Quoddy Voices Will Be Raised in American Song

 

Quoddy Voices will present its spring concerts on Friday, May 12 at 7 pm, and Sunday, May 14 at 3 pm, at the Eastport Arts Center. With an “American Voices” theme, the ensemble will explore the strong singing traditions of the United States. 

From the revolutionary war-era composer William Billings, the group will perform a rousing "battle" hymn, “Chester,” the witty “Modern Music” (based on his own text) and “I Am the Rose of Sharon,” a sprightly take on a passage from the Song of Solomon. 

In celebration of the African-American spiritual, a keystone of the American musical tradition, the chorus will perform two great arrangements by William Dawson:  “Ezekiel Saw the Wheel,” with soloist Lauren Koss, and the deeply felt “There is a Balm in Gilead,” with soloist Manuela Brice. The spirit continues with Moses Hogan's setting of “My Soul's Been Anchored in the Lord.”

Two recent classics will be featured: Stephen Paulus' “The Road Home,” featuring soloist Elizabeth H. Nichols-Goodliff, and “Jabberwocky,” a setting by Sam Pottle of Louis Carroll's entertaining poem. For the latter, audiences should expect that members of the chorus will be doing more than just singing. 

Guest artists for the show are the Breakwater Buoys, Eastport's nonpareil quartet of Bill Johnson, Steven Koenig, Allan Gore and Bill Mullins. They will present an eclectic mix ranging from the barbershop tradition to contemporary gospel: “Lida Rose,” “Chasing After the Wind,” and possibly “Tumblin' Tumbleweeds to boot.”

The women of Quoddy Voices will then take the stage to serenade us with Leadbelly's “Bring Me Little Water, Sylvie,” Carole King's “One Fine Day,” and “I Feel Pretty” from West Side Story. The latter features soloists Rosalie Woodward, Jennifer Gillies and Katie Jumper.  

The program concludes with selections from “Frostiana,” Randall Thompson's classic settings of Robert Frost’s beloved verse. Since its premiere in 1959, the work has been a favorite of choruses around the world, and features poems such as “The Road Not Taken” and “Choose Something Like a Star.” 

Quoddy Voices is a group of members from all over our region. Suggested donation for the concert is $10; students under the age of 18 free. Tickets are available for purchase via the events calendar on the EAC website, or half an hour prior to each performance at the door. FMI  about the group which is open to anyone who would like to participate with no audition required, please contact Newell at (207) 853-4010 or by email at jnewell384@gmail.com. The Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport, and at www.eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible.