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 Soloist


As a vocalist, John Coons is at home performing in a wide variety of styles and settings. With a background in the worlds of classical, musical theater, jazz, and popular music, Coons is incredibly versatile as a performer and collaborator. He holds a Master's degree in Classical Voice Performance from the University of Southern Maine where he performed as a soloist with the USM Chorale, Chamber Singers, Wind Ensemble, Opera Workshop, and Southern Maine Symphony. Roles at USM included Rinuccio (Gianni Schicchi), Kaspar (Amahl and the Night Visitors), Eisenstein (Die Fledermaus), and Monostatos (The Magic Flute). Coons was an Emerging Artist with PORTOpera for three seasons and has performed roles with the Skagit Opera, Fisher Ensemble, Boston Opera Collaborative, MetroWest Opera, Lakes Region Opera and Opera New Hampshire's Outreach program. As a classical soloist, he has performed with the  Portland Symphony POPS, North Shore Philharmonic, Masterworks Chorale of Boston, Portland Choral Art Society, Bellevue Ballet, and Granite State Choral Society. Also as a soloist, Coons has performed the National Anthem for the Red Sox at a sold-out Fenway Park.

In the realm of musical theater, Coons garnered critical acclaim for his “astoundingly high and powerful tenor top” in back-to-back performances as Henrik in A Little Night Music with the Heartwood Regional Theater and Metro Stage Company. Other roles include Shane Stant and ensemble in Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera at the American Repertory Theater's Club Oberon, and Jesus in Jesus Christ, Superstar.

In the fall of 2009, Coons was selected by vocal jazz arranger/singer Kerry Marsh to perform a series of concerts with popular recording artist Ben Folds, the Boston Symphony Pops and the Rhode Island Philharmonic. Additionally, Coons went on to collaborate with Ben Folds as as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony POPS in 2010. Since then, Coons has been forging a genre-defying career which has included singing with various choral ensembles, opera work, singing backup to The Dresden Dolls' Amanda Palmer, and his own original singer-songwriter material.

Coons was chosen by the Seattle Opera to create all of the tenor roles in their commissioned three-opera cycle, Our Earth  in 2012-13. The full cycle received its world premiere at the Marrowstone Music Festival and then was performed at Seattle's McCaw Hall. Coons' 2013 season also included an evening of opera with the Bainbridge Island Symphony and performing as the tenor soloist in the Inverse Opera's production of Handel's Messiah. Upcoming engagements include Harry (La Fanciulla del West) with the Eugene Opera, Coons' Seattle Symphony Debut (Our Earth), and a return to performing with Ben Folds, with the Atlanta Symphony.