Welcome to the Maine Folque Co-Op website. Our mission at the Maine Folque Co-op is to honor Maine's cultural heritage by bringing the generations together through traditional music and dance.
We've undertaken a variety of projects toward this end over the past couple of years, the most exemplary of which was a collaborative community residency during the spring of 2012 which served to spotlight and celebrate Lewiston's French-Canadian roots. We look forward to exploring many other ethnic music and dance traditions in the coming months and years, while continuing to support and encourage Maine's own “indigenous” folk dancing - New England contra dancing - and the music that inspires it. Please feel free to explore our website, including our sample Video Clips and Links to media coverage to see some of what we've been up to, and drop us a line if you have questions, would like to offer feedback or have ideas for future activities.
The Great Falls Folk Orchestra
In early 2013, the Folque Co-op established a community folk orchestra based in Lewiston-Auburn. This affable multi-generational ensemble – which numbered over a dozen musicians ranging in age from 13 to, shall we say, ageless – performed under the enthusiastic direction of Doug Protsik. A seasoned musician equally adept on piano, fiddle and accordion, Doug was a founding member of the legendary Maine Country Dance Orchestra and he continues to play with the bands Old Grey Goose and Frank Ferrel & the Feral Cats while serving as the director of Maine Fiddle Camp. He worked with the members of the folk orchestra to build a repertoire of music which reflects Maine's cultural heritage in particular, from jigs-&-reels to two-steps to waltzes and more. You'll find some examples of this music here on our website, starting with our homepage “theme” music (the reel “Maple Sugar,” one of Maine fiddler Simon St. Pierre's favorites, as recorded “raw” at an early orchestra practice session). For more, click on the yellow button on the audio files bar at the top right. While the full orchestra is currently "in hibernation," subsets of the group (such as the "Sizzling Shamrocks" referenced above) continue to perform at numerous venues throughout the local community and beyond.
And here's an audio-visual glimpse of some of the ensemble in action at a rehearsal last year (click on image below to start video):