bruce Geoffroy, Jim McConnell, Bob Morin and Conrad Vaillancourt), “Mr. Ray” (Ray Marchessault), Magician Mark Vaillancourt, Alana Gagnon and Pam Vaillancourt.

The Sacred Heart Parish Hall is in the basement of the church, located at the corner of Minot and Western Avenues in Auburn.  Tickets are $12/adults and $6/students.  FMI, contact the IHM office at 782-8096.

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AUBURN PARISH GETS ITS ACT TOGETHER FOR CABARET NIGHT

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , , , , on January 31, 2017 by Ringer

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February 2017

Stars of Auburn’s Immaculate Heart of Mary community will shine on Saturday, February 18th at 7 PM as the parish presents a fun-filled night of music and laughter to raise money for its pipe organ project.

A parade of talented performers from the Sacred Heart-St. Philip cluster will grace the stage at CABARET NIGHT, hosted by guest entertainer and local favorite Louis Philippe in a show he says is “reminiscent of the old days when parish halls were the center of social and family life and talents shows and variety shows were held regularly.”

The emcee and singer will present an array of his own trademark songs in the program which will also feature a wide variety of individuals and groups who have all stepped up to show their support for the Sister Elizabeth Platt Pipe Organ Fund for Sacred Heart Church.

Featured acts include:  The Noddin Boys (Lee and Bruce), Alana Gagnon, Chicks With Sticks Steel Drummers (Jill Longstaff, Deanna Kersey, Diana Mawhinney and Josh Caron), Ben Daigneault, Emma Daigneault, Foothills Jazz Trio (Jim Perkins, Siiri Stinson and Dan Perkins), Shelley Harris and Rita Gagnon, Mark Vaillancourt, Ernie Gagne, Lorraine Cote and Pam Vaillancourt, Tony Lajudice, George Harris and Julie Chasse, and Neil Marchessault.

Carol DeRoy has been spear-heading the creation and development of the pipe organ effort and is also Production Coordinator for CABARET NIGHT, responsible for lining up the talent and working with the Committee to transform an ordinary parish hall into a live Cabaret setting with glitz and pizzaz.

The experience of working with so many musicians and singers (many professional) willing and eager to perform gratis for this cause has been a high note for DeRoy.  “The reception and excitement this event has stirred up in our community is truly amazing,” she said, noting “there is a demand for this type of entertainment, for an enjoyable and inexpensive evening filled with music, laughter and camaraderie.”

One person who is also excited about the event is Sacred Heart’s Music Director Pam Vaillancourt who began her journey in Music Ministry with the Children’s Choir in second grade.  With her years of experience in music and theater, onstage and backstage, she has been instrumental in developing the singing congregation.

“Music is very important and helps elevates one’s thoughts,” says Vaillancourt.  “I love how everyone gets involved and participates in the Mass, and I love hearing everyone singing along with the choir.”

In addition to singing in CABARET NIGHT along with her mother Lorraine Cote, Vaillancourt will wear the Stage Manager’s hat, tending to the needs and easing the nerves of the performers. “Hopefully this will be the first of a series of events that will showcase the incredible talents we have in the Lewiston/Auburn area.”

The Sister Elizabeth Platt Pipe Organ Fund for Sacred Heart Church was established in 2015 to highlight the richness and significance of the church’s liturgical celebrations through sacred music and inspire active participation within the community.  At age 85, Sister Elizabeth Platt, C.O.C., currently serves as Pastoral Associate, and has dedicated 30 years of service to Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in religious education and the RCIA Program.  A period of her life she often speaks about with great fondness is her years of ministry teaching children to sing the parts of the Mass.  She also worked with the Boys’ Choir in Boston before coming to Maine.

All proceeds from CABARET NIGHT will go to the Sr. Elizabeth Platt Pipe Organ Fund for the purpose of refurbishing and installing a used 1954 Casavant Opus 2277 Pipe Organ which, through a donation to the parish, was acquired from the Sisters of Notre Dame in Toledo, Ohio, after their chapel closed.

In addition to helping defray expenses for the purchase, relocation, and installation of the new instrument as well as on-going maintenance and improvements, the fund will provide education and training programs to parish organists, choirs and cantors, as well as subsidized organ lessons for deserving and talented young people.  David E. Wallace & Co. LLC of Gorham has been selected for the design work which is expected to be completed soon, DeRoy reported.

“There’s a noticeably inspiring energy at the Immaculate Heart of Mary parish,” Philippe noted.  “Having been involved with Music Ministry for over 40 years, I know how important good music is to the Liturgy and I know that music can be filled with His anointing. So when a church invests in its music program, it opens the door for the Spirit to work,” the singer added.

Tickets are $12/adults and $6/students.  FMI, contact the IHM office at 782-8096.

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Reindeer Presents Summertime Tribute to Connie Francis

Posted in Hot Off The Press with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 21, 2016 by Ringer

KristaConnie3August 2016

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS—Reindeer Group’s summertime tribute to America’s Sweetheart, Connie Francis—comes to the McAuley Performing Arts Center on Sunday, August 7th at 2 PM, for a concert to benefit Mercy Hospital’s employee assistance fund, “Angels Among Us.”

AMONG MY SOUVENIRS was originally presented by Reindeer Theatre Company at the Warren Memorial Library in 1994.  Last year, Music Director Louis Philippe who created the nostalgic multi-media tribute, revived the show in 2015, this time starring popular Westbrook-Windham singer Krista LeBeau Johnson.  The response to a series of local shows was tremendous, ending with a historic sell-out performance at the Franco Center in Lewiston.

“Krista is a ringer for Connie Francis,” said Philippe, who “discovered” the singer in the choir at St. Anthony Church in Westbrook.  “She captures all the smooth, powerful and schmaltzy elements of Connie’s iconic parade of hits that dominated the pop charts of the late 50s and 60s and still produce tons of memories and fun today.”

Among Connie Francis’ signature songs featured in the show:  My Happiness, Stupid Cupid, Don’t Break The Heart that Loves You So, VACATION, Frankie, Everybody’s Somebody’s Fool, Who’s Sorry Now, Follow The Boys, Lipstick On Your Collar and more.  “Who can sit through highlights of Connie’s life story and not get a rush of wholesome goosebumps when they hear ‘Where The Boys Are’ or ‘Among My Souvenirs?’” Philippe noted.

Backing Miss Johnson will be the Connie Francis quartet with Music Director Louis Philippe on keyboards; Tom O’Donnell, a member of the original 1994 pit, on guitar; Bruce LeBeau on bass, and Marc Mailhot on drums.

The cast also includes Maureen Knott LeBeau who narrates highlights of Connie Francis’ life, career and personal struggles.  An entertaining visual backdrop provides iconic images and nostalgic videos that add to the show’s emotional and sentimental appeal.

McAuley Performing Arts Center is located at 631 Stevens Ave., Portland.  General seating admission is $15/advance, $20/day of the show.  For tickets and reservations, call Reindeer Group at 207 857 9002 or email reindeer@maine.rr.com.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the ANGELS AMONG US Fund, an emergency relief fund that provides financial assistance to Mercy Hospital employees during times of unusual hardship.

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LOUIS PHILIPPE TO RELEASE CD OF INSPIRATIONAL SONGS FOR COMFORT AND HEALING

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , on June 10, 2015 by Ringer

The Funeral SingerJune, 2015

“It’s been on my bucket list for a long time now,” said Maine singer and recording artist Louis Philippe. “Very often I’ll meet people in public who will stop me and say ‘Oh, you’re the guy who sang such-and-such a song at so-and-so’s funeral…that was so beautiful…do you have that song on CD?’” This fall, I’ll finally be able to say I do.

THE FUNERAL SINGER—like The Wedding Singer or The Jazz Singer— is designed for a specialized niche market. VOLUME 1, which is due out this Fall, is a collection of 15 most popular and powerful songs that are customarily associated with funerals and memorial celebrations but that also bring comfort, healing and peace of mind at any time during any of life’s transitions.

“This is the CD you want to reach for when dealing with the death of beloved pet, or the end of a relationship, losing a job, a health crisis, moving away, and any number of milestones that cause sadness and separation,” said Philippe.

Philippe, an avid proponent of music therapy, knows first-hand the impact of the songs he personally selected for this CD. “With over 40 years experience in Music Ministry, I can guarantee there is no stronger source for inner strength and consolation then hearing such beautiful, peace-filled music and soothing words—especially God’s words,” he noted.

In the Portland area alone, Louis Philippe has provided music for funerals at St. Pius X, St. Joseph’s, St. Patrick’s, St. Bartholomew’s, St. Maximilian Kolbe, St. Peter’s, Holy Cross, St. John’s, St. Louis, Sacred Heart, St. Edmund’s, St. Anne’s, Westbrook-Warren Congregational, Highland Lakes Congregational, North Deering Congregational and Trinity Lutheran. He currently leads “a rockin’ choir” on Sunday mornings at St. Anthony’s in Westbrook.

The recording process is just about complete thanks to the production and engineering craftsmanship of David Angel Entertainment in Gorham. The next step—to raise funding pledges to help with licensing and manufacturing costs—is already underway.

THE FUNERAL SINGER: Volume 1 is now an active project on Kickstarter.com, an exciting and unique crowd-funding website that provides support and global exposure for thousands of creative projects. The goal is to raise $2,500 in pledges by July 31st. A pledge of $20 is basically an advance order for the CD, with various rewards assigned for higher levels of pledges.

“It’s a great way to raise critical funding and get the word out,” Philippe said. He did note that some of his targeted donors might be skeptical to go online and donate, so they’re asking if he’ll simply take a check. “Of course,” he responded, “Old-school help from all sources is always welcome.”

THE FUNERAL SINGER: Volume 1 includes time-tested favorites such as How Great Thou Art, Just A Closer Walk With Thee, It Is Well With My Soul, Softly And Tenderly Jesus Is Calling and Ave Maria, along with more contemporary songs like Amy Grant‘s El Shaddai, Don Besig’s Flying Free, and Josh Groban’s You Raise Me Up. Plus you’ll get the Word direct from God in songs like Be Still And Know That I Am God, Be Not Afraid, and I The Lord. The list also includes beautiful renditions of Irish Blessing, Where My Father Lives, and Lord You Have Come To The Seashore. You’ll even get the long-established French-Canadian favorite J’Irais La Voir Un Jour….

“I definitely feel God’s anointing on this project,” the Westbrook singer proclaimed. “I have no doubt that God has a very specific purpose for this CD and will assuredly use it to bring His healing message to many individuals who even aren’t aware they’ll benefit from it yet. Plus it’s a great calling card for churches and funeral homes who find themselves in need of quality, spiritual, sensitive music.

To make a pledge, visit https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1419197897/the-funeral-singer-volume-1 or contact Louis Philippe at 207/857-9002 or reindeer@maine.rr.com.

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REINDEER LAUNCHES NEW STATEWIDE COMPETITION FOR YOUNG DJs

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 11, 2012 by Ringer

May 11, 2012

REINDEER LAUNCHES NEW STATEWIDE COMPETITION FOR YOUNG DJs

Reindeer Records—creators of The Rock-Off and The Off-Ramp competitions—are launching another unique and exciting competition, this one for young DJs across Maine.

The Reindeer Spin-Off is an opportunity for young DJs under the age of 21 to show their creative deejay skills and stage personality while being able to rock a crowd with some great music.

The Spin-Off kicks off with a summer pilot series at Club Texas in Auburn.  Showcase dates are Sunday July 22 and Sunday July 29, with the Finals set for Sunday, August 19.  Additional showcase dates are possible depending on demand.

Each Showcase will feature up to 8 artists who will be evaluated by a celebrity panel who will apply the same criteria used in similar events in major cities nationwide—Music, Technique, Image, Stage Presence and Audience Appeal.

The deadline for interested DJs to sign up is Sunday June 10.  FMI – contact Reindeer at 857-9002 or events@reindeergroup.org, or visit www.reindeergroup.org.

The Spin-Off is designed to raise money and awareness for Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program (RAMP) and its efforts to create and implement an accredited music program for Maine’s Alternative Education students.

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OFF-RAMP BANDS ADVANCE TO TASK #4: PRODUCE A LIVE EVENT

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , , on February 29, 2012 by Ringer

February 29, 2012

March will be a busy month for the three high school rock bands that are competing in Reindeer’s statewide Off-Ramp: Exit 27 competition.

After 25 years of producing the wildly popular Rock-Off events, Reindeer created The Off-Ramp as a more in-depth educational and hands-on experience for young musicians.  It is also designed as a fundraising and awareness effort for RAMP, Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program, and its plans to incorporate the elements of the competition into an accredited music curriculum for Maine’s alternative education students.

 LAST MAN IN SPACE from Farmington, SAINT MONDAY from South Portland, and THE RESISTANCE from the Waterville area, have already completed three of their five tasks in this unique six-month industry-based competition—Songwriting, The Recording Studio Experience and Marketing.

For their Live Event Task, each Band is asked to “produce and host a sensational live show to benefit RAMP’s curriculum goals.”

“Effective branding of the Reindeer/RAMP product is a very important factor of this Task,” said Reindeer President Louis Philippe.  “This task not only challenges their creative planning, organizational, communication and marketing skills, but it gives young musicians a chance to promote the cause of making music possible for students who may not be as fortunate as they are, who might be outside the mainstream.”

 The schedule of live shows is as follows:

SHOW MOVED

Host Band: THE RESISTANCE (Off-Ramp Band from Waterville area)
Special Guests: Saint Monday
With: Louis Grassi, Nate Britten
Date: Saturday, March 31st         Time: TBA
Venue: Palermo Legion hall, 33 Veteran’s Way, Palermo
Tix:  $7/advance; $10/door, all ages welcome
Contact:  Jerad Smith – 465-6518

Host Band: SAINT MONDAY (Off-Ramp Band from South Portland)
Special Guests: Last Man in Space and The Resistance
Date:  Saturday, March 17th         Time: 6 PM
Venue: Woodfords Club, 179 Woodford Street, Portland.
Tix:  $3/all ages welcome
Contact: Izaak Onos – 400-7641

Host Band: LAST MAN IN SPACE (Off-Ramp Band from Farmington) 
Special Guests:  The Resistance, Saint Monday,
With:  Neurotik, After the Rush Hour, and The Brother’s Cup
Date:  Sunday, March 25th           Time: 3 PM
Venue:  Emery Community Arts Center, Main Street, Farmington
Tix:  $2/students, $5/adults, all ages welcome
Contact:  Eli Cohen – 778-4965

For more information about The Off-Ramp, the RAMP curriculum, or this year’s participating bands, visit reindeergroup.org.

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THREE BANDS TO BE FEATURED IN REINDEER’S OFF-RAMP COMPETITION

Posted in Archive Press Releases with tags , , , , , , , , on November 14, 2011 by Ringer

November 14, 2011

 

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Despite an apparent short supply of bands this year, three talented young bands—from Farmington, South Portland and the Waterville area— will be featured in The Off-Ramp, Reindeer Record’s annual statewide competition for high school rock bands.

LAST MAN IN SPACE from Mt. Blue HS, SAINT MONDAY from South Portland HS, and THE RESISTANCE , representing  Edward Little HS, Erskine Academy, Maine Central Institute and Warsaw Middle School, will be featured in THE OFF-RAMP:Exit 27—marking Reindeer’s 27th year of producing events for high school bands.

After producing the popular Rock-Off events since 1983, Reindeer created The Off-Ramp in conjunction with its efforts to create a music curriculum for Maine’s Alternative Education students.

Described as “The Rock-Off” meets “The Apprentice,” The Off-Ramp is a six-month competition filled with music industry challenges designed to provide music education, industry experience, media exposure, networking opportunity and lots of chances to develop many skills.

“It’s very much like a music course in itself, combined with a reality show, and definitely a learning experience the bands will never forget,” said Louis Philippe, Off-Ramp’s Executive Producer.

Beginning in December, each band will face five tasks:  Songwriting, The Recording Studio Experience, Marketing, Live Event Production and Music Video Production.  The event culminates in May with a live concert and results show at the Westbrook Performing Arts Center.

Friends, fans and family will be able to follow each band on their journey at the website of Media Sponsor Current Publishing, http://www.keepmecurrent.com/arts_and_entertainment/off-ramp.

While the enthusiasm is running high with all three participating bands, Philippe reported that the response to this year’s event was low.

“At first I thought maybe our competition was too hard, or for some reason we just were not reaching bands, but after hearing from several high school band directors from around the state, a different picture was emerging,” Philippe said.

According to the record label president, band directors confirmed a shortage of high school bands for several reasons, including:  conflicts with year-round sports commitments; lack of money to buy instruments and amps; lack of parental/adult encouragement; lack of knowledge and determination required to form a band; an overwhelming challenge by electronic games, online activities and social media; less venues for high school bands to play; and the popularity of dj’s.

“On one hand, it’s a sad state of affairs for high school musicians,” Philippe noted.  “On the other hand, it makes me very thankful to have the opportunity to work with three excellent, dedicated and focused bands.”

With only three bands in this year’s event, Philippe looks forward to “super-sizing” the benefits and exposure for this year’s musicians, with more video infusion and interactive website fun.

Reindeer Group Inc. is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.  For more information about The Off-Ramp and the R.A.M.P. (Reindeer’s Alternative Music Program) curriculum, email events@reindeergroup.org, call 857-9002, or visit facebook.com/reindeergroup.

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