The curtain closes on a holiday tradition — but the memories will last forever following final performance after 17 years

Children performing at the Warming Up for Christmas concert. (photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography)

by Mark Huard

December 1 marked the beginning of the 25 days ‘til Christmas, but it also marked the end of a 17-year career for Stephen Fotter. The Performing Arts Center rang with holiday cheer and fantastic music from the Fotter Family of musicians. It was a bitter sweet moment as the members were doing what they love, but this is the last time that they will do it all together on the stage.

Linda and Stephen Fotter. (photo by Mark Huard, Central Maine Photography)

Over his 17 years, Stephen Fotter and his wife Linda, have shown their tireless and selfless take on the world by gathering everyone together and donating all of the proceeds to charitable causes. You heard that right, the event is completely done for charitable causes so that more people can have shelter, safety and food that they normally wouldn’t have. This year alone, the Fotter’s raised $14,300 for the Mid-Maine Homeless Shelter. They also raised $1,700 for the Shine On Cass Foundation. The Fotters and the community have helped raise over $150,000 over the years.

Warming Up with the Fotters always occurs during the Christmas season; but the Fotters are known for their kindness year round. They had 65 students in this year’s production, but they have been part of the lives of hundreds of children and adults through the years. Stephen Fotter lights up the stage with his infectious energy on the night of these performances, but we are told that this is a daily occurrence for him. He brings a passion of music and life to so many people, and provides a learning environment for those who want to enter his studio.

In true Fotter fashion, Stephen and his wife do not take any credit for the success of their events but rather extend the gratitude to all of the many students staff and band members that surround them. The following band members lit up the stage with their talents and stood faithfully beside Stephen Fotter for years: Douglas Moore, Gus Moen, Noah Caret, Uncle Dean Bureau, Gary Coons, Neil Amalfitano, Libby Phillips, Jordan Willette, and Shel Sherman and vocalists Tammy Baker and Mary Ann Quirion.

The Fotters have a strong faith and have been clear that their only goals are to help others. So when talking about the career of Stephen and Linda Fotter, a better word to describe it is their legacy. It’s a legacy of benevolence, grace and compassion. It’s a legacy filled with beautiful music that touches not only our ears but our hearts. And it’s a legacy that will continue to inspire others to live and love just a little bit harder.


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