News Column

Amy Allen to highlight Dempsey Challenge entertainment Oct. 11-13 [Sun Journal (Lewiston, ME)]

September 6, 2013


LEWISTON -- Singer-songwriter Amy Allen who appeared on season two of NBC's The Voice, highlights a stellar entertainment lineup for the fifth annual Dempsey Challenge presented by Amgen. The event will take place Oct. 11-13. Allen will share the stage with North of Nashville, Spencer Albee and the Maine Marimba Ensemble.

Allen hails from South Portland and is currently attending Berklee College of Music in Boston and has released three EPs. Her latest, titled Other Side of Somewhere, was recorded in Nashville. She will perform at the Friday, Oct. 11, Courage Fest Marketplace and on the Festival in the Park entertainment stage on Sunday, Oct. 13.

"Using music to support and improve the lives of others is why I began playing in the first place," said Allen, whose first live performance was at her great grandmother's nursing home. "I can't think of a better cause."

North of Nashville, comprised of Portland's Jay Basiner and Andrew Martelle, were previously part of This Way, a five-piece alt- country act nominated for "Best Folk, Country and Roots Act" by the 2012 New England Music Awards. The duo will perform on the entertainment stage on Sunday, Oct. 13.

Spencer Albee has been part of Portland's music scene for nearly two decades. He was a member of Rustic Overtones and worked alongside some of the industry's leading engineers and producers with connections to Paul McCartney, Prince and Michael Jackson.

Albee recently released a self-titled album. His first, The Popsicko, enjoyed critical and commercial acclaim, spawning two number one singles and an offer from Island Records. He will perform on the entertainment stage on Saturday, Oct. 12.

"We are honored to take part in such a wonderful and supportive cause that has been a grand staple to Maine and our nation's growing cancer awareness," he said.

The six-member Maine Marimba Ensemble was featured on the popular TED Talks series. They perform complex polyrhythmic arrangements of traditional and contemporary Zimbabwean music on their set of homemade marimbas. They'll keep Festival in the Park attendees dancing on Sunday, Oct. 13.

The Dempsey Challenge, which serves as the primary fundraiser for The Patrick Dempsey Center for Cancer Hope & Healing, kicks off on Friday, Oct. 11, with Courage Fest. The Courage Fest Marketplace at The Atrium opens its doors to the public at 4 p.m. in downtown Lewiston and will showcase a farmers' and gourmet marketplace, local restaurants and the very best of Maine's wine, hard cider and craft beers.

The Franco Center will show a free screening of the Peloton Project, an inspiring film produced by Patrick Dempsey; and wrapping up the evening with the official after-party at Gritty McDuff's L-A Brew Pub.

Participants will hit the streets in the 5K and 10K run/walk on Saturday, Oct. 12, and cycling routes of 10, 25, 50, 70 and 100 miles on Sunday, Oct. 13. All events will begin and end at Simard- Payne Memorial Park.

The weekend will include a family friendly Festival in the Park which plays host to a Health and Wellness Expo, KidZone, a free Kids Fun Run, vendor fair and live entertainment. The Amgen Breakaway from Cancer Survivor Walk highlights the weekend festivities at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.

Participants are encouraged to create or join teams through the Dempsey Challenge website to build camaraderie and assist their fundraising efforts. For more information, visit

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