Collaboration Brings Cultural Concert to Calais

By Kaileigh Deacon


On Saturday night at the Congregational Church in Calais, the CDRC and Calais in Motion hosted the Woodwind Quintet of the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra.

The Orchestra is a non-profit group of residents from both sides Passamaquoddy Bay who meet at the Visitors’ Center in the Robinston Historical Society. The group consists of anywhere from 25 to 35 members at a time from both sides of the border.

The group was formed in 2007 by a group of people who just wanted to get together and play music. They are conducted by Trond Saeverud who according to the Orchestra’s Website has served as conductor in both in Norway and Denmark after receiving his doctorate in conduction from the University of Kansas. 

The Woodwind Quintet is made up of members of the orchestra with an unlikely combination of instruments. The Quintet is comprised of the oboe played by Lee-Anne Frost, the bassoon played by Reyndell Stockman, the French horn played by Bruce Campbell, the flute played by Nancy Asante, and the clarinet played by Helen Swallow. 

The concert had an excellent turnout with between sixty and seventy people there almost 20 times what the Quintet had when they came to Calais just after the group started according to Asante. The concert offered a variety of selections both familiar and new. The concert was followed by a wine and cheese reception. 

The concert was the first in what the collaboration hopes will be many concerts to come. Last year the Calais In Motion polled the people of Calais asking them what they wanted to see come to Calais, one of the most asked for thing was more cultural events. 

Anne Nixon was the main force behind bringing the Quintet to Calais. “In my job at customs I asked people what the purpose of their trip is,” Nixon said. One of the days she asked some of the members what the purpose of their trip was and they told her about their group and a decision was made. 

For more information on the Passamaquoddy Bay Symphony Orchestra  you can find them on Facebook or at their website.