Welcome to the Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center’s Performance Hall. At the moment it’s one of Maine’s largely unheralded performing arts venues, but we’re out to change that. As more people hear about and attend concerts in this physically and acoustically lush room, the more that word is getting out about our magnificent space. Each season we feature four concerts by the Midcoast Symphony Orchestra, three more by the Maine Music Society (with each repeated in a Sunday matinée), the annual (and growing) Emerge Film Festival, six piano recitals featuring New England’s best classical pianists, such as Michael Lewin, Igor Lovchinsky, Mauro Bertoli, and more. Individual concerts by artists like mezzo-soprano Joëlle Morris, and groups such as the Rustic Overtones and the New York Funk Exchange, along with dozens of other events also occur throughout the season. We have previously had comedy acts come to the center that we hope to see come back soon, including Bob Marley, Krazy Jake, Late Nite Catachism, and more.


While the room boasts a state of the art sound system, very few of these events require much in the way of amplification. In fact, most of those listed in the above paragraph do not require any at all. With room for 428 patrons to sit comfortably in plush theater seats — with not a bad one in the house, acoustically or visually — concerts in the Performance Hall are simultaneously grand and yet intimate affairs.  If you’ve been here, you know. If you have not, we promise you that your first visit is unlikely be your last.

Performance Hall PlanAnd thanks to the generosity of one of our major sponsors, Central Maine Hearing Center, even those with hearing impairments can enjoy the marvelous acoustics of the Performance Hall. In January 2013, CMHC installed a “hearing loop” system under the lower seating section of the hall. This system amplifies the room’s natural sound and allows those with cochlear implants or newer hearing aids containing telecoils (or “t-coils”) to hear every little note. And if someone’s hearing aid is an older model not outfitted with a t-coil, we have six battery-powered sets of earphones available for patrons to borrow that accomplish the same task — just ask at the box office.

Artists will enjoy the large and comfortable green room away from the audience in which to relax before the show. Our friendly wait staff will accommodate your every need, and our knowledgeable technical staff will plan with you weeks in advance of your performance to ensure that the stage, the lights and the sound are just the way you want them. For a nominal per-ticket fee of $3 each, artists or their agents who want to rent the hall and yet leave the job of ticket sales and order fulfillment to us may do so.  And pianists will delight at the prospect of performing on our nine-foot Steinway & Sons Series D concert grand piano, purchased new in 2006 and selected specifically to complement the natural acoustics of the hall. The sound is simply amazing!


Upcoming Events in the Performance Hall

  • Bandstand to Billboard
    Feb 24
    7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

    Bandstand to Billboard

    Performance Hall

    Bandstand to Billboard is back! This time our homegrown singing group/big band – back on the Franco Center stage in February – is bringing their high energy mix of song, dance, singalong and nostalgia called “Bandstand to Billboard: On The Flip Side” – our favorite songs and dances from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s.

    The production, conceived by Eileen M. Messina, has been a favorite for the past several years and features a 6 person singing group doing both solos and close harmony numbers so famous in this time period, as well as a 12 person big band made up of some of the finest musicians in Maine. All gather for a one night performance and the chance to be rock n’ roll stars in the beautiful venue!

    In addition to Messina, the group features other favorites from central and southern Maine, Michael James Litchfield, Renee Mahon Davis, Duane Glover, Sophie Messina, and Gerry Therrien. The other big feature of the show of course is the orchestra, featuring conductor Paul G. Caron on keyboards, Mike French on acoustic and electric guitar, Shane Davis on bass guitar, Mark Fredericks on percussion, Mike Plossay and Michael Trucheon on trumpet, Bruce Theriault on trombone, Blaise Spath on reeds, Alex Wong on cello, and Kate Fox and Linda Vaillancourt on violin.


    Along with the music, there is as always a look back at the culture and current events of the time, as reflected in the advertising of the day, with a humorous look at vintage print ads interspersed between album covers and info about the original performers.

    This year Messina says they are starting out the show with a group dance song medley, featuring numbers such as Land of 1000 Dances, The Twist, Limbo Rock, Locomotion, Copacabana,and Y.M.C.A. among others. Messina says: “We know how much the Franco Center audiences love singing along with us, so this year I decided to start the show out with a big dance medley as well. Wear comfortable shoes, we expect everyone to be dancing in the aisles!”

    Reserved: $18


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  • F.A.B. (Franco & Bates College) - A Dance Showcase
    Mar 3
    7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

    F.A.B. (Franco & Bates College) – A Dance Showcase

    Performance Hall

    F.A.B. (Franco and Bates) represents an ongoing effort to provide opportunities for regional dance artists to present dance works in central Maine, as well as an opportunity for local audiences to have access to contemporary dance works. Visually stunning and kinetically mesmerizing, this event combines classic and modern dance pieces in one of L/A’s magnificent performance halls.

    Reserved Ticket: $15
    Students $5 (Cash only at the door)


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  • Piano Concert Series - Henry Kramer
    Mar 8
    7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

    Piano Concert Series – Henry Kramer

    Performance Hall

    A sensational “rising star” among the elite of the new generation of classical pianists, Henry Kramer presents the fourth program in this 12th Piano Series season at the Gendron Franco Center on Thursday, March 8.  A graduate of Cape Elizabeth High School and a Juilliard School alumnus, Henry Kramer launched his concert career even before completing graduate study at Yale School of Music.  He has distinguished himself as laureate of several prestigious awards and competitions, included the Honens International Piano Competition, Calgary, and the Queen Elizabeth International Piano Competition, Brussels.  Having just served two years as visiting artist at Smith College, he is now artist-teacher at the University of Missouri Conservatory of Music and Dance, Kansas City.

    Reserved Ticket: $15  Senior $10.  Free admission for students.


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  • Maine's Got Talent 2018
    Mar 10
    6:00 pm - 11:00 pm

    Maine's Got Talent 2018

    Performance Hall



    Maine’s Got Talent features 10 performing artists competing for cash prizes.  50% of the vote comes from the audience and the other 50% from our celebrity judges.  The Celebrity Judges this year are Tom Doucette, former MGT performer; Joe Philippon, Lewiston Police Dept; Celeste, WBLM’s Morning Show.  The emcee for the evening is Molly McGill, The Brand Collective.

    Reception 6:00 p.m.
    Curtain: 7:30pm


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  • Midcoast Symphony Orchestra - Celebration Pops!!
    Mar 17
    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Midcoast Symphony Orchestra – Celebration Pops!!

    Performance Hall

    The Midcoast Symphony Orchestra “Celebration Pops”

    Under guest conductor Yoichi Udagawa “Celebration Pops” is the MSO’s most light-hearted Series of the year and may be the best suited in our concert year for those new to orchestral performance. The program includes Aaron Copland’s Hoedown, Hooray for Hollywood by John Williams, Shostakovich’s Festive Overture, A Tribute to Henry Mancini, Cavalliera Rusticana by Mascagni, and several other popular pieces and beloved melodies. Guest pianist Charles Floyd brings boundless grace and fire to the stage and will join the orchestra for Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

    About our guest conductor “Udagawa took the orchestra on an astonishing and fearless musical flight…” wrote one reviewer about the dynamic conductor. His performances have been hailed as “powerful and emotionally evocative,” and his relaxed manner and ability to speak from the podium have helped new audiences as well as enthusiasts gain a greater appreciation for symphonic music. Music Director and Conductor of the Cape Ann Symphony Orchestra, the Melrose Symphony Orchestra, and the Quincy Symphony Orchestra, Mr. Udagawa leads an active season of rehearsals and concerts full of diverse and varied programs. He is also a cover conductor at the Boston Pops Orchestra.

    Our guest pianist Charles Floyd is also a conductor and composer. He began studying piano at age four and by age 20 had been heard in solo recital, chamber music, and concerto performances throughout the United States and Spain. He has received numerous awards and grants, including the Aspen School of Music Fellowship, Oberlin Conservatory’s Rudolf Serkin Award, and the National Chopin Competition of New York’s Kosciuszko Foundation. He is an annual guest conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. His performances have included “Gospel Night at Pops,” a PBS telecast of “Evening at Pops,” and has critically acclaimed performances as pianist of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with conductor Keith Lockhart.

    Adult $20; 18 and under and college students with ID are admitted free.

    Our website for more information and tickets is http://www.midcoastsymphony.org
    Tickets are available at the door by cash or check only.
    Tickets by Phone at 207-846-5378 (MSO Box Office) A handling fee applies.

    Celebration Pops Program

    Series III, 217-2018

    Guest Conductor:  Yoichi Udagawa


    Shostakovich:  Festival Overture

    Berlioz: Hungarian March

    Masagni: “Intermezzo” from Cavelleria Rusticana

    Copland: “Hoe Down” from Rodeo

    Gershwin:  Rhapsody in Blue

    guest pianist:  Charles Floyd

    Williams:  Hooray for Hollywood

    Anderson: selections from Irish Suite

    Mancini/Custer:  Tribute to Henry Mancini

    Ricketts: Colonel Bogey March

    Saint-Saens:  “Bacchanale” from Samson & Delilah

    for MSO Tickets

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