Chris Howard has been the director of the Downeasters since early 2020, though he's been involved with barbershop in various ways since 2006. Originally born and raised in New Jersey, he earned a BA in Music Composition and Conducting in 2007 from Lehigh University. In 2012, he relocated to Maine and became a member of the Downeasters within months.
Chris brings to the Downeasters his signature blend of fast-paced, high-energy rehearsals and strong musical expertise. He believes that, while the director is integral in bringing it all together, his work is nowhere near as important as that of the singers on stage. Thus, Chris credits the long-term success of the Downeasters to all the singers, past and present, who share their voices together to make this wonderful music, for without them, none of this would be possible.
Chris has a number of other musical highlights to his credit. He has performed with the Downeasters in the Barbershop Harmony Society's International competition (2015, 2018). He has sung in multiple acclaimed quartets, including his current quartet Mach 4 and prior quartet Odds n Ends (42nd place, 2018). He has also been singing a cappella music for most of his life, including multiple select chrouses in high school and two pop a cappella groups in college, one of which he co-founded.
Outside the chorus, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife Sarah, their son Nate, and their dog Charlie. He works in IT support for a local credit union. When he isn't preparing music and rehearsals for the chorus (or chasing after his toddler son), his spare time activities include arranging and making learning tracks, singing with Mach 4, reading, role-playing games, and tinkering with old computers.