Eastport Strings, founded by Alice St. Clair as a training and performance group for young string musicians, had a vigorous run of 16 years as an EAC constituent group, giving scores of musicians a solid underpinning to their subsequent musical endeavors. The group dissolved in 2018, though St. Clair still teaches privately and engages audiences of all ages through her work with Moose Island House Players and through strings outreach efforts, such as organizing occasional workshops and special performances at the center.
An Eastport Strings milestone was achieved in June 2011, when St. Clair and assistant director Eustacia Landrum collaborated with artists Ralph Farris and Karen Krolak for a rich and eventful Summer Intensive. This incredibly fruitful period boasted two full concert programs, one of rock music and one drawn from the classical repertoire, a tour of performances for Washington County schools, plus an exuberant all-community parade, Magnet to the Breakwater.
Thankfully, the residency period was well documented, with photos, concert videos and a documentary. Both videos were directed and edited by Timothy Bennett, a past Eastport resident, and powerfully recreate the thrilling and joyous time—for both the young musicians, and their community—in Eastport.
The documentary was produced by Sally Erickson, and was made possible through financial and in-kind contributions from Eastport Arts Center, The Tides Institute & Museum of Art, The Maine Community Foundation and VisionQuest Pictures.
Performers include: Violins: Faith Bailey, Kat Bailey, Hailey Bell, Paige Bell, Tristan Chadwick, Robert Costa, Jacob Curtis, Roy Duffy, Siobhan Duffy, Riley Fraser, Wren Fraser, Winnie French, Nichele Giero, Sadie Hood, Megan McPhail, Mercedes Owen, Cora Sanche,z Quinn Sluzenski, Keneil Watermolen, Viola: Nathanael Giero, Cellos: Maggie Hood, Frank Schuth, Bass: Henry Schuth, Adult Members: Stephanie Allard (violin), Nadine Biss (violin), Brian Duffy (violin), Kristin McKinlay (viola), Robin McPhail (violin), Sam Schuth (violin), and Guest Musicians: Reuben Grannis (guitar), Luke Jean (drums).