For almost 40 years,
bringing classical choral music
of the highest quality
to midcoast Maine and beyond.

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About Us

A non-auditioned chorus, Down East Singers generally has 60–70 members in any given season ranging in age from high schoolers to seniors. The members' musical experience varies widely. Some have sung in different choruses for years; others are new or are resuming their interest in singing after an absence of many years. Almost all sang in high school or college choruses and some received formal vocal training or continue to study music and take lessons today. Chorus members represent a wide variety of professions and come from many mid-coast communities. All share an interest in singing a classical repertoire under the direction of a nationally-recognized Artistic Director and a superb accompanist.

Down East Singers is a nonprofit corporation organized under the laws of the State of Maine and is recognized by the IRS as a tax exempt entity under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Gifts to Down East Singers are tax deductible. Our mailing address is P.O. Box 996, Rockport, Maine 04856. Telephone number: (207) 619-0413. Email address: Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for more information.

What Is the Rachmaninoff Choir?

The Rachmaninoff Choir combines members of the Bowdoin College Chorus in Brunswick, Maine, and Down East Singers in Rockport, Maine, and other singers from Southern Maine and the greater Boston metropolitan area. The Choir was formed in 1992 by Dr. Anthony Antolini. The ensemble specializes in Eastern Orthodox choral music. Depending on the concert, the group numbers between 60 and 80 singers. The Choir has performed all over Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and in New York City, Montreal, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Foreign tours have included the Russian Far East and St. Petersburg in 2002 and Serbia, Bulgaria and Greece in 2009.

Our Artistic Director

Anthony Antolini returned in 2015 from a fall semester sabbatical leave from his duties as Artistic Director of Down East Singers. He has been with Down East Singers since 1991. He graduated from Bowdoin College and holds graduate degrees in music and Slavic Studies from Stanford University. In high school in New York his musical mentor was conductor Thomas Dunn. His conducting teachers include Harold C. Schmidt (Stanford University), Charlene Archibeque (San Jose State University), Helmuth Rilling (International Bach Academy) and Vladimir Minin (Moscow Chamber Choir). He is on the faculty at Bowdoin College where he conducts the Bowdoin Chorus. In 1988 he published the first modern, bilingual edition of Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. His award-winning television documentary on this subject, "Rediscovering Rachmaninoff,” has been broadcast on public television nationally. In 1999 he was a featured speaker at the national convention of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) and in 2000 at the ACDA convention in Baltimore, Maryland. His editions of choral music are published by E.C. Schirmer and Paraclete Press. He was elected by the Maine Chapter of ACDA as "Conductor of the Year” for the 1999–2000 season. He is also Music Director at the Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist in Thomaston, and a faculty member of the New England Suzuki Institute at St. Joseph’s College in Standish. In 2012 he was appointed Music Director of the Lincoln Festival Chorus in Boothbay Harbor. During his sabbatical he edited choral works by Bortniansky and Chesnokov and gave lectures entitled "The Russian Orthodox Church in Russia Today” as part of The Camden Conference’s schedule of presentations leading up to the February 2015 conference called "Russia Resurgent.”

I asked Antolini, "Wouldn’t you love to spend time with Sergei Rachmaninoff? I’m sure he’s smiling down at you!”

Antolini replied, "He’s with us every time we sing this piece.”

Zaffie Hadiaris
York County Weekend

Our Accompanist

Jennifer McIvor became Down East Singers' accompanist in September, 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Loyola University in New Orleans and a Master of Music in Music Education from New England Conservatory.

Ms. McIvor teaches music at the Edgecombe Eddy Elementary School and at the South Bristol Elementary School in addition to her work as a piano teacher in her own studio in Wiscasset. Prior to teaching in Maine, she taught at Arlington Catholic High School in Arlington, Massachusetts, the Learning Project Elementary School and Newman Preparatory School in Boston, and at the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Atlanta.

She currently serves as Adult Choir director at St. Patrick's Catholic Church and as piano accompanist for Wiscasset schools, area churches, Suzuki instructors, and for the Heartwood Regional Theater. She is a member of the Music Teachers National Association and the Music Educators National Conference.

Our Soloists

Sarah Tuttle
Joelle Morris
David Myers, Jr.
John David Aams
Sarah Tuttle
May 2016
Joelle Morris
May 2016

David Myers, Jr.
May 2016

John David Adams
May 2016

Christina Astrachan
Winter Concert
Series 2011
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Dona Nobis Pacem
May 2010
Suzanne Nance
Carmina Burana
April 2012
Regina Coeli
May 2011

Hugh Davies
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Dona Nobis Pacem
May 2010

Martin Lescault
Sergei Rachmaninoff
All Night Vigil
December 2009

The St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble from St. Petersburg, Russia, will be singing with us for our December concerts.

The Mozart Mentors Orchestra

Cantor Scott Sokol will be the baritone soloist in the Memorial Day 2019 concert of Bloch’s Sacred Service.

Other soloists include Daniel Stein, Andrew Garland, Penobscot Bay Ringers, ‘Ti Acadie, and individual members of the Down East Singers chorus.

Our Singers 2018

Fall DES Chorus for December Concert


Lysbeth Andrews
Elizabeth Borch
Jane Conrad
Mildred Crocker
Betty Sue Easton
Rosalee Glass
Joan Holmes
Susan Hyde
Julee Johnson
Maggie Machaiek
Chris McLarty
Tiare Messing
Natalie Norris
Judy Pelletier
Lucy Pincince
Anne Roundy
Elisabeth Schuman
Mary Sheeline
Deanna Zoe Smith
Heidi Steele
Kathryn Turansky
Emily Vigneron
Katherine Winslow


Merrilee Brown
Rebecca Clapp
Margery Cuyler
Anita Goodwin
Charlotte Gulezian
Vannesa Henneke
Sandra Hoekstra
Emily Jenks
Susan Klemmer
Cécile Lampton
Diana Rigg
Esther Sexton
Marti Stone
Lynne Taylor


Deborah Brady
Ron Hise
Siobhan Kelly
Andrew Peters
Hayden Sears


John Chase
Richard Craft
Christopher Glass
Bruce Hoekstra
Fred Jones
Seth Lester
Jay Pendleton
George Stephens
Marty Taylor
Peter Warren

What Is the Mozart Mentors Orchestra?

The orchestra was formed in the fall of 2010 from an idea originated by Clorinda Noyes and Anthony Antolini during the summer New England Suzuki Institute (NESI) at St. Joseph's College on Sebago Lake, where Suzuki teachers work with dedicated students during an intense week of chamber music and musicianship training. The concept is that Suzuki teachers select their most promising students to play together in an orchestra along with their mentors. The ensemble has played at several performances in Brunswick, Camden and Blue Hill. Depending on the concert program, Down East Singers often supplements the Mozart Mentors Orchestra with other musicians playing such instruments as harp, percussion, and so forth.

Our Board Members

Anthony Antolini
Artistic Director, ex officio
Esther Sexton President
Sandra Hoekstra
Anita Goodwin
Andrew Peters
Kathryn Armstrong
Maggie Machaiek
Anne Roundy

George Stephens

Peter Warren
Katherine Winslow

Down East Singers

PO Box 996, Rockport, Maine 04856