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Mardi Gras Soiree at UMFK to serve as musicians' reunion

February 1, 2002

NR02019

 

A reunion of four St. John Valley musicians, who played together in the 1980's will be the highlight of a University of Maine at Fort Kent "Soiree du Bon Vieux Temps," on Tuesday, February 12, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in Nowland Hall.

 

The Mardi Gras event, coordinated by the UMFK corporate relations office will feature an evening of music and Mardi Gras festivities.

Organizing the event is Diane Nadeau-Saucier, executive director of corporate relations, who will also provide some of the entertainment on piano and drums. Joining her in the house band will be violinist Alberie Pelletier, guitarist and vocalist Gerry Voisine, and Warren Harvey on base guitar. All of the musicians are from Fort Kent.

The "soiree" will not mark the first time the four musicians have played together. Nadeau-Saucier, Pelletier, Voisine and Harvey all played together in the past and reunited last year for the same event. Each, however, has continued to play music. Nadeau-Saucier is the organist and choir director at the Catholic Church in Clair, New Brunswick and one of the organists at the St. Louis Catholic Church in Fort Kent. Pelletier and Harvey retired from local bands in recent years, and Voisine continues to perform with the Fort Kent-based Poor Woodsman's Band.

In addition to the four long-time musicians, six-year-old Melanie Saucier of Fort Kent will join the group. The first grader at Fort Kent Elementary School has become a local celebrity in recent months, following her singing appearance at the State House in Augusta last spring, where she wowed the legislature with her rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

"I'm really excited about this event. It will be a reunion of sorts. We will be playing all of the old time music that many people of this area enjoy, as well as other music upon request," said Nadeau-Saucier.

The new Mardi Gras event is being sponsored, in part, through the Maine Acadian Heritage Council, which provides funding to various St. John Valley festivals to promote programming that celebrates the local culture.

Admission to the "Soiree du Bon Vieux Temps" will be $3 per person. Tickets will be pre-sold through the UMFK corporate relations office at the Olde Firehall Square on West Main Street and at the Greater Fort Kent Chamber of Commerce office.