The Camden Opera House, Elm Street/Route 1, will host its inaugural “A Cappella Springfest” Sunday, May 16 at 3 p.m. Inspired by Ellacappella, an all-women group from the Blue Hill peninsula, this instrument-free festival will include a showcase of men’s, women’s and mixed groups hailing from all over the Midcoast, Boothbay to Blue Hill.

On the stage will be Shira, Zemya, January Men and Then Some, Quasimodal Chorus, Ave Maris Stella and Ellacappella. An eclectic musical mix will span the genres of sea shanties, world music, folk, pop, rock and timeless classics.

Ave Maris Stella performs a wide variety of repertoire with a focus on early works. The 20 auditioned members are self-led and perform in many languages and styles, from English to Latin to Quechua, sacred to secular and from serious to light-hearted.

The roots of the Quasimodal Chorus began in winter gatherings of local singers from 1984 to 1986 to record Gordon Bok’s “February Tapes.” In 1987, the late Jan Harmon organized the group into a weekly gathering that continues to this day.

Shira is a women’s a cappella chorus that has been singing in Midcoast Maine for more than 20 years. They sing songs of beauty, freedom and liberation, celebrating life.

Bok convened the January Men and Then Some in January 1996 to explore working songs of the water. Their music has expanded to encompass traditional and contemporary songs of the East coast of England, both coasts of the United States including the Chesapeake Bay, Africa, Russia, Ireland and Australia, as well as music composed and arranged by group members.

Ellacappella is a diverse group of 10 to 12 members from the Blue Hill peninsula area and beyond. Since its founding, Ellacappella’s repertoire has grown from simple show tunes, seasonal carols and music from the 1940s to a mix of classical, Broadway and more modern arrangements by Deke Sharon, Sue Jaques, Joanna Forbes, Ward Swingle (of Swingle Singers fame), Jameson Marvin and others.

Zemya is a Maine-based women’s a cappella group known for singing a wide range of world folk music.

Tickets are $10 in advance and will be $12 the day of the show. They are available at the Camden Town Office weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.; by phoning 470-7066; online at; or at the door the afternoon of the performance. All net proceeds from this performance will benefit the Camden Opera House third floor renovation fund.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail to