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.
Our biggest project thus far was a collaborative community residency last spring 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, 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 browse through our monthly Archives to see what we've been up to, and drop us a line if you would like to offer feedback or have ideas for future activities.
The Folk Orchestra
One of our most ambitious endeavors this year has been the establishment of a community folk orchestra. This affable multi-generational ensemble – which currently numbers about a dozen musicians ranging in age from 11 to, shall we say, ageless – rehearses twice a month in Auburn 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 is working with the members of the folk orchestra to build a repertoire of music which reflects Maine's cultural heritage in particular, including the classic jigs-&-reels beloved by the old-time Franco-American fiddlers of yore as well as recent tunes written by members of today's Maine folk musician community. 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 a recent orchestra practice session). For more, click on the yellow button on the audio files bar at the top right, or visit our Folk Orchestra Tunes page. And here's an audio-visual glimpse of the ensemble in action at a rehearsal: