La Rencontre: Monthly Franco Luncheon
The Jalbert Orchestra, 1920s. The children of Arthur and Célina Simard Jalbert, from l to r:  Fern, Germaine, Conrad, Judy, Gertrude, and Gabriel. The catalyst for the family was the mother, Célina Jalbert,  who was determined that the children have as many opportunities as possible to further their education. Louis Jalbert, known as Maine’s “Mr. Democrat,” though not in this picture,played drums in the group with his brothers and sisters. (photo courtesy of the Franco-American Collection, University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College).

The Jalbert Orchestra, 1920s. The children of Arthur and Célina Simard Jalbert, L-to-R: Fern, Germaine, Conrad, Judy, Gertrude, and Gabriel. Louis Jalbert, who would later become known as Maine’s “Mr. Democrat” and represent Lewiston for 38 years in the Maine Legislature, played drums in the group with his brothers and sisters but is not pictured here. (photo courtesy of the Franco-American Collection, University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College).

Each month we present La Rencontre (French for “the gathering”) as a way for our extended Franco-American family in the area to reconnect with each other and with our neighbors. Meals and stories are shared, friends are reunited, and memories are made.

We offer a fully catered luncheon, followed by a performance. Both the menu and the entertainment vary each month. The charge to attend is $8 and the public is invited. However, reservations are required at least four days in advance by calling the Franco Center Office at 783-1585 during regular box office hours from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (no weekend messages, please), so that we can order and prepare an appropriate amount of food.

The deadline for all calls will be 4 p.m.on the Tuesday immediately prior to the luncheon on Thursday.

Traditionally in Franco culture, big celebratory meals of this sort would include live music provided by members of the family and their neighbors. Many families like Lewiston’s Jalbert family (above photo) made sure their kids each learned to play an instrument in order to entertain at such gatherings — and so, accordingly, we invite local musicians to provide live music for our guests.

To learn more about upcoming performances and menus, check the Event Calendar.

 

 

Upcoming Performances

  • Feb
    27

    George Lopez

    Performance Hall

    Feb 27 - Feb 27

    7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    G LopezOver eight years ago, George Lopez, now beginning his fourth year as Beckwith Artist-in-Residence at Bowdoin College, was the pianist chosen to select our concert grand piano at the Steinway factory on Long Island.

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  • Feb
    28

    Pardon My French

    Heritage Hall

    Feb 28 - Mar 1

    7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    Pardon graphicIn the land of hyphenated identity, Susan Poulin sets out on the sometimes humorous, sometimes treacherous path to reconnect with her Franco-American heritage.  Her rollercoaster ride of self-discovery leads her to some surprising places.

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  • Mar
    5

    Centennial Celebration for Frank Glazer

    Performance Hall

    Mar 5 - Mar 5

    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
    Bates College Artist-in-Residence Frank Glazer kicks off the Franco Center's Piano Series for the season

    Bates College Artist-in-Residence Frank Glazer kicks off the Franco Center’s Piano Series for the season

    This event has been a year in making. With Frank Glazer’s blessing, the Franco Center and others have been planning a 100th Birthday party for the incredible musician, born on February 19, 1915 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
    The event was to include testimonials and short piano pieces from past and current students, as well as friends and colleagues from around the country. Sadly the renowned pianist died early on Tuesday morning, January 13, after a short illness and a little more than a month before his 100th. “Frank Glazer was described as a wonderful teacher, a hero in the music world and a man who played — and played amazingly well — right up to the end” (Sun Journal).

    The Centennial Celebration at the Franco Center will go on as scheduled, with some of the same artists and speakers. It will begin in the magnificent Performance Hall that is home to the Steinway piano that Frank has played on many times. After that the Celebration of his life will continue with a reception in the Center’s Heritage Hall.

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  • Mar
    7

    F.A.B. Winter Dance Showcase – 10th Anniversary

    Performance Hall

    Mar 7 - Mar 7

    7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    FABdancersfeet_800pixels

    10th anniversary of F.A.B. Winter Dance Showcase.

    Come celebrate 10 years of presenting mainly Maine dancers and choreographers in the 10th Annual F.A.B. Winter Dance Showcase.  This fertile partnership between the Franco Center in Downtown Lewiston and the Bates Dance program

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  • Mar
    10

    KinderKonzert – The Music and Life of Beethoven

    Performance Hall

    Mar 10 - Mar 10

    9:30 am - 10:30 am

    Beethoven1-582x700In celebration of the PSO’s 90th Anniversary Celebration and the launch of a three-year Beethoven Symphony Cycle, the Woodwind KinderKonzert Quintet will focus on music and life of Ludwig von Beethoven.

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