The inaugural Maine Music Awards Hall of Fame Show will be held Saturday, July 12, at the newly renovated Cumberland County Civic Center as a benefit for the United Way of Greater Portland. The show will feature several of the most treasured music artists with strong Maine roots and associations with the state including Camden’s Don McLean. Joining him among the honorees will be Howie Day, Ellis Paul, Dave Mallett and more, performing best-of music sets with special guest appearances by Devonsquare and Carol Noonan.

The show was instigated by the popular annual Maine Music Awards annual events that ran through the 1980s and helped launch bands such as Devonsquare into the national spotlight.

“The return was brought about by Maine talent coming forth and suggesting that it would be great to have a show that honored artists like we had in the past,” said Wayne Koss, the original Maine Music Awards Show founder who is guiding this event with other notable Maine industry veterans.

Koss conferred with a group of knowledgeable industry personnel from Maine to choose who should be representatives of a Maine Music Hall of Fame “and it came together quickly,” he said, adding that next year there will be public input on some of the nominees, as well.

Unlike the past annual awards shows to artists, this event will focus on honoring the artists chosen to be in the Maine Music Awards Hall of Fame with a major show for the artists, music industry personnel and fans to gather, celebrate and have fun. The show will also feature notable guests appearances and recognize special achievements of those in the industry.

Maine has an incredibly skilled, stylistically diverse, long standing music scene, said Bob Thompson, Manager/Creative Director of Camden’s Hearstudios and former guitarist with Devonsquare, among other Maine artists. There are certain artists from various periods in every genre whose creative works define the absolute highest standards of excellence and passion that is the hallmark of the Maine music experience.

“Having been a very active creative and business participant in this wonderful scene since the late 1970s, as session and performing guitarist, music arranger, college instructor and studio manager, I have witnessed the evolution first-hand. The Maine Music Awards Hall of Fame Show brings these artists together into the much deserved spotlight, honors them for their significant achievements and ongoing deep commitment to the musical arts in Maine, and gives the audience a chance to hear a night of wonderfully diverse music from their favorite artists,” Thompson said.

McLean, who has resided with his family in Camden for more than 30 years, is a masterful songwriter and a global legend, thanks to such classics as “American Pie,” “Vincent,” “And I Love You So” and “Crying,” among others. He will perform an entire set of his music hits.

Mallet of Sebec’s have been recorded by more than 150 artists including Pete Seeger, Alison Krauss, John Denver, Arlo Guthrie, Emmylou Harris, Peter, Paul & Mary and the Muppets, among others. His composition “Garden Song” is a folk standard.

Northern Maine’s Paul offers the literate, provocative and urbanely romantic folk-pop and rich vocal artistry that encompasses 19 acclaimed albums and has been featured in major movie releases and television. He is writing and performing the University of Maine's new Alma Mater.

Day is well-known for his incredible live performances, his mega-multimillion seller hit “Collide” and his No. 1 single “She Says”; how however, his body of work is creatively diverse and deep. His songs have made their way into numerous TV shows and movies.

In addition to guest performances by Devonsquare and Carol Noonan, the Mallett Brothers Band will join their father on his performance set. The event will be hosted by news anchors Cindy Williams and Pat Callaghan of WCSH, Portland/ WLBZ, Bangor; and Kim Block of WGME, Portland, with notable presenters joining them.

The Maine Music Awards Hall of Fame Show will be recorded for a TV and Blu-ray DVD, with the TV special scheduled to air multiple times in Maine during the holiday season on WSCH and WLBZ plus other stations around the country. The DVD is designed to illustrate the states rich music history and some of the most prolific artists of yesterday and today alongside numerous music industry luminaries of Maine and notable people contributing with six-plus hours of viewing time expected.

This year’s event will lay the foundation of annual shows that are scheduled for the second weekend of July each summer. The stage floor of the Civic Center will have linen banquet tables with a gourmet buffet and service bars. A pre-show Meet & Greet event in this area will have special autographed music memorabilia at the silent auction tables and raffles, opportunity for photographs and conversation with the artists and industry personnel, among other items of interest to benefit the United Way of Greater Portland. Shipyard Brewery and Chickadee wine will be poured.

Tickets are $39, $49 and $69+/VIP seating and arrangements, available online at Upper deck seating tickets are available via

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or