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Friends of Pettingill concert to spotlight family ties

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Denny Breau and other Maine musicians will perform with their talented children in “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree” on Sunday, November 15 at the Franco Center in Lewiston. (Photo by Gini Haines of Haines Photography)

Singer-songwriter-guitarist Denny Breau’s next fundraising concert for the Friends of Pettingill Park will take place on Sunday, November 15 from 1 to 4 p.m. in the Franco Center’s Heritage Hall. Called “The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far from the Tree,” the event will feature a roster of well-known Maine musicians performing with their talented children.

Breau, himself the son of RCA Victor recording artists Hal Lone Pine and Betty Cody, will be joined on stage by his daughter, Alyssa, a vocalist. Others scheduled to perform include saxophonist Mike Atkinson with his daughter, Annelyse, a vocalist; vocalist and pianist Kathy Haley with her daughter, Shawna Haley-Bear, a vocalist; vocalist Debbie Morin with her daughter, Brooke Morin-Lachance, a vocalist; pianist Mitch Thomas with his daughter, Hayden, a vocalist; and guitarist Ron Vachon with his grandson, Justin Lindsay, a guitarist.

The music will range from pop, jazz and country to show tunes. Admission is $15 per person, with all proceeds going towards improvements now underway at the new Pettingill School Park in Lewiston. Tickets may be purchased in advance through the Franco Center website or at the door.

This concert will mark the singing debut of Alyssa Breau, whose parents are both accomplished musicians. Her father, Denny, is an acclaimed guitarist, while her mother, Ann performed and recorded with the neo-classical jazz duo Silverwood in the late 1970s, is a former member of the Auburn Community Band, and still frequently performs with husband Denny at concerts and social venues. Denny says he’s looking forward to this opportunity to perform publicly for the first time with their daughter, who he says will wow the audience with her beautiful voice.

Debbie Morin and Kathy Haley are well-known in Central Maine, not only as members of the iconic band Good and Plenty, but more recently for their sell-out shows with the Girls of L/A. Today Debbie performs with her band, Cheyenne, while Kathy is a pianist and organist for school and church music groups. Their daughters, Shawna and Brooke, are following in their mother’s footsteps. Shawna spent several years as a member of Portland’s Tony Boffa Band, while Brooke writes and performs her own music, which can be heard on ReverbNation and regional radio stations.

Saxophonist Michael Atkinson attended USM and Boston’s Berklee College of Music. He currently manages Music & Arts, a musical instrument retail store in Falmouth, and performs regularly with the Carmine Terracciano Band, a show and dance combo in the Tony Boffa tradition. His daughter, Annelyse, has studied in USM’s Jazz program and performed in shows, cabarets and musicals in the greater Portland area for 13 years. These days, she spends many weekends alongside her father as a singer in the Carmine Terracciano Band.

Mitch Thomas, who has directed and appeared in dozens of L/A Community Little Theatre productions over the past four decades, traces his background as a pianist and songwriter to his days as a young side-kick of his fiddle-playing grandfather. Since then, he has entertained audiences with his piano, vocal and humor programs around Maine and New England. He serves as the choir director and organist of Calvary UMC in Lewiston and is the Executive Director of the Franco Center. His son, Elias, a seventh-grader at Durham Community School, plays trombone and sings in the school chorus. Elias appeared in his first Community Little Theatre production at the age of four with “A Christmas Carol: The Musical.”

Singer and guitarist Ron Vachon is an original member of the Rockin’ Recons, well-known for their appearances at the popular PAL Hop dances at Lewiston City Hall in the 1960s. Nearly 50 years later, the band still plays together and draws crowds. His grandson, Justin Lindsay, has been playing guitar since he was seven years old. Now a sophomore at Scarborough High School, he is active in his school’s jazz ensemble and concert band and plays frequently in southern Maine through his association with the Maine Academy of Modern Music. His own group is called Work in Progress.

The Franco Center is located at 46 Cedar Street in Lewiston. For more information on the show, call the Franco Center at 783-1585 or Friends of Pettingill Vice-Chair Bill Maroldo at 795-1386. To purchase tickets, see www.francocenter.org.

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