Aliette Couturier is one of the founding members of Les Troubadours. Born in Augusta, Maine, and now living in Lewiston, though 81 years old, Aliette’s passion for music and singing has never been stronger. Aside from singing a beautiful alto line at the monthly Les Troubadours sing-along, she also plays spoons and acts on stage during Les Troubadours performances. Aliette’s kindness and sweetness bring everyone in Les Troubadours closer together, ensuring that everyone feels valued and loved.
Jeannine grew up in the city of Sherbrook, QC and moved to Lewiston, ME when she married her husband in 1957. She grew up in a musical family: her father was a fiddler and her mother sang and played harmonica. Her social life revolved around lively sing-along gatherings among family and friends where she learned to sing and dance at an early age. After moving to Lewiston and having three children, Jeannine learned English and took classes at the University of Maine before moving into a career managing nursing homes. She spent time sharing her warm heart with the residents in her nursing home and now shares her beautiful voice with others by singing in Les Troubadors.
Irene was a third generation Mainer. Her grandfather and grandmother, who were French-Canadian and Polish respectively, moved to Auburn, Maine to find work and raise their family. To hear her tell it, Irene experienced an idyllic childhood. She had loving parents, siblings, many close relatives, and, of course, music. Irene could hardly remember a time in her life she was not surrounded by music. Irene’s childhood home was the epicenter for her extended family and her neighbors to gather. These parties always featured vocal music, fiddles, and piano. They often played the latest hits or Franco classics well into the night. Franco-American culture was solidified in her ears and in her heart through family gatherings, a constantly buzzing radio, and one ‘petit’ nun who taught at Irene’s parochial school.
Inspired by a childhood filled with song, Irene continued to make music throughout her adult and later years. Her powerful contralto voice was a fixture within Les Troubadours, a singing group whose repertoire stems from French-Canadian, Franco-American, and Acadian music. Further, when Irene and her siblings visited they still sung the old songs. Indeed, Irene attributed the strength and resilience of her familial bonds to shared music and memories. When her memory of lyrics faltered she was quick to call her sister, who was always willing to lend a hand (and a voice!). Finally, Irene also explained that she used the songs obtained in her youth to fight the normal anxieties of life, in her words “…when you’re singing your heart is lighter…”