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Biddeford History & Heritage Project

Sharing the history of a proud city rising where the water falls

Pierre Painchaud

Philharmonic Orchestra, Biddeford, ca. 1901

Philharmonic Orchestra, Biddeford, ca. 1901

Item 34121 info
McArthur Public Library

Pierre Painchaud himself mastered the violin, the cello, and the coronet, as well as singing and performing comedy routines as a “lightning change artist.” In the 1890s, Mr. Painchaud formed an additional musical ensemble known as La Famille Painchaud, comprised of his own family members. In 1899 he formed L’Union Musicale, which staged operas, comedy sketches, and other musical programs. Then in 1901 he organized the Biddeford Philharmonic Orchestra. He even invented a musical instrument consisting of four sets of glass bottles with wax fillings. His musical expertise extended to repairing and tuning musical instruments, composing and arranging music, teaching music, and directing the choir at St. Joseph’s Church.

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