During the second half of the 19th century, "Hermann Kotzschmar" was a familiar household name in Portland. He spent 59 years in his adopted city as a teacher, choral conductor, concert artist, and church organist.
A fire and two men whose lives were entwined for more than 50 years resulted in what is now considered to be "the Jewel of Portland" -- the Austin organ that was given to the city of Portland in 1912.
Lewiston, Maine's second largest city, was long looked upon by many as a mill town with grimy smoke stacks, crowded tenements, low-paying jobs, sleazy clubs and little by way of refinement, except for Bates College. Yet, a noted Québec historian, Robert Rumilly, described it as "the French Athens of New England."
Pearl Wescott (nèe Otto) was the organist for the theatre the entire time it was in operation. Her playing was so popular that she was often asked to…
… teacher and theatrical director; Mark Belanger, organist for St. Anthanasius-St. John’s Parish; and Judith Davis Kuhn, teacher and musical director…