John Coons

Soloist, composer-songwriter, conductor, music educator

A native of Maine, musician John Coons is forging a genre-defying career that has included choral work, opera roles, performing with Ben Folds and the Pittsburgh Symphony, Seattle Opera, and singing the national anthem for the Red Sox at Fenway Park. His resume provides a snapshot of his wide-reaching interests, which range from solo work and songwriting to theater and music education. 

John Coons as Conductor


John Coons is no stranger to either side of the conductor's podium. During his time at the University of Southern Maine, he studied conducting under Dr. Peter Martin and then the renowned choral conductor Dr. Robert Russell, with whom he continued to take private conducting lessons into his graduate work. He went on to conduct the USM Chamber Singers, USM Chorale and in a series of high school choral workshops, a combined seven choral groups together in concert. As part of his student teaching in the Scarborough Public Schools, John conducted the Scarborough High School Concert Choir, Select Choir, and Men's Choir. Co-directing with Suzanne Proulx, he took the Scarborough High School Select Choir to compete in the Heritage Music Festival in New York City, where they placed second in their respective division. John has worked with multiple high school choirs as a guest conductor/choral workshop director.

John served as director of the Liturgical Choir of St. Joseph's College in Standish, Maine from 2005-2008, and afterward continued to guest conduct for special services, such as the annual Baccalaureate Mass with the Bishop presiding. From 2006-2010, he served as the choral director of First Parish Congregational Church of Yarmouth, Maine, where he conducted the Senior Choir, Junior Choir, and Teen Choir. Under his direction, the Senior Choir undertook collaborations with the USM Chamber Singers and USM Opera Workshop and the performance of choral masterworks including Vivaldi's Gloria, John Leavitt's Missa Festiva, and selections from Handel's Messiah. Also during his tenure, he led the Senior Choir on tour to Quebec and the Charlevoix region, culminating in a performance at the Basilica of St. Anne de Beaupré. He recently conducted "An Evening of Endingness" at the Henry Art Gallery.

John is currently available for school and church choral workshops and guest conducting opportunities.