Quoddy Voices will present their Spring 2022 Concerts, ‘Coming Back’, on Friday, May 27 at 7 pm, and Sunday, May 29, at 3 pm, at Eastport Arts Center. “I might describe the themes of the program as ‘joy, hope, peace… and going forward together,’” noted Director John Newell, who has selected a diverse group of works for the singers’ return to performance. A featured work is “Lux Aeterna” (2020), written by Newell as a tribute to beloved EAC community member, Joyce Weber, who passed that year. “We’re singing ‘Lux Aeterna’—’may eternal light shine upon them …’—in honor of Joyce,” noted Newell, “and also the many others we have lost over the last two years.”

Newell, bound for Quoddy Voices dress rehearsal, takes a moment to reflect on the choral group’s post-pandemic ‘return’ program and its many themes.

Songs with contrasting moods, chosen to encompass a range of experiences, include 1980s R.E.M. hit “Shiny Happy People,” followed by Ruth Moody’s piece, “One Voice,” an inspiring reminder of what it means to sing with others. Oriana, the chamber ensemble led by Bill Johnson, will perform “World On Our Shoulders”, a call to action on the climate crisis, and “You Are the New Day”, a love song to each new dawn. Next, soprano Manuela Brice will sing two classic songs that describe the finding of peace and joy: G. F. Handel’s “ode to the shade of a beloved plane tree”, and Franz Schubert’s “Du Bist die Ruh”. The chorus will continue with “Will There Really Be a ‘Morning’?”, a choral setting by Craig Hella Johnson of Emily Dickinson’s poem, then Victor C. Johnson’s arrangement of a traditional spiritual to reminds us: “Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning”.

Vocal trio Jenny and the Barbs will perform an uplifting set of songs: Enya’s “May It Be”, “Crabbuckit” by k-os and the traditional Appalachian tune “Bright Morning Stars”. 
The choir’s concluding work is “Sing Gently”, also composed in 2020, by Eric Whitacre. The song has become an anthem for this time, performed and recorded by choirs around the world. Quoddy Voices’ own virtual choir video of the piece was released one year ago, and may be found on EAC’s site and YouTube channel.

The images above are from Quoddy Voices’ 2021 Virtual Choir video, “Sing Gently.” The tune will conclude the heartfelt program chosen as the choir’s first ‘in person’ performance since December 2019; concerts will be given May 27 and 29 at Eastport Arts Center.

Concert admission is $15; attendees 17 and under will be admitted free of charge. Tickets are available at the door, or via the concert event pages on this site.

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