On Sunday, April 10 at 3 pm, area musician Gene Nichols will give a presentation he’s titled How I’ve Spent My Pandemic (So Far) featuring: the 3 B’s (Bach, bulbhorns*, and boomwhackers); the Hubcaphone*; classical ukulele; Irish disco kazoo; the ophicleide (a 19th-century cross between a tuba and a saxophone); “rakete rinnzekete”; and ‘Scrummy, a word card game invented by Nichols in 2019.

In addition to performing, Nichols will share selections from two recent home recording projects, and recount personal and professional adventures and future plans. Musical guests will include: Greg Biss and Lauren Koss of the Eastport Arts Center, Duane Ingalls and Clifton Moser.

*Instruments marked with a * were invented and built by Gene and friends; the hubcaphone, comprised of mallet-whackable hubcaps chosen and arranged carefully for pitch and tone, appeared at EAC in 2010 in an earlier iteration. The instrument, which necessitates the use of a U-Haul and several roadies, was redesigned and rebuilt in 2020, as featured by EAC Video, and will give its premier live performance at the Sunday series event.

Nichols was a beloved fixture at the University of Maine at Machias for 35.5 years, where his musical teaching engaged countless students and local community members. He has also been a prominent local music fixture, appearing in parades, musical theater and with groups, including the UMM Ukulele Club, Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra and the Orange River Jazz Band. Since the pandemic, Gene has been an active participant in Cobscook Institute’s weekly music circle (Monday nights via Zoom), and also has enjoyed doing outdoor popup shows with Les Trois Etoiles, a Washington County improv group.

Gene is shown in his former classroom at UMM, displaying the head of UMM mascot Cappy. Still from video by Lauren Koss.

Sunday Afternoons at the Arts Center programs are held in the Washington Street Gallery, downstairs at EAC. Voluntary donations sustain these programs; no one will be turned away for lack of funds. Proceeds are shared equally between the presenters and EAC constituent group The Concert Series, which offers year-round programming run by volunteers.  For more information, and to view the rest of the series lineup, please visit https://eastportartscenter.org/constituent-groups/the-concert-series/. 

Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, patrons are required to wear masks when in the EAC building.