Musician Marc Mailhot Submitted photo

Piano and vocal artist Marc Mailhot will provide the entertainment at La Rencontre, Riverfront-Franco-Center’s quarterly luncheon, on Thursday, March 9. The doors and bar will open at 10 a.m. and the meal will be served at 11:30 a.m.

La Rencontre is not restricted to French speakers or those of Franco descent. “All are welcome to attend. No need to be a member of any social group or club,” said Denise Scammon, marketing director at Riverfront – Franco Center. “While people attend La Rencontre, the visual historical exhibits we have on display tell stories about the French Canadian immigrants who came to Lewiston to work in the mills. Language is a common thread between the immigrants of the mid 1800s and the immigrants of today.”

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.

Patrons of the Riverfront-Franco Center may recall that from 2015 to 2017, Mailhot was part of the “Connie Combo” for the Connie Francis Tribute Show.

“In its early days, our La Rencontre events were attended by more than 300 people on a monthly basis,” says Scammon. “Many of those early supporters are no longer with us and we now host La Rencontre four times a year with an attendance of around 80 people. The market for our French programs has definitely changed since our nonprofit was established in 2000, yet our mission work is more important than ever.” The other French cultural programs hosted at Riverfront-Franco Center include a free Parlez-Vous? French conversational meeting every other Thursday morning; 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.

For tickets, call or visit the Riverfront – Franco Center box office at 207-689-2000 Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. The price of a ticket is $15. These tickets must be purchased by noon on the Monday prior to the event. Tickets will not be sold at the door.

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