LEWISTON – The historic Casavant organ at the Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul will be the centerpiece of a noontime concert series during July and August.
All concerts are free and open to the public.
Built in 1938, the elegant 4,000-pipe organ has attracted national attention, at times played by Charles Courboin and Marcel Dupré, and is the largest church organ in Maine.
The first concert, at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday, July 8, will feature organist Albert Melton, cathedral musician at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Portland, where he conducts the Cathedral Choir and the Cathedral Youth Choir.
His program will include works by Bach, Brahms and Schumann.
Melton is also often in charge of music for Diocesan services, including consecrations, ordinations and other special services. At St. Luke’s, he also coordinates a music series, Music in the Cathedral.
He is active as a recitalist, performing in many American cities and in Barbados. A native of Newport News, Va., he holds degrees from Westminster Choir College and Northwestern University.
Subsequent concerts in July will feature trumpeter Alan Kaschub of the faculty at the University of Southern Maine, July 15; Ray Cornils, Portland municipal organist , July 22; and organist Christopher Michael Ganza, July 29.
The program continues in August with Linda Vaillancourt, violist with the Bangor Symphony Orchestra, performing on Aug. 5. The final noontime concert will feature Brittany Haskell, music director for the Church of the Messiah, Woods Hole, Mass., on Aug. 12.
All programs are a half-hour and are occasionally accompanied by informational remarks by the featured soloist. Donations at the door to assist the organ restoration fund are most welcome.


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