Photo by Robin Farrin of Coastal Maine Photography

An ongoing program of the Eastport Arts Center, Quoddy Voices is a community chorus committed to providing singers of all experience levels the opportunity to work together to learn and present quality music from the many choral traditions. We strive to enrich the cultural life of our community by expanding the awareness and appreciation of choral music. Our programs have included classics of the choral repertoire, contemporary works (both “serious” and “light”) and pieces from cultures around the world.
 
Quoddy Voices was formed in 2014 by a dedicated group of singers hailing from a number of area towns, from Calais to Machias to Campobello. New members are welcome, regardless of experience level; no auditions are required. We present two programs each year. Join us, and enjoy making music with a wonderful group of people! For more information about joining Quoddy Voices, please contact director Gene Nichols: gnichols@maine.edu, (207) 271-7169.

Music Director

Gene Nichols is shown enjoying music with cronies via Zoom.

Well known local ‘Music Man’ Gene Nichols has been a musical fixture in the region since moving to Maine in the 1980s. He began directing Quoddy Voices in the fall of 2023. A graduate of SUNY Potsdam and Northern Illinois University, Nichols was Professor of Music at the University of Maine at Machias for 35.5 years. A multi-instrumentalist, he worked as a baritone horn player, truck driver and bandleader/Music Director for the Clyde Beatty-Cole Bros. Circus, and has performed with the Syracuse, Bangor and Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestras. He led the UMaine Machias Chorale for many years, as well as performing with a wide variety of musical groups, including improv ensemble Les Trois Etoiles, the UMM Ukulele Club, and the Orange River Jazz Band. Most recently, he wrote and directed the 2023 Machias Wild Blueberry Festival Musical, The Record of Washington County.

Accompanist

Jane Lanctot, photo by Jude Kempe.

Our accompanist is Jane Lanctot, a resident of Lubec. She has a varied musical performance background, including studying and teaching classical Cambodian music all over the United States. She was the executive producer for two CDs of Cambodian music, one of which won the Best World Music CD of 2003. In the past few years she has focused on modern piano and fortepiano. She holds degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics, and is currently working on the design and testing of wooden automata. Her radio show Round the World with Cracklin’ Jane (produced for local station WSHD-LP in Eastport) is syndicated in the US, Canada, and the UK, and features radio plays punctuated by 78-RPM recordings.

 

Founding Director

John Newell, our founding director, completed his formal musical training at the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he studied with Morton Feldman. While in Buffalo he held the first Edgard Varese Fellowship in composition, earning his Ph.D. in 1979. John has broad experience as a choral conductor in leading school and community groups. He has composed a wide variety of works for chorus, chamber ensembles and orchestra and has received commissions from a number of professional and amateur organizations. More information about his music may be found at johnnewellmusic.com. Also an accomplished pianist, John teaches privately and is on the faculty of SummerKeys, an adult music program in Lubec. He and his wife Linda Courtney now divide their time between Downeast Maine and the Pioneer Valley of Massachusetts.

Concert Programs

Click here to view select past programs.

Blast the Winter Blahs (& Get Inspired for Friday’s Dance!) with Quoddy Voices’ Outreach Trio!

Quoddy Voices singers Jenny Gillies (left) and Geri Ilg braved the fearsome storm of December 18 along with the choir’s Director, Gene Nichols, to bring concerts to Wellmore Point in Calais and Eastport Memorial Nursing Home. Find a video clip from their boisterous Calais show below; apparently their choice of tune … [Read More]

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Quoddy Voices to Resume Rehearsals for ‘People, Places and Spring’ Program

Weekly rehearsals for Quoddy Voices’ spring season, under the direction of Gene Nichols, will begin Wednesday, February 7, 6-8 pm at Eastport Arts Center. A diverse program celebrating ‘People, Places and Spring’ is planned for the international community chorus. (Returning participants: please make note of the change from Tuesdays … [Read More]

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Chorus’ Concerts—December 15 & 17— Boast Diverse Repertoire

Quoddy Voices, an international community chorus, will present their “Requests and Favorites” concerts on Friday, December 15 at 7 pm, and Sunday, December 17 at 3 pm, at Eastport Arts Center. The group is directed by Gene Nichols, with accompanist Jane Lanctot. Nichols notes: “Our show will be an eclectic … [Read More]

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Quoddy Voices to Present ‘Requests and Favorites’

Quoddy Voices, the international community chorus based at EAC, is at work preparing a winter concert program titled “Requests and Favorites.” The group of nearly 40 singers, with accompanist Jane Lanctot, will perform at the Arts Center on Friday, December 15 at 7 pm, and Sunday, December 17 at … [Read More]

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Requests Welcomed by New Quoddy Voices Director for Fall Season, Beginning Sept. 12

Gene Nichols, new Director of Quoddy Voices, is taking singers’ requests for the choir’s fall season, which begins Tuesday, September 12, 6-8 pm. Performances are scheduled for December 15-17, 2023. The group welcomes singers of all levels of experience; no audition is required. “Singing is good for you,” notes … [Read More]

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Quoddy Voices to Resume Rehearsals

Quoddy Voices’ fall season, under the direction of Gene Nichols, will begin, Tuesday, September 12, 6-8 pm at Eastport Arts Center. (Returning participants: please make note of the change from Mondays to Tuesdays, and of the earlier start time for rehearsals). Performances are scheduled for December 15-17, 2023. The … [Read More]

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Quoddy Voices’ ‘Here in Maine’ Concerts a Delight; Retiring Director Honored at Reception

John Newell, hard-working steward of the Quoddy Voices community chorus, retired from his role as Director after the group’s spring concerts on May 19 and 21. Nearly 150 attended the weekend performances, which included diverse musical material, all related to the state of Maine: Shaker tunes, shanties, Native American … [Read More]

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Quoddy Voices’ Director to Retire Following May Concerts; Singers Pay Tribute to Their Longtime Leader

John Newell, founding director of Quoddy Voices, will retire from this role following the group’s concerts, “Here in Maine,” to be held May 19 at 7 pm and May 21 at 3 pm. Newell’s stewardship of the chorus—from its beginning as a new EAC constituent group in 2014—has brought … [Read More]

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Chorus to Present Maine-Themed Concerts, May 19 and 21

Quoddy Voices, a Downeast community chorus, takes the stage on Friday, May 19 (7 pm) and Sunday, May 21 (3 pm) at Eastport Arts Center, with Here In Maine, a celebration of the many musical flavors of our home state. The joyful and varied program will conclude the tenure of … [Read More]

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Quoddy Voices’ Spring Session is Maine-Themed! New Singers Welcome

In preparation for its spring concerts Quoddy Voices will begin rehearsals at on Monday, February 20, at 7 pm, at Eastport Arts Center. This season the chorus will celebrate the many musical flavors of Maine, including: a work by Supply Belcher, the 18th century ‘Handel of Maine’; arrangements of … [Read More]

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